It was an evening to remember -- the entire Bachchan clan in attendance, a standing ovation for megastar Amitabh for his fourth Best Actor award, a sensuously sung award-wining Bangla song -- at the 57th National Film Awards ceremony here Friday.
The gala witnessed Bollywood dignitaries in plenty but missed the young stars quotient unlike last year when Bollywood dominated the ceremony. However, the Bachchan clan - Jaya, Abhishek, Aishwarya and Shweta - the first family of the Hindi film industry, was there in full strength to cheer Amitabh on his award.
Clad in a black bandhgala, Big B received his fourth national award for R. Balakrishna's "Paa" from President Pratibha Patil. He had earlier won it for "Saat Hindustani", "Agneepath" and "Black". His son Abhishek, who produced the movie, too received his debut national honour for the best Hindi language film.
"Paa" also won the best make-up artist award for Hollywood's Christien Tinsley and Dominie Till. The best supporting actress award went to Arundhati Naag who played Amitabh's grandmother in the movie.
Veteran filmmaker D. Ramanaidu was conferred the prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke Award. He was accompanied by his actor grandson Rana Daggubati at the ceremony. Other celebrities to grace the event were filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Rajkumar Hirani, Oscar-award winning sound technician Resul Pookutty, Shyam Benegal, Farooque Shaikh and Sushma Seth.
The other top honours went to Malayalam film "Kutty Srank" for best film, Rituparno Ghosh for best director for "Abohoman" and Ananya Chatterjee, best actress for the same movie.
Bollywood singer Shaan alongwith music composer Shantanu Moitra enthralled the audience with a melodious rendition of "Behti hawa sa", which won lyricist Swanand Kirkire his first national award. The song is from Aamir Khan starrer "3 Idiots" that also bagged the national award for the most popular film providing wholesome entertainment.
Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra received the Nargis Dutt Award for best feature film on national integration for his "Delhi-6". It also won the best production design for Samir Chanda.
Benegal received the best film on social issues award for his outing "Well Done Abba" while music composer Amit Trivedi was handed over the best music award for his cult compositions in Anurag Kashyap's "Dev D". Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan took home the Indira Gandhi Award for best debut film of a director for spreading national integration through sports film "Lahore", while veteran actor Farooque Sheikh got the best supporting actor for the same.
Vishal Bharadwaj's dark thriller "Kaminey" was honoured with a special jury award. It shared the award with Malayalam movies "Kutty Srank" and "Kerala Verma Pazhassi Raja".
Following suit was the best audiography award that was divided into three categories and was handed over to Subhash Sahoo for "Kaminey"; Anup Dev for "3 Idiots" and Pookutty for "Kutty Srank".
The Malayalam film also got Jayakumar the best costume designer award as well as best cinematography and best screenplay (original) awards for Anjuli Shukla and P.F. Mathews-Harikrishna, respectively.
Southern music maestro Illaiyaraja bagged the award for best background score for "Kerala Verma Pazhassi Raja ", which also won the best Malayalam film award.
"Abohoman" also got the best editing award for Arghyakamal Mitra and the best Bengali film award.
The best female playback singer award went to Bengali singer Neelanjana Sarkar for her song in "Houseful". Rupam Islam took the best male singer for the Bengali film "Mahanager@Kolkata".
Kannada film "Putaani Party" and Malayalam movie "Keshu" were given the best children's film award.
Kishore and Sri Ram shared the best child artist awards for Tamil movie "Pasanga". The film also won the best dialogue award for Pandiraj and was declared the best Tamil film.
Telugu movie "Magadheera" was given the best special effects and best choreography awards for R. Kamal Kannan and K. Siva Shankar, respectively, while the best Kannada movie award went to "Kanasemba Kudureyaneri".
"Basundhara", on the other hand, won the best Assamese film award and best Konkani film award was given to "Palatadcho Munis". "Natarang" won the best Marathi film.
Among those present at the gala were S.M. Khan, director of the Directorate of Film Festivals, chairman for feature films jury Ramesh Sippy and minister of Information and Broadcasting Ambika Soni.