National Award was totally unexpected: Priyanka Chopra

By Radhika Bhirani

New Delhi, Jan 23 (IANS) At 4 a.m. in New York Saturday, the last thing Priyanka Chopra was expecting to hear was that she had won her first National Film Award. She jumped out of bed in sheer joy when she got the news.

"It feels soooooo fantastic! It's 5 in the morning here (New York) and my phone has been ringing non-stop since about an hour. I am so excited," Priyanka told IANS over the phone from New York, where she has been shooting for Siddharth Anand's "Anjaana Anjaani".

The 27-year-old has won her first ever National Film Award for her performance in Madhur Bhandarkar's "Fashion". She says she is glad that she agreed to do the film.

"When Madhur approached me for this film, I was terrified about how complex the character was. But I am glad that I did it," she said.

Though Priyanka has already won several awards including a Filmfare best actress award for her portrayal of a struggling model in the film, she says the National Award is most special.

"This is a National Award! I was just not expecting this and especially because there are several regional films and actors competing for it. One can't keep track of the nominations at all. But this feels just great. After having won 15 awards for 'Fashion' so far, I feel I have come full circle with this one," she said.

Instead of celebrating her success, the actress says she was looking forward to the morning shoot scheduled for "Anjaana Anjaani", in which she is featuring opposite Ranbir Kapoor.

"I have a shoot tomorrow morning. So I just want to sleep right now so that I wake up fresh. I will be in a mood for celebration, but the shooting will definitely happen. It is my bread and butter - and also what will hopefully - yes hopefully, fetch me my next National award," she joked.

Priyanka, who made her Bollywood debut in 2003, says she received the most special congratulatory call from her parents. Her father Ashok Chopra had shed tears after watching "Fashion" in 2008 because he was touched with his daughter's performance, and he cried now again after hearing about her victory.

"My father called me up and said he is ecstatic and extremely proud of me. He had tears again. He is happy because I have achieved so much in such a short span of my career, and that makes him really proud," she added.

Priyanka, who won the Miss World title in 2000, made her Bollywood debut with "The Hero: Love Story of a Spy" and then featured in "Andaaz", for which she even won a Filmfare best female debut award.

In 2004, she delivered a critically acclaimed performance in "Aitraaz" and later did commercial films like "Mujhse Shaadi Karogi", "Bluffmaster", "Krrish", "Don - The Chase Begins Again", "Salaam-E-Ishq", et al. But it was "Fashion" that brought her into the league of top-rated actresses in Bollywood.

She has, since then, given commercial hits like "Dostana" and "Kaminey" and also featured in films like "What's Your Rashee", and more recently in "Pyaar Impossible", which didn't fare too well at the box office.

She is hoping to strike gold again with "Anjaana Anjaani" and Vishal Bharadwaj's "Seven Husbands".

Marathi film 'Jogva' bags five National Awards

New Delhi, Jan 23 (IANS) Marathi film "Jogva", a poignant tale of one woman's journey to break free from the shackles of discrimination, sexual oppression and servitude to find true happiness, bagged the maximum honours at the 56th National Film Awards announced here Saturday.

The movie, an IDream Productions project directed by Rajeev Patil and written by Sanjay Patil, walked away with five awards.

Its lead actor Upendra Limaya won the best actor award and the film was adjudged the best film on social issues. The movie also won two awards each for playback singers Shreya Ghoshal and Hariharan for the song "Jeev dangla gungla rangla". Music composers Ajay and Atul also won the best music direction award for their songs for the film.

The success of "Jogva" was followed by Annirudh Roy-Chowdhary's Bengali project "Antaheen", which bagged four awards, including for best feature film.

"Antaheen", a story about love and loneliness, also won for best cinematography and best lyrics, while Shreya Ghoshal won the award for best singer for the song "Pherari mon".

Marathi film "Gandha" bagged two awards - best screenplay (Sachin Kundalkar) and best audiography (Pramod J. Thomas).

The award for the best film on family values went to Sooni Taraporewallah's English film "Little Zizou" that revolves around the Parsi community.

Kannada film "Gubbachigalu" was adjudged the best children's film for being "an imaginative portrayal of a magic world that exists in the mind of children", the citation said.

The special jury honour was given to Malayalam film "Bioscope", produced by the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) and directed by K.M. Madhusudhanan.

The award for best direction went to Bala for Tamil film "Naan Kadauul".

The winners of best feature film in regional languages are "Mon Jei" (Assamese), "Shob Charitro Kalponik" (Bengali), "Vimukthi" (Kannada), "Thirakkda" (Malayalam), "Harishchandrachi Factory" (Marathi), "Veranam Airan" (Tamil) and "1940 Lookagramam" (Telugu).

Other than this, Bollywood ruled the awards for film released in 2008. Films like "Fashion", "Rock On!!", "Firaaq" and "Jodha Akbar" won two awards each in various categories.

While Madhur Bhandarkar's "Fashion", a dark tale about the Indian fashion industry, won its heroine Priyanka Chopra the best actress award and got Kangana Ranaut the best supporting actress honour, Farhan Akhtar's cult music-based film "Rock On!!" got the best Hindi film award. Actor Arjun Rampal won the best supporting actor for the film too.

Ashutosh Gowariker's epic "Jodha Akbar" won Chinni Prakash and his wife Rekha Prakash the best choreography award for the song "Azeem-o-shaan shehenshah", a number that depicts dance forms of different Indian states. Fashion designer Neeta Lulla, who styled actress Aishwarya Rai in the film, has won the best costume designer award.

Nandita Das' directorial debut "Firaaq", which was based on the 2002 Gujarat riots, has won the awards for best editing (A. Sreekar Prasad) and best art direction (Gautam Sen).

Even films like "A Wednesday", "Roadside Romeo", "Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!", "Mumbai Meri Jaan" and "Thanks Maa" took one award each.

While Neeraj Pandey's "A Wednesday" has bagged the Indira Gandhi award for Best First Film of a director, Yash Raj Films' "Roadside Romeo" bagged the best animation film.

Dibakar Banerjee's satirical "Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!" has been adjudged the best popular film providing wholesome entertainment, "Mumbai Meri Jaan" directed by Nishikant Kamat has got the award for best special effects (Govardhan), and "Thanks Maa" has got Shams Patel the best child artist award.


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