NEW DELHI — Filmmaker S.S. Rajamouli’s southern magnum opus “Baahubali: The Beginning” was named the Best Feature Film at the 63rd National Film Awards announcement here March 28. Bollywood stars Amitabh Bachchan’s performance in “Piku” and Kangana Ranaut’s dual act in “Tanu Weds Manu Returns” was lauded with the Best Actor and Best Actress honor, respectively.

“Baahubali: The Beginning,” which was a box office wonder, was lauded for being an “imaginative film, monumental by its production values and cinematic brilliance in creating a fantasy world on the screen” by filmmaker Ramesh Sippy, head of the Feature Film jury. “Baahubali” was even named the award for Best Special Effects, as these brought out the “emotional and dramatic upheavals of the story” in the movie.

While some other marvels of southern cinema have found a place in the list of winners, Bollywood has clearly stolen the limelight with “Bajrangi Bhaijaan” winning for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali was given the Best Direction Award for “Bajirao Mastani,” which also won the Best Supporting Actress award for Tanvi Azmi. The period drama even emerged victorious in the Best Cinematography category for Sudeep Chatterjee “for bringing about outstanding visual dynamics, depicting the grand interiors of palaces and vast landscapes with an artistic interplay of light and shadows.” In the audiography section, Biswadeep Chatterjee’s sound designing and Justin Ghose’s re-recording of the final mixed track for the Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone-starrer have been honored.

Another big Bollywood winner was “Dum Laga Ke Haisha,” which was not just named Best Hindi Film but also won the Best Female Playback Singer honor for Monali Thakur for a “delightful and soulful rendition of a song of love,” “Moh Moh Ke Dhaage.”

Neeraj Ghaywan, whose unusual drama “Masaan” found critical acclaim nationally and internationally, has been encouraged with the Indira Gandhi Award for Best Debut Film of a Director for “his perceptive approach to film making in handling a layered story of people caught up changing social and moral values.”

Actor-filmmaker Samuthirakan was given the Best Supporting Actor award for the Tamil drama “Visaranaai,” while Malayalam film “Nirnnayakam” was named Best Film on Social Issues for “tackling a relevant and unaddressed issue of curtailing freedom of movement for the common man due to hartals and processions.” Gaurav Menon won the Best Child Actor award for “Ben.”

Renowned Hindustani singer and teacher Mahesh Kale, who is based in the San Francisco Bay Area, won the Best Male Playback Singer award for his work in the Marathi film "Katyar Kaljat Ghusali."

Watch Best Female Playback Singer awardee Monali Thakur's "Moh Moh Ke Dhaage" music video:

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