'Neerja' today won the best Hindi film National Award and its director Ram Madhvani has dedicated the honour to Neerja Bhanot's family.
Starring Sonam Kapoor in the lead role, the movie is based on 22-year-old air-hostess Neerja, who thwarted the hijack attempt and was later killed by the terrorists while helping to save over 350 passengers and crew on board.
The filmmaker, who made his directorial debut with the biopic, thanked the Bhanot family and said they deserved the award more than anyone else.
"I did not anticipate the National Award for 'Neerja'. I was happily surprised. I am thankful to the Bhanot family. This award goes to them, they deserve it," Madhvani told.
The filmmaker said post the win he had a word with Neerja's brothers and they were very happy with this recognition.
"I spoke to Akhil and Aneesh Bhanot, I spoke to Sonam as well. She is shooting in Maheshwar for 'Padman' it's the same place where we shot the climax of 'Neerja'. It's kind of a universal blessing that on the day of the announcement of National Awards she is at the same location."
Sonam has also got a special mention for her performance in the movie.
Madhvani was at an Ayurvedic centre with his son when he learnt about 'Neerja' winning the National Award.