Mumbai, Dec 27 (IANS) There's no stopping Aamir Khan. In the midst of encouraging reports of his latest starrer 'Ghajini', his directorial debut 'Taare Zameen Par' bagged as many as four V. Shantaram Awards, including the Best Film Gold Award.
The actor-director, however, was not present Friday night to receive the coveted awards named after legendary filmmaker V. Shantaram.
Aamir's discovery, Darsheel Safary, who won many hearts with his performance in 'Taare Zameen Par', got the Best Actor prize.
The other Indian movies of 2008 that vied for the Best Film award were 'A Wednesday', 'Jodhaa Akbar', 'Kadha Parayumpol' (Malayalam), 'Paradesi' (Malayalam) and 'Tingya' (Marathi).
Of these, 'A Wednesday' received the Best Film Silver Award and 'Tingya' bagged the bronze.
Competing with six other leading actresses, Aishwariya Rai Bachchan was named Best Actress for her role in 'Jodhaa Akbar', pipping south Indian actress Asin for 'Dasavataram' (Tamil), Amrita Rao in 'Welcome to Sajjanpur' (Hindi), Meera Jasmine in 'Calcutta News' (Malayalam) and Nithya who was nominated for 'Akashgopuram' (Malayalam).
Aishwarya too was not present to acknowledge the honour. Her mother-in-law actress Jaya Bachchan received the award on her behalf.
The Rajkamal Academy of Cinematic Excellence (RACE), founded by V. Shantaram in 1975, has for the last 15 years been presenting the V. Shantaram Awards. It is the only private presenter of film awards that confers three categories of awards - Gold, Silver and Bronze - to directors.
This year's recipients were Neeraj Pandey - gold for 'A Wednesday,' Aamir Khan - silver for 'Taare Zameen Par' and Ashutosh Gowariker - bronze for 'Jodhaa Akbar'.
Pandey also won the Best Debut Director Award.
A.R. Rehman was adjudged the Best Music Director for his score in 'Jodhaa Akbar.'
The Best Supporting Actor Award went to Jimmy Shergil for his spirited performance in 'A Wednesday'. Farhan Akhtar was chosen as Best Debut Actor for his role in 'Rock On!', while Amol Gupte was presented the Best Writer Award for 'Taare Zameen Par'.
The V. Shantaram Awards are chosen through voting at two levels among 100 members of RACE
As per the wishes of filmmaker Shantaram, who died in 1990, only such entries for films are entertained that are based on original stories and have social relevance. Films with sex and violence are not eligible for the entry. This means that only 30 percent of films produced in India meet the standards, according to Kiran Shantaram, chairman of the organisation that administers the prizes.