Irrfan won the award for his portrayal of an athlete-turned-dacoit, while veteran actor Gokhale won for his role in Marathi film 'Anumati'.
The Tigmanshu Dhulia-directed 'Paan Singh Tomar' was also named the Best Film at the 60th National Film awards announced today.
Based on a real-life story, the film won many awards this season and brought the limelight on 46-year-old Irrfan.
"I am happy that Paan Singh Tomar, who was unknown, became a household name through this film. I share this award with his family. I hope that the film helps people realise that talent should not go waste. The young generation is very talented and their talent should be recognised," Irrfan said.
Dhulia, says he was expecting a win for Irrfan, with whom he has previously worked in 'Haasil' and the recently released 'Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster Returns'.
"I wasn't expecting a Best Film award but I knew Irrfan would win. I am really happy for him and that his hard work has paid off. There were so many good releases this year and to get a recognition such as a National award means a lot," Dhulia told PTI.
Veteran actor Annu Kapoor won the Best Supporting actor award for his role of a fertility expert in John Abraham produced 'Vicky Donor'.
The 57-year-old dedicated his win to his late mother, saying, "I feel humbled and express my gratitude for the national award which I dedicate to my mother, late Kamal Kapoor."
'Vicky Donor' won a total of three National Awards including Best Supporting actress to Dolly Ahluwalia and best popular film providing wholesome entertainment.