'Pulijanmam', 'Lage Raho Munnabhai' bag top national awards

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New Delhi, Sep 2 (IANS) The Malayalam film "Pulijanmam" won the best feature film award at the 54th National Film Awards 2006, while "Lage Raho Munnabhai" was adjudged the best popular feature film providing wholesome entertainment at a glittering, star-studded ceremony here Tuesday evening.

"Khosla Ka Ghosla" won the award for the best feature film in the Hindi language category.

The awards could not be conferred two years ago.

"It is a sense of great joy and we want to congratulate everyone from their field of cinema," Information and Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi said at the function at the Vigyan Bhawan.

"Pulijanmam", directed by Priyanandan, is a layered film that uses metaphors to address global and local issues of contemporary society. The best feature film award carries a cash prize of Rs 250,000.

"Lage Raho Munnabhai" directed by Raj Kumar Hirani is a humourous tale of a lovable rogue's brush with his own brand of Gandhigiri - inspired by the Father of the Nation.

The Indira Gandhi Award for the best debut film by a director were bagged by "Eakantham" (Malayalam) and "Kabul Express" (Hindi) directed by Madhu Kaithapuram and Kabir Khan respectively.

"Eakantham" portrays the solitude of two ageing brothers who have lost everyone and "Kabul Express" narrates the trauma of two Indian journalists during the collapse of Taliban post 9/11 Afghanistan.

The award for the best director was bagged by Madhur Bhandarkar for "Traffic Signal" - a tale weaving the lives, livelihoods and concerns of the street dwellers in the metro and the inspiring stand that makes the protagonist a role model across society.

This is his third award.

Kolkata-based actor Soumitra Chatterjee won the best actor award for his "Podokkhep" (Bengali) and Priyamani received the award for the best actress for "Paruthi Veeran".

Dilip Prabhavalkar won the best supporting actor for "Lage Raho Munnabhai" while Konkona SenSharma bagged the award for the best supporting actress for her sensitive portrayal of a village belle in "Omkara", whose director Vishal Bhardwaj bagged the special jury award for the movie based on Shakespeare's "Othello".

Tamil movie "Kittu" bagged the award in the best animation category.

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