"There has been no single good news for a while, so this feels really special," Kangana Ranaut told hitlist soon after collecting her third National Award – Best Actress for Tanu Weds Manu Returns (2015) in New Delhi yesterday.
Kangana Ranaut and Amitabh Bachchan share a light moment at the 63rd National Awards ceremony in New Delhi yesterday. Pics/PTI
The actress, who is locked in a messy legal battle with Hrithik Roshan, was however quick to add, "This is special also because of the fact that I got an honour that went to someone like Mr Amitabh Bachchan this year (in Best Actor-Male category for Piku). I&B Minister Arun Jaitley said it was heartening to see the top honour go to actors from two different generations."
Recounting the day's events, the actress said they were shown glimpses of all the award-winning films and she was amazed to see the significant expansion of digital media and the amount of "good work being done", especially by women filmmakers.
Kangana Ranaut and Amitabh Bachchan share a light moment at the 63rd National Awards ceremony in New Delhi yesterday
"But what took me by surprise was that films are being made in Sanskrit. My mother is a Sanskrit teacher and I used to tease her all the time because I didn't know the language was still valued so much. When I was in Los Angeles, I met an English man who could speak Sanskrit effortlessly and I would feel embarrassed that I didn't know our traditional language. However, when I go home next, I will access all Sanskrit films that are available," said Kangana.
Her father, Amardeep Ranaut said it was a proud moment to see her daughter receive her third National Award. "…I am very happy. I am a proud father and it is a matter of great pride".
Jaya Bachchan, Aishwarya and Abhishek Bachchan, Shabana Azmi and Javed Akhtar at the ceremony
Sr Bachchan was accompanied by his family to the awards ceremony. His wife, Jaya, children Abhishek and Shweta besides daughter-in-law Aishwarya cheered for the veteran star as he received the honour from President Pranab Mukherjee. This is Bachchan's fourth National award.
Though ailing, veteran actor Manoj Kumar attended the ceremony on a wheelchair. He received the Dadasaheb Phalke award. Kabir Khan's Salman Khan-starrer Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015) bagged the Best Popular Film award.
Manoj Kumar receives the Dadasaheb Phalke Award from President Pranab Mukherjee
Remo D'Souza received the Best Choreographer award for his Deewani Mastani track in Bajirao Mastani (2015). Sanjay Leela Bhansali won the Best Director title for Bajirao Mastani (2015). S S Rajmouli was awarded for Bahubali (2015) under the Best Film category.