Kannada Actress Umashri Bags Best Actress National Award

Southern cinema scored big at the 55th National Awards on Monday with the Tamil film Kanchivaram adjudged best feature film and Prakash Raj best actor for his performance in it, while Adoor Gopalakrishnan bagged best director for the Malayalam film Naalu Pennungal and Kannada actress Umashri best actress for Gulabi Talkies in Kannada.

Girish Kasaravalli’s Gulabi Talkies about a Muslim midwife is also the best Kannada film in the awards for 2007 announced here by S M Khan, director of the Directorate of Film Festivals and jury members Sai Paranjape, Ashok Viswanathan and Namita Gokhale.

Bollywood gets a mention too with Aamir Khan's directorial debut Taare Zameen Par getting best family welfare award. Lyricist Prasoon Joshi is best lyricist for Maa from Taare Zameen Par.

The South bagged the four top categories at the 55th National Film Awards (2007) though Anil Kapoor’s Gandhi My Father and Aamir Khan’s Taare Zameen Par won Bollywood three technical awards each and Amitabh Bachchan-starrer The Last Lear won two awards (Best Supporting Actor for Shefali Shah as well as the Best Feature Film in English). Adding to Bollywood’s glitter was Chak De India (Best Film in the Wholesome Entertainment category). Khan’s home production, Om Shanti Om, won the Best Art Direction award.

Priyadarshan, who considers Kanchivaram (Tamil) to be the best film of his career, has the two top awards (Best Actor award for Prakash Raaj and the Best Film award). Film producer Shailendra Singh said: “Our journey for good content started a long time ago and I was often told that why did I make a Phir Milenge when I had actors like Salman Khan and Abhishek Bachchan. For me this is nothing less than an Oscar.’’

Adoor Gopalkrishnan bagged the Best Director award for his Malayalam film, Naalu Pennungal, and Umashri, leading lady of Girish Kasravalli’s kannada film Gulabi Talkies, won the Best Actress Award. The film won the Best Kannada Feature Film Award.

Making up things somewhat for Bollywood were The Last Lear, Chak De India and Anil Kapoor’s first home production, Gandhi My Father (Special Jury award, Best Supporting Actor for Darshan Jariwala and Best Screenplay for Feroz Abbas Khan), and Aamir Khan’s home production, Taare Zameen Par (Best Feature Film in Family Welfare category, Best Lyrics for Prasoon Joshi and Best Male Playback Singer for Shankar Mahadevan).

An excited Anil Kapoor said: “I have just returned from the US and am thrilled to learn that my first film as a producer has won three awards.’’ Jab We Met also received two awards (Best Female Playback Singer for Shreya Ghoshal and Best Choreography).

55TH NATIONAL FILM AWARDS. And the award goes to...

Best Film:

Kanchivaram (Tamil) directed by Priyadarshan

Best Actor:

Prakash Raaj for his role in Kanchivaram

Best Actress:

Umashri for her performance in Girish Kasaravalli’s Kannada film Gulabi Talkies

Best Director:

Adoor Gopalakrishnan for his film Naalu Pennungal

Best Supporting Actor:

Darshan Zariwala for his role in Feroz Abbas Khan’s film Gandhi — My Father

Best Supporting Actress:

Shefali Shah for English film The Last Lear

Best Kannada Film:

Gulabi Talkies

Best Children’s Film:

Foto (Hindi)

Best Animation Film:

Inimey Naangathaan (Tamil)