Southern cinema sweeps 83rd National Awards

New Delhi: Malayalam film `Adaminte Makan Abu` (Abu, son of Adam), a simple yet evocative narrative of a man`s pursuit of religion, was adjudged the best feature film and it`s star Salim Kumar shared the best actor honour with Tamil star Dhanush in a clean sweep for Southern cinema at the 58th National Film Awards.

In the awards announced today, Bollywood was pushed to the background this year with the Salman Khan starrer `Dabangg` and Naseeruddin Shah-Vidya Balan starrer `Ishqiya` being the only two films to pick up awards in prominent categories.

`Dabangg` won the award for best popular film providing wholesome entertainment. Its producers Arbaaz Khan, Malaika Arora Khan and Dhilin Mehta along with director Abhinav Kashyap will receive the Swarna Kamal and a cash prize of Rs 2 lakhs.

In the Best Actor category, Dhanush, the son-in-law of megastar Rajinikanth, who starred in `Aadukalam`– a Tamil film that looks at the world of cock-fighting–shared the award with Salim Kumar, who usually essays the role of a comedian.

"Being mostly seen as a comedian, I approached the role very seriously with lot of preparation," a beaming Salim Kumar said on getting the good news.

The best actress award too had two winners–Tamil actress Saranya Ponvannan for `Thenmerkku Paruvakkatru` and Marathi artiste Mitalee Jagtap Varadkar for `Baboo Band Baaja`.

`Adaminte Makan Abu` directed and produced by Salim Ahamed won the Swarna Kamal and a cash prize of Rs 2,50,000 for it`s "simple yet evocative articulation of humanist values".

Announcing the awards at a news conference, jury head filmaker J P Dutta said the best direction award went to Vetrimaran for `Aadukalam.`

In all, 161 eligible entries were received in the feature film category, Dutta said, adding it was the highest number of entries received so far.

The Nargis Dutt Award for best feature film on national intergration went to Bengali movie Moner Manush while the Indira Gandhi award for best debut film of a director went to Baboo Band Baaja (Marathi).

Dutta said Kannada movie Hejjegalu was adjudged as the best children film and the best child artist award was shared among four boys–Harsh Mayar (I am Kalam), Shantanu Ranganekar and Machindra Gadkar for their performance in Marathi movie Champions and Vivek Chabukswar (Baboo Band Baaja).

The best male playback singer award went to Suresh Wadkar (Mee Sindhutai Sapkal-Marathi) and female playback singer award went to Rekha Bharadwaj (Ishqiya).

Rishi Kapoor starrer "Do Dooni Char" was adjudged the best film in the Hindi language category.

The best music direction award was shared between Vishal Bharadwaj and Issak Thomas Kottakapally for Ishqiya and Adaminte Makan Abu respectively.

Dutta said the jury has requested I&B Minister Ambika Soni to treat all the awardees who have shared the awards in different categories as individual winners taking into account their performances.