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Humbling, gratifying: National Film Award winners

It was a moment of celebration for the National Film Award winners like Ayushmman Khurrana, Vicky Kaushal, Aditya Dhar and Sanjay Leela Bhansali, who called the recognition a "pat on the back" and a validation of their work.

Popular Bollywood films including "Uri: The Surgical Strike", "Andhadhun", "Badhaai Ho" and rising stars Vicky Kaushal and Ayushmann Khurrana took home the top trophies at the 66th National Film Awards.

"Badhaai Ho" and "Andhadhun", both starring Ayushmann, won two and three awards respectively.

"Badhaai Ho" got best popular film providing wholesome entertainment and veteran actor Surekha Sikri bagged the best supporting actress.

Sriram Raghavan's acclaimed "Andhadhun" bagged best Hindi film, best adapted screenplay and best actor for its lead Ayushmann, who played a blind musician in the thriller.

"It's truly humbling and hugely gratifying to win the coveted National Awards. As an artist, I have always tried to back disruptive content that stands out for its quality content. Today's honour is a validation of my hard work, my belief system, my journey in movies and my reason to be an actor in the first place," Ayushamann said in a statement.

Raghavan told PTI that he was "in the middle of a screening in Melbourne" when he got the news.

"It just feels great and I can only say thank you. I'm happy. Tabu is also here and she called me and said 'We got it'. I'm just chuffed right now."

Tabu, who featured in "Andhadhun", called the win a "huge honour".

"My heart is filled with joy. It is well deserved. It is very gratifying. Sriram and the writers deserve this award. I am so proud to be part of this film," she said.

"Uri- The Surgical Strike" took home three more awards- best director for Aditya Dhar, best background music for Shashwat Sachdev and best sound design for Bishwadeep Chatterjee.

Kaushal said he was at a loss of words to describe his happiness.

"I wish to dedicate this Award to my parents, to every member of Team URI, to our nation and to our armed forces who put their lives on the line each day, come rain or storm," he said. Kaushal said it was special to share the award with Khurrana, "whom I admire, both as a person and as an actor".

Dhar, nodding to the popular 'how's the josh' phrase from his film, said the josh is "very very high."

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. 15 years of failures, rejections and hard work has lead to this moment and it just can't get better than this."

The debutante director dedicated the award to "each and every brave soldier of our country and their families."

Bhansali bagged the best music composer award for his work in "Padmaavat". The historical drama also won in two other categories: best choreography in "Ghoomar" for Kruti Mahesh Vidya and best playback singing for Arijit Singh for the track "Binte Dil".

Bhansali said any recognition, especially coming from the government, means a lot.

"It is a pat on the back. I made 'Padmaavat' through so much chaos and trouble. Every time we would go through stress, I would go to the studio and start making a song," he added.

Akshay Kumar starrer "Padman" bagged best film on social issues and the actor said he feels "very proud."

"More than anything, I feel proud that my wife (Twinkle) has produced this film along with R Balki (director). I am very happy and proud of her," Akshay said.

Twinkle called it a great honour to win the prestigious award and said she was overwhelmed "to receive so much love for my first production."

"'PadMan' is not just a movie but it's a movement. Our intention was to start a dialogue where women are not held back or embarrassed because of their biology," she said.

Director Balki said for a mainstream film on menstrual hygiene, the award means big.

Filmmaker Rima Das continued her winning streak as her film "Bulbul Can Sing" won best Assamese film award.

"It's a great feeling. It's such a pleasure winning the National Award again. I feel blessed," Das said.

It was a "double" celebration for lyricist Swanand Kirkire, who not only bagged the best supporting actor for his performance in "Chumbak" but was also the co-writer on "Padman".

"I am on top of the world. I could not have imagined getting the best actor award, it's incredible and absolutely humbling. 'Padman' getting the recognition is also double celebration for me. This feels surreal," he said.