The 54th National Film Awards function was held at New Delhi on Tuesday. The awards were given to films released in 2006. Mrs Pratibha Patil, President of India gave away the awards to the recipients chosen by the jury.
The President said cinema should reflect positive societal changes and must contribute to national development. The National Film Awards were given to 31 feature film categories and 22 non-feature film categories.
Renowned film director Tapan Sinha received the Dada Saheb Phalke Award for 2006 Tapan Sinha is known for movies like Sagina Mahto, Kabuliwala, Haate Bazaare and Ek Doctor Ki Maut.
Lifetime Achievement Awards were given to Dilip Kumar, noted southern film star of yesteryear Saroja Devi and playback singer Lata Mangeshkar.
The Malyalam movie, Pulijanmam, got the award for the best feature film for the year 2006 and Lage Raho Munnabhai received the award for the best popular film, providing wholesome entertainment.
Indira Gandhi Award for the best first film of a director was jointly given to Kabir Khan’s Kabul Express and Madhu Kaithapuram’s Eakantham. The best direction award was received by Madhur Bhandarkar for the film Traffic Signal.
The Best Actor Award went to famous Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee for Podokkhep and best actress award was conferred on Tamil actress Priyamani for Paruthi Veeran.