New Delhi, Apr 13 (PTI) The National Film Awards jury today doffed its hat to two of Hindi cinema’s biggest stars who passed away in the year that was, honouring Vinod Khanna with the Dadasaheb Phalke award for lifetime achievement and Sridevi with the best actress prize for “Mom”.

Keeping the balance between regional and Hindi cinema and commercial and indie interests, the National Award for best feature film went to the Assamese film “Village Rockstars”, an aspirational tale of a village girl who dreams of making it big.

Directed by Rima Das, the critically-acclaimed film also scored for best location, sound recordist, editing and best child artiste (Bhanita Das).

Jayaraj was named best director and the best adapted screenplay writer for his Malayalam film “Bhayanakam”, which also won the best cinematography award, announced jury chairperson Shekhar Kapur.

Riddhi Sen was recognised as the best actor for Kaushik Ganguly’s Bengali film “Nagarkirtan”, which bagged awards in multiple categories — best costume, makeup and special jury.

Khanna, the suave actor of films such as “Amar, Akbar, Antony” who grew into character roles in his last years, became the 49th recipient of the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, Indian cinema’s highest honour. He is the second person after Prithviraj Kapoor to be named for the honour.

The actor died on April 27 last year at the age of 70 after battling cancer.

“As we approach his first death anniversary, it’s such a lovely way to celebrate his life and work because, at his core, he wasn’t just an actor but also a lifelong film fan!” his son Rahul wrote on Twitter.

Sridevi, whose filmography spanned 50 years and 300 films in languages such as Tamil, Telugu and Hindi, was recognised for her role of an angry mother seeking justice for her daughter in the rape revenge drama “Mom”.

“It was not because of the relationship we shared but because she was the most deserving candidate for her portrayal in ‘Mom’,” Kapur, who directed Sridevi in “Mr India”, told reporters.

Her sudden death at the age of 54 in February this year shocked the country.

Sridevi’s husband Boney Kapoor became emotional when told about her win.

“Thank you. I just wish she was here today to see this,” a tearful Boney told PTI.

Her daughters Janhvi and Khushi said it was a special moment for them .

“We are overjoyed to know that the jury has conferred the best actor award to Sridevi for her performance in Mom’. It’s a very special moment for all of us,” they said in a statement.

Das, who is in Los Angeles for the US premiere of “Village Rockstars”, said in a video message that she was very happy to represent Assam and India and felt blessed.

Oscar-winning music composer A R Rahman swept the best music direction category for the Tamil Film “Kaatru Veliyidai” and the best background music for the Hindi film “Mom”.

“Sinjar”, made in Jasari language, spoken in Lakshadweep, won the Indira Gandhi award for the best debut film of a director to Pampally.

Mainstream blockbuster “Baahubali: The Conclusion” won the National Award for best popular film providing wholesome entertainment, besides being named for special effects and action direction.

Ganesh Acharya won for his choreography for the Hindi film “Toilet: Ek Prem Katha”.

Hindi film “Newton”, a dark comedy on Indian democracy, was named the best Hindi film and a special mention went to its actor Pankaj Tripathi for his portrayal of a cynical CRPF officer.

“When I stepped out of my village, I had the desire of winning a National Award someday. I am humbled,” Tripathi told PTI.

The Nargis Dutt award for the best feature film on national integration went to the Marathi film “Dhappa”, while the Malayalam film “Aalorumkkam” was recognised as the best film on social issues.

Hindi film star Divya Dutta was named the best supporting actress for her role in “Irada”, which also bagged the award for the best film on environmental conservation/preservation.

Fahad Fazil won the best supporting actor for the Malayalam film “Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum”. The film was also recognised for original screenplay and best Malayalam film.

Actor Parvathy also received special mention for her performance in Malayalam film “Take Off”. Santhosh Raman won the award for best production design for the same film.

Cutting across language barriers, special mentions were given to films – such as “”Kaccha Limbu” (Marathi), “Hello Arsi” (Odiya) and “Take Off” (Malayalam).

The other winners in the language categories include “Ishu”(Assamese), “To-Let (Tamil), “Hebettu Ramakka” (Kannada), “Ghazi” (Telugu), “Mayurakshi” (Bengali), “Dhh” (Gujarati), “Paddayi” (Tulu), “Walking With The Wind” (Ladakhi) and “Sinjar” (Jasari).

“Mhorkya” was adjudged the best children’s film.

Veteran singer K J Yesudas was recognised as the best male singer for his song ‘Poy Maranja Kalam’ in the Malayalam film “Viswasapoorva M Mansoor”, while the best female singer went to Shashaa Tirupati for the song “Vaan” for “Kaatru Veliyidai”.

Best lyrics went to Muthu Ratna for Kannada film “March 22” “Matmagi Manipur – The first Manipuri Feature Film”, the first book on Manipuri films. received the award for the best book on cinema.

Giridhar Jha was named the best film critic and Sunil Mishra from Madhya Pradesh received a special mention for film criticism.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.