New Delhi, June 10 (IANS) The sun shone brightly on Bollywood blockbuster 'Lage Raho Munnabhai' as it garnered four honours, including the best popular film, when the prestigious 54th National Film Awards were announced here Tuesday.
Starring Sunjay Dutt and Vidya Balan, the film was cited for 'revalidating the philosophy of non-violence in a strife-torn world and helping rediscover the Gandhi within the common man'.
Besides, Abhijat Joshi, Raj Kumar Hirani and Vidhu Vinod Chopra got the best screenplay award. The best lyricist went to Swanand Kirkire for the song 'Bande Mein Tha Dum - Vande Mataram'.
Dilip Prabhavalkar was adjudged best supporting actor for his roles in 'Lage Raho Munnabhai' and in the Marathi film 'Shevri'.
The film's producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra and director Raj Kumar Hirani will get a Swarna Kamal and a cash award of Rs.200,000 each.
Malayalam film 'Pulijanmam', directed by Priyanandanan, bagged the best feature film award. The film, based on the eponymous play by N. Prabhakaran, portrays the relentless struggle between oppressors and those who have the courage to resist them.
Priyanandan and the film's producer, M.G. Vijay, will receive a Swarna Kamal and a cash award of Rs.250,000 each.
The Indira Gandhi award for the best first film of a director was awarded jointly to 'Ekantham' (Malayalam), directed by Madhukaithapuram, and 'Kabul Express', directed by Kabir Khan.
Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee won the best actor award for his role in debutant director Suman Ghosh's 'Podokkhep'.
Tamil actress Priyamani claimed the best actress award for her acclaimed performance in Ameer Sulthan's 'Paruthiveeran'.
Konkana SenSharma walked away with the best supporting actress award for 'Omkara', while Madhur Bhandarkar won the best director award for his film 'Traffic Signal'.
Divya Chahadkar was given the best child artist prize for the Konkani film 'Antarnad'. The best male playback singer was Gurdas Mann for the Punjabi 'Waris Shah Ishq Da Waris' and the best female playback singer was Aarti Anklekar Tikekar for 'Antarnad'.
The three-member jury for the awards comprised Buddhadeb Dasgupta, K. Bikram Singh and Madhu Jain. They had had submitted their recommendations to Minister for Information and Broadcasting Priyaranjan Dasmunsi early Tuesday morning.
The awards announced Tuesday are for films made in 2006. The awards for 2007 will be announced later.
The Nargis Dutt award for the best feature film on national integration was given to 'Kallarali Hoovagi' - a movie based on a novel penned by B.L. Venu.
The best feature film in Hindi was 'Khosla Ka Ghosla' while actor-turned-director Amol Palekar claimed the award for the best feature film in English for his movie 'Quest' that explores the otherwise taboo subject of homosexuality.
The Telugu movie 'Hope' won the best feature film award on social issues, while 'Care of Footpath' was cited as the best film on children's issues.
The Telugu film 'Kittu' bagged the best animation film award.