Actor Ayushmann Khurrana has won his first National Film Award for his act as a blind pianist in "Andhadhun", and he says the experience is "truly humbling and hugely gratifying".
"It's truly humbling and hugely gratifying to win the coveted National Award. As an artiste, I have always tried to back disruptive content that stands out for its quality content," Ayushmann said, after the announcement of the prestigious awards on Friday.
"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. Over and above my personal win. I'm thrilled that both the films that I have done -- 'Andhadhun' and 'Badhaai Ho' -- have won at the prestigious National Awards. It again validates that people of our country want to see cinema that entertains, that they can cherish, discuss and endorse."
He describes "Andhadhun" as a pathbreaking film.
"Sriram Raghavan (the film's director) deserves all the accolades for creating a new genre of cinema for Indian audiences to enjoy. I have been truly fortunate to be a part of Sriram Raghvan's vision and congratulate my director for his genius. As an artiste, 'Andhadhun' challenged me and I strongly feel it made me a better actor," he said.
His other film "Badhaai Ho" won the award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment at the 66th edition of the awards.
"With 'Badhaai Ho' again, I took up a taboo topic because I believed that people would be okay to see this kind of cinema. I'm glad that a subject like 'Badhaai Ho' also won big today and I congratulate my director Amit Sharma for his breakthrough script that became a talking point in every household," he said about the film that tells the story of a middle-aged couple who get pregnant.
"It was a pleasure to collaborate with a forward thinking creative mind like him and again disrupt the stereotyped notions of what Hindi cinema should be."
He promises to continue on "this journey to discover and back cinema that truly stands apart and brings people back into the theatres".