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Vijay's Mersal wins Best Foreign Language Film award at UK event

Mersal, which made it to the final shortlist, defeated seven other highly rated films, including The Square from Sweden and A Fantastic Woman from Chile, to win the top honour.

Manigandan KR

The Vijay-starrer Mersal, which ran into trouble last year after the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) took exception to certain sequences that were against the prime minister's Digital India slogan and his demonetization drive, has done the country proud by winning the award for Best Foreign Language Film at the Fourth Annual National Film Awards in the United Kingdom.

Mersal defeated eight other films from across the globe, including Happy End (France), Loveless (Russia), In The Fade (Germany/France), The Square (Sweden/Germany/France), A Fantastic Woman (Chile) and Vaya (South Africa), to win the honour.

The National Film Awards UK is an annual awards ceremony celebrating the achievements of established and independent filmmakers, actors, actresses, casting directors, production companies and crew who make up the motion picture industry.

All nominations and votes for the NFA are submitted by fans. This year, a record 2.4 million film fans voted across 18 categories to draw up the official shortlist.

Mersal, directed by Atlee Kumar and featuring Samantha Ruth Prabhu, Kajal Aggarwal and Nithya Menon as the female leads, went on to become a blockbuster despite the opposition to the film from the ruling BJP.

The film, which had Vijay playing triple roles, also came in for criticism from some doctors who felt that medical professionals had been shown in poor light.