Regional actors and filmmakers swept the top honours, including best feature film, best direction and best actor titles, at the 59th National Film Awards announced here Wednesday. But Bollywood didn't fail to mark its presence, as Vidya Balan was named the best actress for her bold role in "The Dirty Picture".
The best feature film award was shared by Marathi film "Deool" and Kannada movie "Byari", while the winner of the best direction award was Gurvinder Singh for his Punjabi film "Anhe Ghorey Da Daan" -- the film also won the best cinematography title.
Marathi actor Girish Kulkarni was adjudged the best actor for his role as a good-hearted simpleton in "Deool".
The best supporting actor and actress awards were given to Appu Kutty for Tamil film "Azhagarsamiyin Kuthirai" and Leishangthem Tonthoingambi Devi for Manipuri film "Phijigee Mani", respectively.
Awards in the music category also went to regional films.
The best playback singer (male) title was awarded to Anand Bhate for "Balgandharva" and Roopa Ganguly won the same award in the female category for the Bengali film "Abosheyshey".
Composer Neel Dutt won the best songs award for Bengali rock musical "Ranjana Ami Ar Ashbo Na", which won a special jury award. Mayookh Bhaumik bagged the background score honour for Bengali film "Laptop".
"We weren't disappointed with the quality of Hindi films. It's just that there are other languages too in our country, and other languages have very good filmmakers and films too," said Rohini Hattangady, chairperson of feature film jury for the 59th National Film Awards.
Among other awards won by Hindi films are -- best children's film ("Chillar Party"), best original screenplay writer ("Chillar Party"), best lyrics (Amitabh Bhattacharya for "Agar zindagi' from "I Am"), best special effects ("RA.One") and best choreography (Bosco-Caeser for "Senorita" from "Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara").
Onir's "I Am" was named the best Hindi film of the year. The best costume designer award was shared by Niharika Khan for "The Dirty Picture" and Neeta Lulla for Marathi film "Balgandharva", and so was the best child artist award by Partho Gupte for "Stanley Ka Dabba" and by the gang of 10 kids for "Chillar Party".
Vikram Gaekwad won the best make-up artist for his work in "The Dirty Picture" as well as in "Bal Gandharva".
All three awards in the best audiography category were picked by Hindi films. The best location sound recordist title went to Beylon Fonseca for "Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara", and "Game" was given the honours in the sound designer and re-recordist of the final mixed track categories.
Kumararaja Thiagarajan won the Indira Gandhi Award for best debut film of a director for "Aaranyakandam", while the award for the best popular film providing wholesome entertainment went to Tamil film "Azhagarsamiyin Kuthirai".
The jury gave a miss to the best animation and best science and technology categories this year.
Ramesh Sharma, chairperson of non-feature film jury, 59th National Film Awards, explained: "There was just one entry in science and technology category, and none in the animation. We weren't too impressed. It was a huge disappointment as the animation industry is growing so fast in our country."