The biggest names of India's entertainment industry attended the 66th edition of the presentation ceremony of the National Film Awards on Monday, with the country's Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu distributing the prizes in New Delhi.
South Indian actor Keerthy Suresh, Bollywood stars Ayushmann Khurrana, Akshay Kumar, and Vicky Kaushal were among those felicitated by the awards.
Naidu took to Twitter to explain why Indian movies are so popular around the globe:
Indian films are popular all over they world. They carry an important message to audiences across the world— Vice President of India (@VPSecretariat) December 23, 2019
They convey a glimpse of ‘Indianness’ or ‘Bharatheeyatha’ to the outside world
We need to be effective ambassadors in the world of cultural diplomacy.#NationalFilmAwards pic.twitter.com/VFB6KkwVyx
Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan was bestowed with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award – the highest award for cinema in India – at a separate ceremony as he could not attend the event due to illness.
T 3584/5/6 -— Amitabh Bachchan (@SrBachchan) December 22, 2019
Down with fever .. ! Not allowed to travel .. will not be able to attend National Award tomorrow in Delhi .. so unfortunate .. my regrets ..
In September, when conferred with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, he wrote that there was paucity of words to respond to the honour.
T 3298 - There is a paucity of words searching a response .. for the generosity of words that pour in ..— Amitabh Bachchan (@SrBachchan) September 24, 2019
I am but deeply grateful and most humbled .. my sincerest gratitude ..
कृतज्ञ हूँ मैं , परिपूर्ण , आभार और धन्यवाद ... मैं केवल एक विनयपूर्ण , विनम्र अमिताभ बच्चन हूँ pic.twitter.com/ESfV7ms6fZ
India’s Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javedkar was all praise for Bollywood star Akshay Kumar, whose film “Padman” won the award for Best Film, with a social message on menstrual hygiene.
Bollywood actors Vicky Kaushal and Ayushmann Khurrana shared the Best Actor Award for their films “Uri: The Surgical Strike” and “Andhadhun” (Indiscriminate), respectively.
Vicky, who played the lead role in the film based on a surgical strikes carried out by the Indian Army in September 2016 in response to terror attacks in Uri, an army base camp in Kashmir, said that words might fall short to describe the happiness he was feeling with the win.
Best Actor (Feature Films Section) goes to @vickykaushal09 for #URI: The Surgical Strike for effectively conveying a realistic character of an army officer. #NationalFilmAwards pic.twitter.com/J39YnXGugd— PIB India (@PIB_India) December 23, 2019
Best Actor (Feature Films Section) goes to @ayushmannk for #Andhadhun for his powerful execution of a complex role of ‘now blind & now not blind’ character.#NationalFilmAwards pic.twitter.com/dIQXYgKVKe— PIB India (@PIB_India) December 23, 2019
Aditya Dhar, director of "Uri: The Surgical Strike", was awarded the Best Director Award.
#Aditya Dhar wins Best Director Award for #Uri: The Surgical Strike at the 66th #NationalFilmAwards— PIB India (@PIB_India) December 23, 2019
The challenge of telling a true story of military action in a realistic manner is dealt with utmost clarity and effectiveness in the Film@AdityaDharFilms pic.twitter.com/StB5ewE5Xi
Sanjay Leela Bhansali won Best Music Award for the film "Padmaavat". The film also fetched the Kruti Mahesh Best Choreography Award for the song "Ghoomar".
#SanjayLeelaBhansali receives the #NationalAward for Best Music Direction for #Padmaavat— PIB India (@PIB_India) December 23, 2019
All the songs lift the mood of the film and give a different dimension to the narrative.#NationalFilmAwards pic.twitter.com/OaNwKHCxuw
Veteran actress Surekha Sikri won the Best Supporting Actress Award for her film "Badhaai Ho" (Congratulations). The actress, who is now wheelchair-bound, was assisted up on stage to receive the award. "Badhaai Ho" also won Best Hindi film.