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South takes the lion's share; `Lagaan' wins 8 national awards

By Our Special Correspondent


Best Actress Shobana

NEW DELHI JULY 26. Bollywood and South Indian films made a near-clean sweep of the 27 awards up for the grabs in the feature film section of the 49th National Film Awards with the Oscar nomination, `Lagaan,' romping home in as many as eight categories. With no film making the mark in three categories, the only other celluloid venture to get a national award — announced here today — was the Kashmiri film, `Bub.'

Apart from being adjudged the best popular film providing wholesome entertainment, `Lagaan' got the awards for audiography, art direction, costumes, music direction, lyrics and choreography. Udit Narayan was declared the best male playback singer for a song in `Lagaan' and another in `Dil Chahta Hai.'


Best Actress Tabu

As for the best feature film, the Swarna Kamal was bagged by the Kannada film, `Dweepa', directed by Girish Kasaravalli. The film also beat others in the reckoning for the cinematography award. While the best actor award went to Murali for his performance in the Malayalam film, `Neythukaran', the best actress award was given jointly to Tabu and Shobana for their roles in `Chandini Bar' and `Mitr — My Friend.'

`Chandini Bar', in fact, was the only other film to bag a clutch of awards. It got the Rajat Kamal for being the best film on other social issues, and two members of the cast — Atul Kulkarni and Annanya Khare — — got the best supporting actor and actress awards. Beena Paul walked away with the best editing award; taking the tally of `Mitr' to two.

B. Lenin bagged the best direction award for the Tamil film, `Ooruku Nooruper', and the Indira Gandhi award for the best first film of a director went to K. N. T. Sastry for his Telugu film `Tiladaanam'. Among the South Indian films, the Tamil venture, `Kutty' got two awards with P. Shwetha being adjudged the best child artiste and its director, Janaki Viswanathan, getting the special jury award.


Murali

In all, 126 entries were received for the feature film awards. No film was found fit for an award for the best film on family welfare, the best film on environment conservation/preservation, and the best children's film.

Besides, 71 short films were entered for the non-feature section, and 16 books and 10 film critics were in the running for the best book on cinema award and the best film critic award.

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