The most prominent film award ceremony in India is the annual National Film Awards, administered by the Indian government's Directorate of Film Festivals.
In an Indian Express story, actor Arjun Kapoor explained:
“These awards tell us if we are heading in the right direction. National awards are credible, they are even more important to us. Getting recognized by the government of our country is always special.”
Here's are the trailers and descriptions for each of the feature films (in alphabetical order) from Bollywood, Jollywood, Kollywood, Mollywood, Ollywood, Pollywood, Tollywood, Sandalwood and other film industries judged to offer the best of Indian cinema in 2015.
1. Baahubali: The Beginning
Award: Best Feature Film (Shobu Yarlagaada, Arka Mediaworks Ltd., S.S. Rajamouli). "An imaginative film and monumental by its production values and cinematic brilliance in creating a fantasy world on screen."
Award: Best Special Effects (V. Srinivas Mohan). "For creating breathtaking special effects which bring out the emotional and dramatic upheavals of the story."
Genre: Telugu epic historical fiction (simultaneously released in Tamil and Hindi)
Description: In ancient India, an adventurous and daring man becomes involved in a decades old feud between two warring people.
2. Bajirao Mastani
Award: Best Director (Sanjay Leela Bhansali). "For the masterful handling of all aspects of the medium of cinema to weave a tragic story within a grand historic drama."
Award: Best Cinematography (Sudeep Chaterjee). "For bringing about outstanding visual dynamics, depicting the grand interiors of palaces and vast landscapes with an artistic interplay of light and shadows."
Award: Best Supporting Actress (Tanvi Azmi). "For her powerful portrayal of a royal widow caught in the vortex of love for her son and commitment to the clan."
Award: Best Choreography, "Deewani Mastani" (Remo D’Souza). "For creating enchanting moves that express anguish of love, defying social barriers, resonating the core theme of the film."
Award: Best Production Design (Shriram Iyengar, Salani Dhatrak, Sujeet Sawant). "For the inventive use of spaces, props and set decoration to provide a dramatic setting for a grand historical spectacle."
Award: Best Audiography - Sound Designer (Biswadeep Chatterjee). "Creating a rich aural tapestry, evoking the romantic moods and heroic tension."
Award: Best Audiography - Re-recordist of the Final Mixed Track (Justin Gose). "Perfect blend of the ambiences ranging from royal palace interiors to war fronts."
Genre: Hindi epic historical romance
Description: Based on the Marathi novel Raau by Nagnath S. Inamdar, the film narrates the story of the Maratha General Bajirao (1700-1740 AD) and his second wife Mastani.
3. Bajrangi Bhaijaan
Award: Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment (Salman Khan, Rockline Venktesh, Kabir Khan). "Tackling an important social issue in the simple heart-warming and entertaining format."
Genre: Hindi comedy-drama
Description: In India, a Hindu man with a magnanimous spirit takes a young, mute and lost Muslim girl back to Pakistan to reunite her with her family.
Award: Best Child Artist (Gaurav Menon). "An outstanding performance on a wide spectrum of emotions of a boy going through great turmoil."
Genre: Malayalam comedy drama
Description: The story revolves around 10-year-old Ben and holds a mirror to society about how it functions and also addresses religious dogma.
5. Chauthi Koot
English Translation: "The Fourth Direction"
Award: Best Punjabi Film (NFDC & Kartikeya Singh, Gurvinder Singh). "Effectively captures the sense of fear psychosis and tension during the times of insurgency in Punjab."
Genre: Punjabi drama
Description: The dilemmas and fears of average people caught between the Indian Army and Sikh separatists. Based on the short stories "The Fourth Direction" and "I Am Feeling Fine Now" from Indian author Waryam Singh Sandhu's 2005 collection Chauthi Koot.
6. Dau Huduni Methai
English Translation: "Song of the Horned Owl"
Award: Best Bodo Film (Shankarlal Goenka, Manju Borah). "An honest attempt to document the dilemma of the common man, helplessly victimised during the times of insurgency in the northeast."
Genre: Bodo drama
Description: Recounts the effects of insurgency and counterinsurgency on common people through the perspective of a young rape victim. Based on the Assamese novel Dao Hudur Gaan by Rashmirekha Bora.
7. Dum Laga Ke Haisha
Award: Best Hindi Film (Maneesh Sharma & Yash Raj Films, Sharat Katariya). "A sweet and resonant film set in Haridwar and challenges the middle class prejudices in choosing a bride."
Award: Best Lyrics, "Moh Moh Ke Dhage" (Varun Grover). "For the fresh simple array of metaphors, in the form of a song, expressing love."
Award: Best Female Playback Singer (Monali Thakur). "A delightful and soulful rendition of a song of love."
Genre: Hindi romantic comedy
Description: A slim uneducated guy is pressured into an arranged marriage with an overweight college girl. The mismatched couple are challenged to compete in the annual wife-carrying race.
English Translation: “Without a Stop"
Award: Best Children’s Film (Code Red Films, Soumendra Padhi). "Story of a child prodigy and his undying spirit to achieve the impossible."
Genre: Hindi sports drama
Description: Based on the relationship between the world's youngest marathon runner, Budhia Singh, and his coach Biranchi Das - who rescued the little boy from a Bhubaneswar slum and discovered his talent - and how they achieved incredible heights together. Budhia made headlines in 2006, when at the age of four he ran from Bhubaneswar to Puri, a distance of 65 km, in just seven hours.
9. Eibusu Yaohanbiyu
Award: Best Manipuri Film (Yunman Hitalar "Neta" Singh, Maipaksana Haorongbam). "A moving film about the victory of a differently-abled boy's attempt to join a football team."
Genre: Manipuri sports drama
Description: Depicts the expectations of a disabled boy to join a soccer team.
Award: Best Konkani Film (A. Durga Prasad, Dinesh P. Bhonsle). "A powerful film about a soldier's plight, caught up in the legal entanglement trying to safeguard his property."
Genre: Konkani drama
Description: In the midst of the festive season, a Goan Catholic family discovers that they have lost their property to the Government and their family honour is at stake.
11. Ennu Ninte Moideen
English Translation: "Forever yours, Moideen"
Award: Best Music Direction, "Kaathirunnu Kaathirunnu" (M. Jayachandran). "Creating a haunting melodic composition, that resonates the tragic love story."
Genre: Malayalam biographical romantic drama
Description: Based on the 1960s real life but tragic love story of Moideen who belongs to a renowned Muslim family and Kanchanamala who is the daughter of a Hindu Thiyya aristocratic landlord and their on-going faithfulness and letters to each other over several years.
12. The Head Hunter
Award: Best Wancho Film (Splash Films Private Limited, Nilanjan Datta). "A cinematic contemplation on the lives of the Wancho tribe, regarding the balance required in modernizing tribal environment while intruding and displacing their lifestyles."
Description: A story of a Wancho tribesman who believes the jungle is his until one day he meets modern men who take him to the city and change his worldview forever.
13. Irudhi Suttru (a.k.a. Saala Khadoos)
English Translation: "The Final Round" (a.k.a. "The Snob")
Award: Special Mention (Ritika Singh). "For her gutsy performance of a boxer in the making."
Genre: Tamil-Hindi sports drama
Description: The story of a former boxer who quits boxing following a fallout with the authorities over the underlying politics but goes on to coach a fisherwoman to fulfill his dream through her.
English Title: "The Fence"
Award: Best Telugu Film (Y. Rajeev Reddy, Radha Krishna "Krish" Jagarlamudi)' "Barriers of cast and conventions breaks down as this romantic period drama unveils its magic."
Genre: Telugu war-time film
Description: A rivalry between two men, based on caste and social status, extends from an Indian village onto war torn Europe during World War II.
15. Katyar Kaljat Ghusali
English translation: "A Dagger Through the Heart"
Award: Best Male Playback Singer (Mahesh Kale). "A consummate performance in the best of Hindustani musical traditions."
Genre: Marathi, classical music competition
Description: A clash of two musical families, where in the end, music is the winner.
16. Kima's Lode: Beyond the Class
Award: Best Mizo Film (Children's Film Society, Zualaa Chhangte). "An adventurous coming-of-age story of a boy, set in the pristine environments of Mizoram."
Genre: Mizo children's adventure film
Description: The border town of Chhimtui, in remote northeast India, is shaken up. Twelve-year Kima is missing for two days and the town fears the worst. The boy suddenly appears, alive and well. As Kima's friends discover his secret, they learn about the world beyond their class and their home.
English Translation: "River of Fables"
Award: Best Assamese Film (Anurupa Hazarika, Bhaskar Hazarika) "A stylized, poetic film interweaving four folk stories, evoking the terrifying undercurrents of the human mind as depicted in folk mythology."
Genre: Assamese drama of the supernatural
Description: Four folk tales from Assam re-imagined as a narrative about four mothers, each facing demons of her own. Based on characters and events described in Burhi Aair Sadhu (Grandma's Tales), a popular compendium of folk stories compiled by Assamese literary giant Lakshminath Bezbaroa.
18. Lukka Chuppi
English Translation: "Hide and Seek"
Award: Special Mention (Jayasurya). "For his inventive and heartfelt performance in varied roles."
Genre: Malayalam family drama
Description: After 14 years, a group of college friends reunite. Suddenly, wives see a new side to their husbands who are singing and laughing like how they were in their youth.
19. Margarita, With a Straw
Award: Special Jury Award (Kalki Koechlin). "For the realistic performance as a young woman afflicted with cerebral palsy."
Genre: Hindi-English drama
Description: A rebellious young woman with cerebral palsy leaves her home in India to study in New York, unexpectedly falls in love, and embarks on an exhilarating journey of self-discovery.
Award: Indira Gandhi Award for Best Debut Film of a Director ( Neeraj Ghaywan). "For his perceptive approach to filmmaking in handling a layered story of people caught up in changing social and moral values."
Genre: Hindi drama
Description: Four lives intersect along the Ganges: a low caste boy hopelessly in love, a daughter ridden with guilt of a sexual encounter ending in a tragedy, a hapless father with fading morality, and a spirited child yearning for a family, long to escape the moral constructs of a small-town.
21. Mithila Makhaan
Award: Best Maithili Film (Neetu Chandra, Samir Kumar). "A back-to-the-roots story, told with great sincerity, about a courageous youthful rescue effort in Bihar."
Genre: Maithili drama
Description: The emotional and thrilling journey of Toronto-based Kranti Prakash as he re-establishes his grandfather's company in Bihar, India which was closed down 35 years ago.
22. Nanak Shah Fakir
Award: Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration (Gurbani Media Pvt. Ltd.). "The saga on the life of the great spiritual master advocating the values of peace and harmony."
Award: Best Costume Designer (Payal Saluja). "An imaginative use of colours, design and textures to recreate costumes for a host of characters, of an era, from different cultures and continents."
Award: Best Make-up Artist (Preetisheel G. Singh, Clover Wootton). "Creating detailed appearances and meticulous 'aging' technique to a wide range of historic characters."
Genre: Hindi Sikh religious drama
Description: The life and teachings of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism and the first of the ten Sikh Gurus who is attributed with setting up a unique spiritual, social, and political platform based on equality, fraternal love, goodness, and virtue.
Award: Best Film on Social Issues (Jairaj Films, V.K. Prakash). "For tackling a relevant and unaddressed issue of curtailing freedom of movement for the common man due to hartals and processions."
Genre: Malayalam thriller drama
Description: A fight for justice by a common man.
Award: Best Khasi Film (Pomu Das-Marjina Kurbah, Pradip Kurbah). "A sensitive portrayal of a rape victim in the course of her revival, in the healing background of the tribal setting."
Genre: Khasi romantic drama
Description: After a violent act leaves Onaatah wounded from inside and by the stereotypes of and treatment by society, her spirit is almost broken. Feeling that her life has reached a dead end, she leaves her home and family and moves away to the Khasi Hills of Meghalaya where the people are warm and willing to give her a new start.
25. Pahada Ra Luha
English Translation: "Tears of Mountain"
Award: Best Odiya Film (Mohapatra Movie Magic Pvt. Ltd., Sabyasachi Mohapratra). "Chronicles 25 years of the life of innocent tribals of Odisha in the backdrop of the massive transformations and maoist insurgency."
Genre: Odiya drama
Description: Showcasing the life of the Paraja Tribes of Koraput District in Odisha, the movie speaks about the outcomes of industrialization and the resultant displacement that the tribe had to face.
English Translation: "Dhow" (A lateen-rigged ship with one or two masts, used in the Indian Ocean.)
Award: Best Malayalam Film (Allens Media, Salim Ahamed). "Artistically narrated saga of two generations of Malayali workers who migrated to the gulf fo livelihood, told through the poignant story of one man."
Genre: Malayalam period drama
Description: The life of Pallikkal Narayanan who migrated to the Middle-East in the early 1960s, when the Kerala Gulf boom - the mass migration of a large number of people from the Indian state of Kerala to Arab states - was just beginning
Award: Best Actor (Amitabh Bachchan). "A delightful, delectable performance of a man who finally lets himself go, at the age of seventy."
Award: Best Screenplay Dialogues and Best Original Screenplay (Juhi Chaturvedi). "For effortless movement of the plot structure, and natural repartees which happens in a delightful love/hate relationship of a father and daughter."
Genre: Hindi comedy drama
Description: A quirky comedy about the relationship between an ageing father and his young daughter, living in a cosmopolitan city, dealing with each other's conflicting ideologies while being fully aware that they are each other's only emotional support.
Award: Best Sanskrit Film (Baby Mathew Somatheeram, Vinod Mankara). "An artistic and culturally vibrant portrayal of the mind of a poet during the time he creates his masterpiece."
Genre: Sanskrit period drama
Description: Only the third movie to be made in Sanskrit, the film is about the mental conflicts and agonies experienced by 17th century poet-scholar Unnayi Warrier while he wrote his magnum opus "Nalacharitham" aattakkatha (Kathakali play).
English Translation: "The Quest"
Award: Best Marathi Film (My Role Motion Pictures, Makarand Mane). "Against the background of farmer suicides in Mahrashtra, a heart rending surival story of a father-son duo who decide to fight and ive rather than end their lives."
Genre: Marathi drama
Description: Arjun's problems are getting too much for him: His land is affected by drought, their livelihood is threatened. Seeing no way out, he considers to take his own life. Only the unconditional love for his son motivates him to not give up and look for work, to be able to keep his land.
English Translation: "Wild"
Award: Special Mention (Rinku Rajguru). "For her effective portrayal of a lively girl who defies societal norms but ultimately has to face the wrath of her family."
Genre: Marathi musical romantic drama
Description: Although Parsha is the cricket team captain and the brightest student in his year, the beautiful and confident Aarchi is out of his reach. She belongs to a higher caste, her family is rich, and her father is a kingpin in local politics. But Aarchi is a headstrong girl who won’t let anyone boss her around – and she likes the persistent, brave Parsha. How will their families react? What happens to love when when two people have to sacrifice everything for it? Sairat is an epic love story that takes a critical look at Indian society in the 21st century.
English Translation: "Boundless"
Award: Best Bengali Film (Nideas Creations & Productions Pvt. Ltd., Goutam Ghose). "An evocative story that highlights the theme of suffering humanity, divided by national borders."
Genre: Bengali period drama.
Description: A story about a school teacher Badal from Bangladesh, his wife Layla and his little daughter Rupsa, the film highlights the pain and anguish of people living on both sides of the border following the partition of Bengal.
English Translation: "Colored"
Award: Best Haryanvi Film (Punam Deswal Sharma, Sundeep Sharma). "The film earnestly tries to address the social issue of neglect of the girl child in the state of Haryana and the eventual empowering of the girl."
Genre: Haryanvi drama
Description: Aimed at youth, the film aims to bring families together by highlighting the importance and and strength of daughters.
33. Su Su Sudhi Vathmeeka
Award: Special Mention (Jayasurya). "For his inventive and heartfelt performance in varied roles."
Genre: Malayalam comedy drama
Description: The movie narrates the story of Sudhi from age 4 to 40 who has a stuttering problem.
English Translation: "Guilty"
Award: Best Audiography - Location Sound Recordist (Sanjay Kurian). "For capturing the natural voice, with all its nuances, predominantly of characters undergoing great stress."
Genre: Hindi drama
Description: An experienced investigator confronts several conflicting theories about the perpetrators of a violent double homicide. Based on the 2008 Noida double murder case, in which a teenage girl and her family servant were found murdered, and her parents were convicted for the murders.
35. Tanu Weds Manu Returns
Award: Best Actress (Kangana Ranaut). "For her dynamic portrayal of two contrasting characters, laced with mirth and charm."
Award: Best Screenplay Dialogues and Best Original Screenplay (Himanshu Sharma). "The writer's interpretation of a love story set in a small town, becomes populated with interesting characters, and their dialogues and dialects."
Genre: Hindi romantic comedy drama
Description: Tanu and Manu's marriage collapses. What happens when Manu meets Tanu's lookalike Kusum - and when Tanu returns?
36. Thaarai Thappattai
Award: Best Music Direction, Background Score (Ilaiyaraaja). "For effectively using folk musical instruments and melodies to give harmonic layers of meaning to the world of the characters."
Genre: Tamil musical action drama
Description: Sannasi heads Thara Thappattai, a Karagattam ancient folk dance troupe. The film exposes the day-to-day challenges of members the dance troupe, how this art is slowly dying, and why we are all the worse for it.
English Translation: "Funeral"
Award: Best Kannada Film (Prspctvs Productions Pvt. Ltd., Raam Reddy). "A striking and realistically charming portrayal of life in a village, told in the idiom of comedy and surrealism."
Genre: Kannada comedy drama
Description: In a remote village in South India, three generations of sons react to the death of Century Gowda, their grandfather, a 101-year-old man. The intertwining comedic storylines converge at Century Gowda’s “Thithi”, the final funeral celebration eleven days after a death.
38. Valiya Chirakulla Pakshikal
English Translation: "The Birds With Large Wings."
Award: Best Film on Environment Conservation/Preservation (Ananthakrishna Pillai, Dr. Biju). "A dramatically disturbing exposition of the ill effects of pesticides in North Kerala."
Genre: Malayalam/English/French drama
Description: A partially fictionalized representation of the environmental disaster caused nearly two and a half decades of misuse of endosulfan pesticide on government-owned cashew plantation in Kasaragod District of Kerala in India.
English Translation: "Interrogation"
Award: Best Tamil Film (Wunderbar Films, Vetri Maaran). "Based on a true story, a gripping drama about the atrocities by the police thrust on innocent citizens."
Award: Best Supporting Actor (Samuthirakani). "For the minimalistic yet stark and moving performace as a cop caught in a moral dilemma."
Award: Best Editing (Late Kishore T.E.). "Maintaining the momentum and edginess of the plot progression of police interrogation, with innovative editing techniques."
Genre: Tamil thriller
Description: A group of immigrants are detained by the local state police, tortured and forced to admit to a crime they have no knowledge of.
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