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‘Elated’, ‘overwhelmed’: National award winners react

Friday, Apr 7, 2017,16:07 IST By anju A A A

New Delhi | From Akshay Kumar, Shoojit Sircar, Sonam Kapoor to Marathi film director Rajesh Mapuskar, the winners of the 64th National Film Awards today said the recognition has given their cinematic journey a major boost.

Akshay Kumar, who won his first National Award for court room drama “Rustom”, said it was an honour to get the country’s top acting award.

“Thank you is a very small word right now but I don’t know how else to express how I am feeling right now… ‘Rustom’ was a very special role to play. Being able to wear the uniform of Indian Navy itself is a huge honour, even if it’s just for a role,” Akshay said in a video message to his fans.

The actor’s wife and actress-turned author Twinkle Khanna showered her heartfelt wishes to the 49-year-old star on Twitter.

“I don’t know if I am crying or laughing-emotions all over the place-So proud of you @akshaykumar you smart, humble, amazing creature,” she wrote.

The actor said Sonam Kapoor, who received a special mention for her role in “Neerja”, was shooting with him and it was a double celebration for them on the sets of “Padman”.

Sonam received a special mention for her performance as Neerja Bhanot in the Ram Madhvani-directed drama.

“Didn’t expect the critics award. It’s such an honour. I’m very very happy,” Sonam told PTI.

Mapuskar, who won the best director award, is elated that his debut film was named in three categories.

“I am very happy that ‘Ventilator’ won three national awards. It was my first Marathi film and we won so many awards.

This is really special. I am thankful to Priyanka Chopra and her mother Dr Madhu Chopra (producers) for believing in the film,” he said.

“Their support and encouragement for Marathi cinema is commendable. The award definitely gives a boost to Marathi cinema. It’s a proud moment. We would be celebrating the victory with a get together… Reunion with the cast and crew,” Mapuskar told PTI.

Marathi movie “Kasaav”, directed by Sunil Sukhtankar and Sumitra Bhave, was named the best feature film.

“I am really happy. It got the best film award which is a great thing but another point of happiness is that the film deals with the theme of depression. To get an award like this is a great and thrilling experience.

“I am really glad that in Marathi cinema, apart from star system, big marketing, the theme is the most important thing.
We have achieved that position and are continuing with that,” co-director Sukhtankar told PTI.

He, however, said they will celebrate their victory when “the film gets a good release”.

The jury, headed by filmmaker Priyadarshan, chose Amitabh Bachchan-starrer “Pink”, a female-centric court room drama, as the best film on social issues.

Shoojit Sircar, who produced the 2016 movie, thanked the film’s team for making the journey possible.

“I’ve been a creative producer on this so it’s s big thing for me. I am feeling quite ecstatic, happy and proud. Thanks to my entire team. I must’ve tried something which must’ve worked not only for the people, but for the jury and everybody. I am feeling more responsible. This is a great news,” Sircar told PTI.

Actress Taapsee Pannu, who played one of the protagonists in the movie, said the win validated her faith in the movie.

“I always believed this film has a potential to bag all possible recognitions on this planet and I’m happy the National award jury validated my belief,” Pannu said.

Actor Ajay Devgn, actor producer of “Shivaay”, said it was a “well-deserved” win for the film.

Sonam Kapoor-starrer “Neerja”, a story on flight attendant Neerja Bhanot who was killed by terrorists while saving passengers after the plane was hijacked, bagged the best Hindi film award.

The film’s producer, Atul Kasbekar, thanked Bhanot family for believing in him and first-time director Ram Madhvani.

“We couldn’t have written the script better. First to get the funds to make a female oriented film, then it’s a difficult subject to make a film on. There is no music to support, no love story. I am really grateful to the Bhanot family for trusting a first time producer and director,” Kasbekar told PTI.

“It is a huge honour for Fox Star Studios to have got this incredible recognition from the National Awards picking ‘Neerja’ as the Best Film!,” said Vijay Singh, CEO, Fox Star Studios.

Iman Chakraborty, who was awarded with the best female playback singer for movie “Prakatan”, said, “I was teaching iman raag to my students at home when I got the news. I will give all credits to four people – my parents, directors Shiboprasad Mukherjee – Nandita Roy and music director Anupam Roy. Need blessings from everyone.”

Director Nagesh Kukunoor, whose Hindi film “Dhanak” was named the best children’s film, said though he does not make films keeping awards in mind, the win at the National Film Awards feels special.

“We make a film for the audience and when you get appreciation from them, it makes the whole journey enjoyable,” he said.

Actor Adil Hussain, who received a special mention for “Maj Rati Keteki” and “Mukti Bhawan” alongside director Shubhashish Bhutiani, said, “I officially feel good now. It is absolutely inspiring.”

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