As regional cinema ruled the 59th National film awards, surprised winners said that the honours came as a great encouragement.
Director Umesh Kulkarni, whose Marathi film Deool shared the best film award with Byari, said he wanted to make movies without compromising on the content. He also expressed joy for lead star Girish Kulkarni who won best actor and best dialogue awards.
"It is a great moment for us as we worked hard on the film for two years. It was a closely knit team. It is very encouraging for us who want to make movies without compromising on content. I am really happy for Girish. He is a very versatile and genuine actor," Umesh said.
Actor Girish, who was awarded for playing a village simpleton with a conscience, said the awards came as a huge surprise. "I was taken aback. It came as a huge surprise. I am dancing with joy. It was a tough role for me as I come from an urban community while the film is set in a rural landscape. It was a tough film to bring to life. It was possible only because Umesh kept pushing me to do my best."
Elated at his debut movie getting national award for best film, director of Byari KP Suveeran said the film was about conditioning of women in the Byari Muslim community based on sexuality.
"Byari (also known as Beary), is an ethnic society trapped in their own faiths and beliefs, having its own traditions and distinct cultural identity. I did a lot of research on the society and their beliefs after reading works by various authors," he said.
While best actress award winner Vidya Balan is in Dubai currently, The Dirty Picture director Milan Luthria said he has had an "emotional conversation" with the actress after her win.
"We are overwhelmed and happy about the win. Hats off to her courage. Our journey has been very special. I always knew the role belonged to Vidya," Luthria said.
Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan expressed his pride on his film Ra.One winning the best visual effects national award.
"Even when my babies win a prize at a birthday party, my chest swells with pride. Today my baby got a National Award (v f/x). I love you Ra.One," he posted on Twitter.
I Am, which won the best Hindi film prize, made its director Onir and actors proud. The film's stars Sanjay Suri and Juhi Chawla credited the facebook users who helped raise money for the film.
"I am numb right now, this is so unexpected! It gives me so much strength to continue with such work. This award comes at a time when I was disheartened that I Am didn't get due recognition. And now it has been noticed by the most prestigious award of our country," said Onir.
Sanjay said, "The award is a double achievement for me as an actor and a producer. These awards are so out of reach and being acknowledged by them is a proud moment."
Actress Juhi Chawla tweeted, "Simply super duper news. I Am wins two National awards! Am just so happy for the film! for Onir. Many congratulations to all the producers worldwide of the film."
Bengali actor-director Anjan Dutt, who got a special mention by the jury while his film Ronjona Ami Aar Ashbona won the best Bengali film and best music direction awards, said he is overwhelmed.
"I am happy and overwhelmed, more so for my cast and everybody behind the film. Films of Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen and Tapan Sinha have been getting such honours in the past, so it is a rich heritage and nothing new (for Bengali films)," said Anjan.
Choreographers Bosco-Ceaser, who won a national award for the song Senorita from Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, said it was an unexpected win.
"We never expected that Senorita will manage to win the National award. It is one of the biggest achievements of our career," said Bosco.
"We are speechless at this moment. The feeling is yet to sink in. We were not at all confident about the song while making it. Winning a National Award will motivate us to keep doing better," he added.