Assamese-language drama “Village Rockstars” was named the best film of 2017 at India’s National Film Awards on Friday while Bollywood actress Sridevi got the best actress award two months after her death.
Director Rima Das’ “Village Rockstars”, which tells the story of a group of children in the countryside who form a music band, will “move you to tears without actually telling you a dramatic story”, said filmmaker Shekhar Kapur, who headed a 10-member jury for the awards.
Sridevi won for her performance as an angry mother who avenges her daughter’s rape in Ravi Udyawar’s “Mom”. It was the 54-year-old’s last film before she died during a trip to Dubai on February 24.
“I said don’t give her the award just because she has passed away, because it is unfair to the other girls, but every time it kept coming back to Sridevi,” Kapur said.
The award for best actor went to Bengali actor Riddhi Sen for “NagarKirtan” while Malayalam director Jayaraj was adjudged best director for his movie “Bhayanakam”. Vinod Khanna, who died last year, was honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke award for his contribution to cinema.
Amit Masurkar’s “Newton”, which was critically acclaimed for its portrayal of an upright election officer in a Maoistaffected area, won the award for best Hindi film. Pankaj Tripathi won a special mention for his role in the film.
“I am absolutely delighted. I had no idea I was even in the running. It feels amazing to know that the whole country thought my role in “Newton” was one of my best,” Tripathi said a statement.
India’s highest grossing film in 2017, “Baahubali 2: The Conclusion” was given the award for best popular film and also for best special effects.