“Lagaan” wins India’s top honors

Lagaan may have missed winning the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film Mar. 24, but it was certainly the belle of the ball at the India International Film Awards on Saturday.

Held at the Malaysian resort Genting Highlands, the award ceremony, known as the “Bollywood Oscars,” honored the popular movie–an emotional drama revolving around a cricket match–with best film and best direction awards.

Lagaan star Aamir Khan also won the best actor award for his portrayal of a young man who challenges British colonial rulers to a cricket match and leads his motley team to victory.

The best actress award went to Tabu for her performance as a Bombay bar girl in Chandni Bar.

Lagaan is only the third Indian film to ever be nominated for the Best Foreign Film Oscar. Yet, India remains one of the most productive film industries in the world, churning out 1,013 films in 2001.

“The world has begin to realize that Indian cinema is not only about song and dance but more. The gold rush has begun,” Bollywood film icon Amitabh Bachchan told Reuters.