Priyadarshan-directed Kanchivaram, a Tamil film on the silk weaver community of Kancheepuram in Tamil Nadu, has bagged the top honours at the 55th National Film Awards for 2007, winning the awards for Best Feature Film and Best Actor for main protagonist Prakash Raj.

Hindi films like Chak De! India, Taare Zameen Par, Gandhi My Father and Jab We Met also picked up several awards that were announced by the Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry here on Monday.

Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Chak De! India was declared the Best Popular Film providing wholesome entertainment, while Taare Zameen Par directed and produced by superstar Aamir Khan was adjudged the Best Film on Family Welfare.

Taare Zameen Par also fetched Shankar Mahadevan and Prasoon Joshi the awards for Best Male Playback Singer and Best Lyricist respectively.

The Best Actress award was bestowed on Umashree for her portrayal of a wronged woman from a minority community in the Kannada film Gulabi Talkies that also won the award for the Best Feature Film in Kannada language.

Veteran filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan won the Best Director award for Malayalam film Naalu Pennungal.

Critically acclaimed Hindi film Dharm, which was a strong contender for India’s official entry at the Oscars, bagged the Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration.

Hindi film Frozen bagged the Indira Gandhi Award for Best First Film of a Director for Shivajee Chandrabhushan, and Best Cinematography Award for Shanker Raman.

“Bit of a problem”

“It was an exciting experience judging the feature films this year,” said Sai Paranjpye, chairperson of the jury for feature films at a press conference here on Monday. “There were a lot of new films by new directors. In fact, there was a bit of a problem adjudging the best new director.”

Darshan Jariwala who played the role of Mahatma Gandhi in Gandhi My Father won the Best Supporting Actor award. This film also picked up the Special Jury Award for throwing light on a relatively unknown aspect of the Father of the Nation and his stormy relationship with his son. It also secured the Best Screenplay Award for Feroz Abbas Khan who also directed the film.

Shefali Shah won the Best Supporting Actress award for the English film The Last Lear that is also the Best Feature Film in English.

The Best Choreography award went to the Shahid Kapur and Kareena Kapoor-starrer hit film Jab We Met. Shreya Ghoshal was adjudged the Best Female Playback Singer for a song from the same film.

Hindi film Foto won the Best Children’s Film award, and Sharad Goekar was declared the Best Child Artist for his role in the Marathi film Tingya.

Another Shah Rukh Khan film Om Shanti Om won the Best Art Direction award for Sabu Cyril.

Hindi film Antardwandwa was declared the Best Film on Social Issues for exposing the “marriages for sale” racket.

Apart from winning the Best Audiography award, the Hindi film 1971 was adjudged the Best Feature Film in Hindi.

Rajnikant starrer Sivaji won the award for Best Special Effects.

The Best Feature Film in the languages specified in the VIII schedule of the Constitution are: Ballygunge Court (Bengali), Ore Kadal (Malayalam), Nirop (Marathi) and Periyar (Tamil).

There were over 90 entries each in the categories for feature films and non-feature films.

Hope Dies Last in War was adjudged the Best Non-Feature Film, while From Raj to Swaraj: The Non-Fiction Film in India authored by B.D. Garga won the Best Book on Cinema award.

The chairpersons of the jury for non-feature films and best writing on cinema were Ashoke Viswanathan and Namita Gokhale, respectively.