New Delhi: Veteran actor, director, writer and producer Manoj Kumar, who is also known 'Bharat Kumar' for making patriotic cinemas, has been conferred with most coveted Dadasaheb Phalke Award.
President Pranab Mukherjee conferred the award to Manoj Kumar at the 63rd National Film Awards Function held at Vigyan Bhawan here in presence of Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs, and Information & Broadcasting Arun Jaitley and Minister of State for I&B Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore.
Manoj Kumar is an award-winning actor and director, who is remembered for his films 'Hariyali Aur Raasta', 'Woh Kaun Thi', 'Himalaya Ki God Mein', 'Do Badan', 'Upkaar', 'Patthar Ke Sanam', 'Neel Kamal', 'Purab Aur Paschim', 'Roti Kapda Aur Makaan', and 'Kranti'. He is known for acting in and directing films with patriotic themes.
After receiving the award, Manoj Kumar gifted a statuette of Sai Baba to President Mukherjee.
A total of 21 Awards were given by President Mukherjee in the Non-Feature film category, while the number of awards in Feature Film category being 51. Three awards were given to Best Writing on Cinema.
In the Feature Film category, the Award for the Best Feature Film was given to 'Baahubali' produced by Shobu Yarlagadda and Arka Mediaworks Pvt Ltd. and directed by S.S Rajamouli.
'Masaan' directed by Neeraj Ghaywan and produced by Phantom Films received Indira Gandhi Award for Best Debut Film of a Director.
The Award for the Best Popular Film providing Wholesome Entertainment was given to Bajrangi Bhaijaan (Hindi) directed by Kabir Khan.
The Award for the Best Film on Social Issues has been given to 'Nirnayakam' produced by Jairaj Films and directed by V.K. Prakash.
The Award for the Best Director has been conferred on Sanjay Leela Bansali for the Film 'Baajirao Mastani' (Hindi).
The Award for the Best Actor was conferred on Amitabh Bachchan for the film 'Piku' (Hindi) and the Award for the Best Actress was conferred on Kangana Ranaut for the film 'Tanu weds Manu Returns' (Hindi).
The award for the Best Children's Film was given to 'Duronto' (Hindi) produced by Code Red Films. Master Gaurav Menon was conferred Award for Best Child Artist for movie 'Ben' (Malayalam).
The Award for the Best Music direction (songs) has been conferred on M. Jayachandran for 'Ennu Ninte Moideen' (Malayalam) and the award for the best music direction (Background Score) was given to Ilaiyaraaja for 'Thaarai Thappattai' (Tamil).
The award for the best lyrics has been conferred on Varun Grover for the song 'Moh Moh ke Daage' from the film 'Dum Laga Ke Haisa' (Hindi).
A special jury award has been conferred on Kalki Kochlin for the film 'Margarita with Straw'.
The award for the best choreography has been conferred on Remo D'Souza for the film 'Bajirao Mastani' (Hindi).
In the Non-Feature Film category, 'Amdavad Ma Famous' produced by Akanksha Tewari and Arya A. Menon and directed by Hardik Mehta got the award for best non feature film.
The Award for the Best Debut Film of a Director has been conferred to Nishantroy Bombarde for the film 'Daaravtha'.
The award for the Best film in the Environmental category has been shared by 'The Man who dwarfed the Mountains' and 'God on the Edge', while 'Weaves of Maheshwar' has been conferred with the award for the Best Promotional film.
Dr. Rajakumar Samagra's 'Charithre' was given the Best Book on cinema award.
The best film critic award was given to Meghachandra Kongbam, who interprets the world of Indian cinema for his readers in Manipuri.
This year National Film Awards included a special award given to the state of Gujarat for being the most film-friendly state in the Country.
Speaking on the occasion the President said the Indian Films truly reflected the Indian character of Unity and Diversity. He complimented the composition of award winners in the National Film Awards, which included new comers as well as legends of Indian cinema.
He said the National Film Awards this year reflected all aspects of cinema, including digitisation and technology.
He added that with a growing world audience, who were attracted towards Indian films and an increasing presence of Indian films at different parts of the world, the overseas market possesses a great potential for the Indian film industry.
It was heartening to note that the revenue from overseas theatricals witnessed an increase of 11.5 percent from Rs. 8.6 billion in 2014 to Rs. 9.6 billion in 2015.
The President also spoke of the importance of films in context of variety and diversity of India and the important role it played in unifying the Nation.
Jaitley said the National Film Awards were truly national as they were selected by the most distinguished jury, which objectively and dispassionately selected the very best from hundreds of entries in different categories.
He said the National Film Awards were a great platform to honour best talent in the country and it was a privilege to see the best of Indian Cinema this year, which reflected India's diversity, culture and also educated and entertained the masses. He said that the golden era of Indian Cinema was yet to come.
Earlier, in his welcome address, I&B Secretary Ajay Mittal said over the years the National Film Awards had been associated with the best of Indian Cinema.
He further added that Government was committed to nurture and promote films as both art and industry in the nation.
He also appreciated the hard work and efforts put up by the jury members of the Feature Film, Non-Feature Film and Best Writing on Cinema categories.