From Akshay Kumar, Shoojit Sircar, Sonam Kapoor to Marathi film director Rajesh Mapuskar, the winners of the 64th National Film Awards today said the recognition has given their cinematic journey a major boost.

Akshay Kumar, who won his first National Award for court room drama “Rustom”, said it was an honour to get the country’s top acting award. 

The actor’s wife and actress-turned author Twinkle Khanna showered her heartfelt wishes to the 49-year-old star on Twitter as well.

The actor said Sonam Kapoor, who received a special mention for her role in “Neerja”, was shooting with him and it was a double celebration for them on the sets of their upcoming film,”Padman”. 

Sonam received a special mention for her performance as Neerja Bhanot in the Ram Madhvani-directed drama. “Didn’t expect the critics award. It’s such an honour. I’m very very happy,” Sonam told PTI.

b’Image source: Instagram/SonamKapoor’

Rajesh Mapuskar, who won the best director award, is elated that his debut film was named in three categories. “I am very happy that ‘Ventilator’ won three national awards. It was my first Marathi film and we won so many awards. This is really special. I am thankful to Priyanka Chopra and her mother Dr Madhu Chopra (producers) for believing in the film. Their support and encouragement for Marathi cinema is commendable. The award definitely gives a boost to Marathi cinema. It’s a proud moment. We would be celebrating the victory with a get together with the cast and crew.” Mapuskar told PTI. 

b’Image source:Twitter/RajeshMapuskar’

Marathi movie “Kasaav”, directed by Sunil Sukhtankar and Sumitra Bhave, was named the best feature film. “I am really happy. It got the best film award which is a great thing but another point of happiness is that the film deals with the theme of depression. To get an award like this is a great and thrilling experience. I am really glad that in Marathi cinema, apart from star system, big marketing, the theme is the most important thing. We have achieved that position and are continuing with that,” co-director Sukhtankar told PTI. He, however, said they will celebrate their victory when “the film gets a good release”. 

b’Image source: Twitter/Kasav’

The jury, headed by filmmaker Priyadarshan, chose Amitabh Bachchan-starrer “Pink”, a female-centric court room drama, as the best film on social issues. Shoojit Sircar, who produced the 2016 movie, thanked the film’s team for making the journey possible. “I’ve been a creative producer on this so it’s s big thing for me. I am feeling quite ecstatic, happy and proud. Thanks to my entire team. I must’ve tried something which must’ve worked not only for the people, but for the jury and everybody. I am feeling more responsible. This is a great news,” Sircar told PTI. 

Sonam Kapoor-starrer “Neerja”, a story on flight attendant Neerja Bhanot who was killed by terrorists while saving passengers after the plane was hijacked, bagged the best Hindi film award. The film’s producer, Atul Kasbekar, thanked Bhanot family for believing in him and director Ram Madhvani. “We couldn’t have written the script better. First to get the funds to make a female oriented film, then it’s a difficult subject to make a film on. There is no music to support, no love story. I am really grateful to the Bhanot family for trusting a first time producer and director,” Kasbekar told PTI. 

The award ceremony is scheduled for May 3rd in New Delhi.