GUWAHATI: The 61st National Film Awards announced on Wednesday saw the spotlight turned on the northeast with the region picking up five awards in both feature and non-feature film categories.
The best actress award went to Geetanjali Thapa from Sikkim for her brilliant performance in the Hindi film "Liar's Dice". She will get the prestigious Rajat Kamal along with Rs 50,000.
"Ri", a Khasi film by Pradip Kurbah, about the complexity of insurgency in Meghalaya, and "The Crossing Bridges", a Sherdukpen film by Sangee Dorjee Thongdoh about a man searching for his roots in Arunachal Pradesh
, were adjudged winners in the category of best feature film for languages not specified in the 8th schedule of the Constitution. The winners will get the Rajat Kamal and Rs 1,00,000 each will go to the producers and directors. Sherdukpen language is spoken by the Sherdukpen tribe in Arunachal's West Kameng district.
Film director Jahnu Barua
'a directorial venture, "Ajeyo", won in the category of best Assamese feature film. This is Barua's 12th National Award and he will share the Rajat Kamal with the producer of the film. Both will be given Rs 1,00,000 each.
The best film on environment in the non-feature category to win an award was "Foresting Life", a bilingual film in Hindi and Assamese. The producer and its director, Aarti Shrivastava
, will receive the Rajat Kamal along with Rs 50,000 each. Anurag Saikia won the best music director award for Assamese film, "'Yugadrashta", in the non-feature film category. He will be given the Rajat Kamal and Rs 50,000.
"This certainly is good news for the Assam film industry as it has been going through a rough phase. I would like to thank the producer of my film, Shankarlal Goenka
, who came forward to produce an Assamese film at a time when most producers think twice before investing here," said Jahnu Barua.