South Indian cinema shines at 55th National Film Awards

MUMBAI: It was the South Indian film industry that dominated the 55th National Film Awards for 2007.

Priyadarshan’s Tamil film Kanchivaram, a period drama about silk weavers of the south, was chosen as the best movie at the 55th National Film Awards. On the other hand, Tamil actor Prakash Raj was declared the Best Actor for his role in the film Kanchivaram thus beating off competition from Bollywood actors Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan. Raj had earlier won the Best Supporting Actor award for Iruvar in 1998 and also a special Jury Award in 2003.

Adoor Gopalakrishnan bagged best director for the Malayalam film Naalu Pennungal making it his seventh national award. Umashree received the best actress award for her performance in Girish Kasaravalli’s Kannada film Gulabi Talkies.

While the films from the South took away most of the awards, the Hindi film industry was not far behind. Yash Raj Films’ Chak De! India bagged the award in the Wholesome Entertainment category and Aamir Khan’s Taare Zameen Par in the Family Welfare category. TZP also bagged awards for the song Meri Maa, which was awarded to playback singer Shankar Mahadevan and the best lyricist, which was won by lyricist Prasoon Joshi.

Anil Kapoor’s Gandhi My Father has won three awards – director Feroz Abbas Khan got the National Award for best screenplay, Darshan Zariwala won the best supporting actor for portraying Gandhi, while Kapoor bagged the special jury award for the film.

Choreographer Saroj Khan received an award for the song Yeh Ishk Hai from Jab We Met. Actress Shefali Shah was awarded the best supporting actress award for her performance in The Last Lear.

Bhavna Talwar’s directorial debut Dharm won the Nargis Dutt Award for best film on national integration. The best child actor award went to Sharad Goekar for his role in the Marathi film Tingya.

The Indira Gandhi Award for best first film of a director was awarded to Shanker Raman for Frozen, which also won the best cinematography award. Sushil Rajpal’s Antardwandwa won best film on social issues; whereas Foto, produced by Children’s Film Society of India and directed by Virendra Saini, bagged the best children’s film award.

Ruma Sengupta won the best costume designer award for the Bengali film Krishnakanter Will. The best music award went to Ouseppachan for the Malayalam film Ore Kadal. Best makeup artist award went to Pattnam Rasheed for his work in the Malayalam film Paradesi.

The best feature films in various languages were Ballygunge Court (Bengali), 1971 (Hindi), Gulabi Talkies (Kannada), Ore Kadal (Malayalam), Nirop (Marathi), Periyar (Tamil) and The Last Lear (English).

The jury considered 102 feature and 106 non-feature films before it made its selection. The jury for the Feature Film was headed by Sai Paranjpye. Thirteen other members of the jury were involved in judging the 92 entries for feature film categories for the 55th National Film Awards.