Among the big winners in the 54th National Film Awards for 2006 announced in New Delhi on Tuesday, Malayalam film Pulijanmam by Priyanandan, one of the brilliant film-makers in the league of Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Aravindan, John Abraham, P.A. Backar and Pavithram, bagged the National Award for Best feature film.
Pulijanmam is based on the famous drama with the same title by N. Prabhakaran. The film highlights the struggle between oppressors and those who resist society"s exploitative forces. It stars Murali, Sindhu Menon, Vineeth Kumar, Salim Kumar, Sreeraaman, Samvritha Sunil and Irshaad. The film, produced by M.G. Vijayan under the banner of Amma films, was the director"s second film; his first was the critically-acclaimed Neythukaaran.
Meanwhile, Bengali film star Soumitra Chatterjee was adjudged the Best Actor for his role in debutant director Suman Ghosh's Podokkhep; Tamil actress Priyamani won the Best Actress award for her performance in Ameer Sulthan's Paruthi Veeran. The sequel to Munnabahi MBBS, Rajkumar Hirani's Lage Raho Munnabhai won the award for the Best Popular Film. Madhur Bhandarakar got the top film honour as best director for Traffic Signal.
The Indira Gandhi Award for the Best First Film Director went jointly to Ekantham(Malyalam) and Kabul Express (Hindi) directed by Madhukaithapuram and Kabir Khan respectively.
The National Film Award winners were decided by members of three juries, namely Buddhadeb Dasgupta, K. Bikram Singh and Ms. Madhu Jain, who submitted their recommendations to the Minister of Information and Broadcasting P.R. Dasmunsi. The awards for 2007 will be announced later.