Ayushmann Khurrana, Aditya Dhar, Surekha Sikri react to the National Awards
The 66th National Film Awards were announced today at Shastri Bhavan, and Uri: Surgical Strike, AndhaDhun and Badhaai Ho, were among the Hindi films that won in different categories
The 66th National Film Awards for the year 2019 was announced today at Shastri Bhavan, Delhi. Uri: Surgical Strike, based on the 2016 Uri attack and the fallout from that, won four awards under the categories of Best Actor, Best Director, Best Sound Design, and Best Background Music.
Best Director winner Aditya Dhar, who made his debut with the film, thanked the jury members through an emotional note. "15 years of failures, rejections and hard work have lead to this moment and it just can’t get better than this. This is an honour I am going to cherish for the rest of my life," he wrote, adding "Being conferred with the National Award has been a dream since the time I understood what films meant to me, and films truly mean the world to me."
He also dedicated his award to all the Indian soldiers and their families. "To all the brave soldiers of our country and their families, thank you for all your sacrifices. You have selflessly dedicated your life to serve us and now it’s our time to dedicate everything we have to serve you."
Other Bollywood films that received recognition include AndhaDhun and Badhaai Ho. Ayushmann Khurrana, who shares the Best Actor Award (for AndhaDhun) with Vicky Kaushal (Uri: Surgical Strike), said the honour is a validation of his hard work, belief system, and his reason for being an actor in the first place. "Over and above my personal win, I’m thrilled that both the films that I have done — AndhaDhun and Badhaai Ho — have won at the prestigious National Awards. It again validates that people of our country want to see cinema that entertains, that they can cherish, discuss and endorse."
He added that AndhaDhun challenged him and made him a better actor. "It is a path-breaking film and Sriram Raghavan deserves all the accolades for creating a new genre of cinema for Indian audiences to enjoy."
He also shared his delight over a film on a taboo subject (pregnancy of a middle-aged woman) like Badhaai Ho getting its due. "I’m glad that a subject like Badhaai Ho also won big today and I congratulate my director Amit Sharma for his breakthrough script that became a talking point in every household. It was a pleasure to collaborate with a forward-thinking creative mind like him and again disrupt the stereotypical notions of what Hindi cinema should be."
Surekha Sikri, who won the Best Supporting Actor for Badhaai Ho, also released a note to thank the director and jury. "I thank all the jury members who thought I was worthy of the award. It was great fun working with Amit Ravindranath Sharma and Ayushmann Khurrana on Badhaai Ho," she wrote.