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Bahubali wins best feature, Kangana & Big B snag best actor awards



Bahubali, Kangana Ranaut & the Big B win National Award
Bahubali, Kangana Ranaut & the Big B win National Award

Bahubali, Kangana Ranaut & the Big B top National Awards


NEW DELHI (Diya TV) Indian epic historical film ‘Bahubali’, directed by S.S Rajamouli won the “Best Feature Film” award at the 63rd National Film Awards. The award is especially momentous since this is the first ever, blockbuster budget film out of ‘Tollywood‘ (the Telugu Film Industry). The film cost $18M to produce and grossed $89M at the box office.

The lead actors Prabhas Raju Uppalapati and Rana Daggubati thanked the director and the crew members in making this film super success. “Playing the role of ‘Bahubali’ was one of the most special things of my career”, said Prabhas.

Followed by the best film award, Bollywood superstars Amitabh Bachchan won the best actor award for his performance in “PIKU”. This 73 year actor, who has seen amazing blockbuster in his career has won the National Award the 4th time. He previously won the honour in 1990 for “Agneepath”, for “Black” in 2005 and for “Paa” in 2009.

The ‘Best Actress’ award went to the self-made and talented, Kangana Ranaut, for her film “Tanu Weds Manu Returns”. This is the third victory for Ranaut at the National Awards, having won best actress for “Queen” last year and earlier for best supporting actress for 2008 film “Fashion”.

Ranaut played a double role in the movie, impeccably portraying the simpleton athlete from Haryana, to the small town hottie from Kanpur who gets married to a doctor and moves to London, only to returns back to her maternal home in an attempt to get away and resolve her martial issues.

The Big B character in ‘Piku‘ received critical acclaim while the film grossed nearly $7.9M in the first two weeks internationally & $3.6M in the opening weekend in India.

In the US, San Francisco Bay Area resident Mahesh Kale, originally of Pune, won the Best Playback Single (Male) Award for the Marathi Film ‘Katyar Kaljat Ghusli’.


Mahesh Kale, Vocalist & Teacher

Mahesh Kale, Vocalist & Teacher


Kale is a music teacher and actively works to bring the traditions and culture of Indian classical music to his students in the Bay Area.

One actor who has successfully crossed over to the American Network TV star while maintaining her Bollywood status is Priyanka Chopra, and she took to Twitter, to congratulate fellow actress Kangana Ranuat for her work.

Another sensational film that must be made mention of this year is the “Bajirao Mastani”, a film directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali who won the National Award for ‘Best Direction’.

Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali on the sets of Bajirao Mastani

Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali on the sets of Bajirao Mastani


“This is my first national award as a director it is really very special to me. My mother always prayed that I should get one and here I get it. Her prayers are answered,” Bhansali said.

“Bajrangi Bhaijaan”, produced and starred by Salman Khan, was awarded the most ‘Popular Film’. “This is the very first film produced under the banner of ‘Salman Khan Films’ and is huge encouragement from the Government of India in recognizing our film”, said Amar Butala, COO of Salman Khan Films.

Vishal Bhardwaj, another talented spine the industry who has won the National award seventh time now. He has been awarded for the best adapted screenplay award of this year for crime drama “Talvar”.  

“This is my seventh award. I am very happy this time as it’s a for a film like Talvar, whose story needed to be told. This is my second film alone as a writer so it gives me confidence, a boost to write”, says Bhardwaj.

Kalki Koechlin won a Special Jury Award for her performance in ‘Margarita, With A Straw’, a film that has made the rounds of festivals internationally. Tanvi Azmi won Best Supporting Actress for ‘Bajirao Mastani’. ‘Nanak Shah Fakir’ won Best Film on National Integration. Masaan won Best Debut for a Director.

‘Visaranai’ won Best Tamil Film while ‘Dum Laga Ke Haisha’ won Best Hindi Film.

Remo D’Souza won Best Choreography for ‘Bajirao Mastani’. The film also won Best Production Design, Best Cinematography and other honours.

The 63rd National Film Award Ceremony took place in New Delhi on 28th of March, to get the complete list, visit National Film Award Winners 2015

Arts & Culture

U.S. and India conduct joint military drill on Diego Garcia in Indian Ocean



Indian Ocean drill

DIEGO GARCIA, Indian Ocean (Diya TV) — The U.S. and Indian Navies went submarine hunting in the Indian Ocean, their first bilateral anti-submarine warfare exercise since a signing pact to work more closely together last fall.

India’s exports to China are up in 2019, while imports declined, leading to a $10 billion reduction in India’s trade deficit with China. Analysts say the current Washington-Beijing trade war has also opened things up for India.

The Jallianwala Massacre 100 years ago that left hundreds dead and 1200 injured at the hands of British troops is considered a key turning point towards a free India. British prime minister Theresa May marked the occasion by expressing “deep regret”, but there are still no apologies.

An effort by an American and British companies to help Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal save the airline from collapse dissolved after Etihad Airways and TPG Capital threatened to walk away themselves if Goyal was part of the deal.

And comedian Hasan Minhaj, who won a 2017 Peabody Award, received another Peabody nomination in the entertainment category for his Netflix show, “Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj.”

Ravi Kapur & Alejandro Quintana contributed to this report.

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Women filmmakers shine at the 2019 Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles



IFFLA staff with the 2019 festival winners

LOS ANGELES (Diya TV) — The 17th annual Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) concluded Sunday night with the zany slice-of-life film, The Odds, directed by Megha Ramaswamy. Complete with a glamorous closing night red carpet, and an awards ceremony, the festival ended with an after party at the Spice Affair in Beverly Hills.

(From Left to Right) Praveen Morchale, Christina Marouda, Shazia Iqbal, Anand Patwardhan, Nitin Sonawane , Divya Kohli Courtesy: Javeed Sheikh Photography

IFFLA was only four days this year (compared to five days in previous years), but there was still so much to see during that time. In addition to the curated set of films, there was an incredible panel discussion, Breaking in Brown: Making it to Series in TV’s Golden Age, that featured panelists working in various fields in the television industry and their struggles to rise up through the ranks in the Hollywood while being brown.

Panel Discussion Breaking in Brown. Courtesy: Javeed Sheikh Photography

This year’s film lineup boasted five world premieres, two North American premieres, two U.S. premieres and eleven Los Angeles Premieres, with films presented in nine different languages. The overall atmosphere was very relaxed, even with films that tackled difficult subject matters. Roughly fifty percent of the films were directed by women. Filmmakers and staff alike hoped for a future where it will be normal to have women and men equally making films.

Kicking off the awards ceremony, Director of Programming, Mike Dougherty, announced the winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Best Feature, Widow of Silence.

“We present the Grand Jury prize to a film that illuminates a condition that most of the world doesn’t get to see and shines a light on the characters that live through it everyday…This filmmaker’s civic disobedience illustrates their love and compassion for their country and their people, and the craft of their film-making was beautifully wise and refined.”

Director Praveen Morchhale was visibly surprised as he walked up to receive his award. The film he said was about those, “that nobody talks about and nobody treats them as a human.” Even though it was Morchhale’s first time at IFFLA, he felt as if he had been coming here for many years. He credited his win to the women in Kashmir the film portrayed.

The Audience Award for Best Feature went to Reason. Director Anand Patwardhan received a standing ovation when he went to collect his award. Patwardhan said, “most of the time our film is getting thrown out of festivals, I wasn’t expecting this.” He added that it meant a lot for the film to be well received at IFFLA and how that will hopefully impact its reception in India.

Shazia Iqbal’s Bebaak was a crowd favorite winning the Audience Award For Best Short Film. The jury mentioned how she almost gave up on filming because she was getting thrown out of mosques. Iqbal spoke about how when people think of Muslims, they only think of Muslim men and not women, many of whom experience tremendous misogyny. She hopes people will be able to “see beyond what misogyny and religion does to people.” Iqbal added, “a director is nothing without their team.”

“a layered portrait of a woman determined to pursue her needs and impulses,” the Grand Jury awarded their prize for Best Short to The Field from director Sandhya Suri. “the film takes images that normally evoke a sense of fear and flips the narrative on its head redefining a new more empowered world for the female protagonist and exploring an often unseen story of a woman’s drive and agency over her own body and life,” the jury added.

After the awards, Dougherty introduced the closing night film, The Odds by saying the film was the “perfect way to close IFFLA on a celebratory note.”

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Arts & Culture

One-on-One with Prime Minister Modi



One-on-One with Modi

NEW DELHI (Diya TV) — In a rare sit-down interview in the middle of an election, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi discusses his first term and what he plans to accomplish if he is elected to a second term. Watch the full interview tonight on a special Diya TV Dialogue at 7 pm.

Two U.S. Senators are urging more negotiations with India over a Trump administration plan to end preferential imports because it could raise costs for American consumers.

Meanwhile, India purchased a missile system from Russia. Indian Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is hopeful the deal will avoid sanctions and scrutiny from the U.S.

Thiru Vignarajah a former federal prosecutor, who also once served as deputy Attorney General in the state of Maryland, announced he is running for mayor of Baltimore as a Democrat.

And our entertainment reporter, Kari Lane will take you behind the scenes at the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles, an event proudly sponsored by Diya TV, full of some of the brightest stars you will soon see on the silver screen.

Ravi Kapur & Alejandro Quintana contributed to this report.

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