President Pratibha Patil presented the Dadasaheb Phalke Award to D. Ramanaidu at the 57th National Film Awards-2009 ceremony at the Vigyan Bhavan here on Friday.

Dr. Ramanaidu holds the Guinness Record for producing the highest number of films in his career spanning over four decades. His repertoire includes 134 films in almost all major Indian languages and even English. Born in Andhra Pradesh, Dr. Ramanaidu started as a character actor and made his debut as producer of Ramudu Bheemudu in 1963.

Amid rousing reception, Amitabh Bachchan walked away with the award for the best actor for his portrayal of a 13-year-old schoolboy in the Hindi film Paa. This is the fourth national award for Mr. Bachchan, who first bagged it for his role in Saat Hindustani, followed by one for Agneepath and more recently for Black.

His onscreen father in Paa and son in real life Abhishek Bachchan went up with director R. Balki to collect the award for the Best Hindi Film Paa.

The Nargis Dutt Award for the best feature film on national integration for Delhi 6 was collected by director and producer Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra.

This year's award list included several new categories based on the recommendations of the expert committee set up under filmmaker Shyam Benegal.

Kutty Srank (Malayalam) won the top honour for the best feature film. It also bagged award in four other categories — best cinematography, best screenplay, best costume and a special jury recognition, which it shared with the Hindi film Kaminey and the Malayalam film Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja.

In the special jury award category for the best director, Shaji N. Karun was presented the Swarna Kamal. For the best popular film providing wholesome entertainment, the Swarna Kamal went to 3 Idiots (Hindi) directed by Raj Kumar Hirani.

A Rajat Kamal, the award for the best film on social issues, was bagged by Well done Abba (Hindi) directed by Shyam Benegal; in the best children's film category the award was shared by Putaani Party (Kannada) and Keshu (Malayalam).

The Swarna Kamal for the best direction was given to Rituparno Ghosh for Abohoman (Bengali), and Ananya Chatterjee won the best actress for the same film.

Farooque Sheikh bagged the Rajat Kamal for the best supporting actor for Lahore, and Paa fetched the award to Arundhati Naag in the best supporting actress category.

The award for the best child artist went to D.S. Kishore and Sreeraam for their portrayal as ‘Anbukkarasu' and ‘Jeeva' in Pasanga (Tamil). The Rajat Kamal for the best Tamil film was won by Pasanga.

Rupam Islam and Neelanjana Sarkar were presented with the awards for best male and female playback singers, while cameraperson Anjuli Shukla walked away with the best cinematography award for Kutty Srank. She is the first woman to win the award in this category.

A thunderous applause greeted Aasna Alam, a visually challenged girl, for her role in the Malayalam film Kelkkunnundo. Nikita Bhagat won the special mention for her debut film Vilay posthumously.

The award for the best music direction (songs) was presented to Amit Trivedi for Dev D (Hindi) and for the best background score (a new category) to Ilayaraja. The special jury award was shared by Kaminey, Kutty Srank and Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja. In the non-feature film category, The Postman directed by M. Manohar, and Bilal by Sourav Sarangi won the Swarna Kamal.

The Swarna Kamal for the best film critic was presented to C.S. Venkiteswaran (Malayalam).

Potent medium

Addressing the ceremony, the President said: “Cinema is a very potent medium for conveying a message and it has become an important factor in influencing social norms. Cinema operates within the context of a social scenario and, thus, has a stake in the stability, prosperity and progress of society. Therefore, all involved in the film industry should consider themselves social leaders and stakeholders in the welfare of people. Striking a balance between entertainment and social relevance is an essential call for the industry and the response will define its role in society.”

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