Legendary playback singer Manna Dey, who has enthralled audiences for over five decades, was conferred the Dadasaheb Phalke award by President Pratibha Patil at the 55th National Film Awards ceremony at Vigyan Bhavan here on Wednesday.
The 90-year-old singer got a standing ovation when he came onstage to receive the highest honour in Indian cinema. “I feel overwhelmed,” he told reporters later.
Lyricist Prasoon Joshi received the award for Best Film on Family Welfare for Taare Zameen Par on Aamir Khan’s behalf. Mr. Joshi picked up an award in the Best Lyricist category, while Shankar Mahadevan received the Best Male Playback Singer honours for the same film.
Mr. Mahadevan and Best Female Playback singer awardee Shreya Ghoshal sang their award-winning songs. This is Ms. Ghoshal’s third award after Devdas and Paheli. “I feel honoured. I am thankful to those who have given me such good songs,” said the 25-year-old singer.
Gandhi, My Father, produced by Anil Kapoor, was given the Special Jury Award. While the film’s director Feroz Abbas Khan came to collect the award, Sonam Kapoor received it on her father’s behalf.
Yash Chopra received the award for the Best Popular Film for the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Chak De! India. Actor Prakash Raj received thunderous applause when he received the National Film Award for Best Actor for his sensitive performance in the Tamil film Kanchivaram. The Priyadarshan-directed film, based on the silk weavers’ community of Kancheepuram in Tamil Nadu, also bagged the honour for Best Feature Film.
Veteran Kannada actress Umashree won the Best Actress award for her portrayal of a wronged woman from a minority community in the Kannada film Gulabi Talkies, which also won the award for the Best Feature Film in that language.
Veteran film-maker and Dadasaheb Phalke award winner Adoor Gopalakrishnan received the Best Director award for the Malayalam film Naalu Pennungal.
Sharad Goekar, who was declared the Best Child Artist for his role in the Marathi film Tingya, touched President Patil’s feet when he came onstage. Ms. Patil said she hoped the award would “further inspire him to give greater expression to his talent.”