Lage Raho Munnabhai may have missed out on winning the coveted Oscar Awards, but the makers have reason to smile as the 2006 smash hit has been awarded the prestigious National Award. The 54th National Awards were announced in New Delhi today and the Sanjay Dutt starrer Lage Raho Munnabhai was adjudged the Best Popular Film providing wholesome entertainment. The Best Hindi Film award went to Dibakar Bannerjee's Khosla Ka Ghosla starring Anupam Kher and Boman Irani in lead roles. Madhur Bhandarkar's tryst with the National Awards continues as the director was adjudged the Best Director for his realistic film Traffic Signal. It may be recalled that the director's earlier films like Chandni Bar and Page 3 also won the prestigious National Awards. The other important awards of the evening were however bagged by regional cinema. Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee, who declined the Special Jury award in 2001 following a controversy, won the Best Actor award for his role in Suman Ghosh's Podokkhep while Tamil actress Priyamani won the Best Actress award for her performance in Ameer Sulthan's Paruthiveeran a film on the caste divide. The Best Film was awarded to Pulijanmam, a Malayalam film based on the famous Malayalam play of the same name.
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