Several Southern films had a successful year at the box office this year. Despite the language barrier, Pushpa – The Rise, KGF 2, Vikram and RRR were able to attract large audiences across the country. The icing on the cake is the 68th National Award, which was announced on Friday and was once again dominated by films from the South.
At the top of the list was Soorarai Pottru, directed by Sudha Kongara, which won five categories, including Best Feature Film, Best Actor (Suriya), Best Actress (Aparna Balamurali), Best Screenplay (Sudha Kongara) and best background music (GV Prakash Kumar). Soorarai Pottru also achieved global success by being selected as one of ten Indian films to be screened at the 78th Golden Globe Awards in the Best Foreign Language Film category. Additionally, the film was an official nominee for the 93rd Academy Awards. It received two awards at the Melbourne Indian Film Festival, including Best Film and Best Actor (Suriya). Many prominent film festivals in India and abroad have screened the film.
Sivaranjiniyum Innum Sila Pengalum, directed by Vasanth, was named Best Tamil Film and also won Best Editing. Lakshmi Priyaa Chandramouli, who played Sivaranjini in the film, received the Best Supporting Actress award.
Mandela’s political satire won him the Indira Gandhi Award for Best First Film, as well as the award for Best Dialogue Writer.
The Malayalam film industry, which is consistently dominated by films with strong scripts and plots, was honored in many categories. His latest film, Ayyappanum Koshiyum, won Sachidanandan the Best Director award.
Biju Menon, who played Ayyappan Nair, a policeman, in the film, was named Best Supporting Actor. The film’s much-talked-about action sequences won them the award for Best Stunt Choreography. The award for best singer went to Nanjiyamma, who sang the popular folk song from the movie Kalakkatha.
Vaanku, directed by Kavya Prakash, won the Special Jury Prize, while Malik, directed by Mahesh Narianan, won the “Final Mixed Track Re-Recorder” award. Thinkalazhcha Nishchayam, directed by Senna Hegde, was chosen as the best Malayalam film, and Kappela by Muhammad Musthafa won the award for best production design.
Kannada films are usually overshadowed by Kollywood and Tollywood blockbusters, but this year that has not been the case. The late Sanchari Vijay’s latest film, Taledanda, won Best Environmental Conservation Film, while Jeetige won Best Tulu Film. The documentary on Hindustani singer Pt. Venkatesh Kumar directed by Girish Kasaravalli received the award for best arts and culture film.
With the awards and recognitions pouring in, the Southern film industry declares that its “pan Indian” films are here to stay!
Tanhaji: The Unsung Hero, in which Ajay Devgn co-won Best Actor, brought recognition to Hindi cinema. Ajay also produced the film, which received Best Popular Picture. Toolsidas Junior, starring Rajiv Kapoor and Sanjay Dutt, won Best Hindi Film, and Varun Buddhadev received a Special Mention in Film in the Child Actor category.
Here is the full list of rewards
Best Feature Film: Soorarai Pottru by Sudha Kongara (Tamil)
Better Direction: AK Ayyappanum Koshiyum from Sachidanandan KR (Malayalam)
Better Actor: Suriya for Soorarai Pottru (Tamil) and Ajay Devgn for Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior (Hindi)
Better Actress: Aparna Balamurali for Soorarai Pottru (Tamil)
Better Proof Actor: Biju Menon for AK Ayyappanum Koshiyum (Malayalam)
Best Supporting Actress: Lakshmi Priya Chandramouli for Sivaranjaniyum Innum Sila Pengallum (Tamil)
Better Children Film: Sumi from Amol Vasant Gole (Marathi)
Better Film on the conservation/preservation of the environment: Taledanda by Praveen Krupakar (Kannada)
Best film on social issues: The funeral of Vivek Dubey (marathi)
Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment: Om Raut’s Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior (Hindi)
Indira Gandhi Award for Best Debut Film by a Director: Madonna Ashwin for Mandela (Tamil)
Better Script: Shalini Usha Nair & Sudha Kongara for Soorarai Pottru (Tamil)
Better Dialogue: Madonna Ashwin for Mandela (Tamil)
Better Cinematography: Supratim Bhol for Avijatrik (The Wanderlust of Apu) (Bengali)
Best Female Playback Singer: Nanchamma for Ayyappanum Koshiyum (Malayalam)
Best Male Playback Singer: Rahul Deshpande for Mi Vasantrao (I am Vasantrao) (Marathi)
Best Child Artist: Anish Mangesh Gosavi for Tak-Tak (Marathi) and Akanksha Pingle & Divyesh Indulkar for Sumi (Marathi)