Fox India's Drama 'Neerja' Among Winners at India's National Film Awards

The real-life drama won best Hindi language film while other winners included Cannes honoree ‘The Cinema Travellers.’

India’s National Film Awards were announced Friday, which saw Fox Star Studios’ Neerja winning best Hindi language title. The government’s annual awards, now in their 64th year, honor the best of Indian cinema across various languages. This year, Marathi language titles picked up major honors with Kasaav winning best feature film while best director went to Rajesh Mapuskar for Ventilator, produced by top Bollywood actress and Hollywood cross-over star Priyanka Chopra (Quantico).

Real-life hijacking drama Neerja also saw its lead actress Sonam Kapoor receive a special mention for her portrayal of air hostess Neerja Bhanot, who sacrificed her life to save the lives of passengers and crew of a PanAm flight hijacked in 1986 in Karachi, Pakistan. Directed by Ram Madhvani, the film was co-produced by Atul Kasbekar via his Bling Unplugged banner.

In a statement, Fox Star Studios India CEO Vijay Singh said that the recognition “gives us further confidence to back great stories and push the envelope on content.”

Best actor went to Akshay Kumar for Hindi film Rustom while best actress went to  Surabhi C.M for the Malayalam language title Minnaminungu – The Firefly.

The special jury award in the non-feature category was given to the acclaimed documentary The Cinema Travellers which has won various international accolades including the Le prix du documentaire special jury prize at Cannes last year.

Mukti Bhavan (Hotel Salvation), which saw its director Shubhashish Bhutiani winning the Unesco award for peace and human rights at Venice last year, was honored with a special mention as was the film’s lead, actor Adil Hussain (Life of Pi) for his performance as an over-worked modern son who is forced to set his job aside and accompany his elderly father on a death trip to the holy city of Varanasi.

The best film on social issues was given to Hindi title Pink while another Hindi title, Nagesh Kukunoor’s Dhanak won best children’s film.

The Indira Gandhi award for best debut film went to Deep Choudhury for Bengali film Alifa.

The National Film Awards will be presented by India’s President Pranab Mukherjee at a special ceremony in New Delhi on May 3.

SOURCE: awards holly