New Delhi, India – In New Delhi, the winners of the 68th National Film Awards were announced. Suriya and Ajay Devgn will share the Best Actor award for their work in Soorarai Pottru and Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior, respectively. Suriya’s first National Award, and Ajay Devgn’s third (he won Best Actor for Zakhm in 1998 and The Legend Of Bhagat Singh in 2002). Soorarai Pottru, based on the life of Simplifly Deccan founder G Gopinath, was also nominated for Best Feature Film, Best Actress for Aparna Balamurali, Best Screenplay, and Best Background Score. Tanhaji, a historical film based on the legendary Maratha warrior Tanaji Malusare, was named Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment.
Ayyappanum Koshiyum, a Malayalam thriller, won two major awards: Best Director posthumously went to K R Sachidanandan, known professionally as Sachy, and Best Supporting Actor went to Biju Menon. Sachy died of cardiac arrest in 2020, at the age of 47. Lakshmi Priyaa Chandramouli won Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Sivaranjaniyum Innum Sila Pengalum, which also won Best Tamil Film and Best Editing.
- Tulsidas Junior was named Best Hindi Film, with child actor Varun Buddhadev receiving a special jury mention.
- Dollu took home awards for Best Kannada Film and Best Location Sound.
- Avijatrik received awards for Best Bengali Film and Best Cinematography.
- Colour Photo was named Best Telugu Film, and Thinkalazhcha Nishchayam was named Best Malayalam Film.
- Madhya Pradesh was named the Most Film-Friendly State, with special mentions going to Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.
- This year’s feature film jury is led by filmmaker Vipul Shah, and the awards are presented by jury member and cinematographer Dharam Gulati.
- The National Film Awards will be presented later this year in a ceremony.
Here’s the full list of winners:
Best Feature Film: Soorarai Pottru
Best Direction: Sachy, Ayyappanum Koshiyum
Best Actress: Aparna Balamurali, Soorarai Pottru
Best Actor: Suriya, Soorarai Pottru and Ajay Devgn for Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior
Best Supporting Actress: Lakshmi Priyaa Chandramouli, Sivaranjaniyum Innum Sila Pengalum
Best Supporting Actor: Biju Menon, AK Ayyappanum Koshiyum
Best Telugu Film: Colour Photo
Best Tamil Film: Sivaranjaniyum Innum Sila Pengallum
Best Malayalam Film: Thinkalazcha Nishchayam
Best Marathi Film: Gostha Eka Paithanichi
Best Kannada Film: Dollu
Best Hindi Film: Toolsidas Junior
Best Bengali Film: Avijatrik
Best Assamese Film: Bridge
Special Mention: Vaanku (Malayalam), June (Marathi), Avwanchhit (Marathi), Godakaath (Marathi),Toolsidas Junior (Hindi)
Best Tulu Film: Jeetige
Best Haryanvi Film: Dada Lakhmi
Best Diimasa Film: Semkhor
Best Action Direction: AK Ayyappanum Koshiyum
Best Choreography: Natyam (Telugu)
Best Lyrics: Saina
Best Music Direction: Ala Vaikunthapurramulo (Songs): Thaman S
(Background Score): Soorarai Pottru
Best Make-Up: Natyam
Best Production Design: Kappela
Best Editing: Sivaranjaniyum Innum Sila Pengallum
Best Audiography: Dollu
Best Screenplay: Soorarai Pottru
Best Dialogue Writer: Mandela
Best Cinematography: Avijatrik (The Wanderlust of Apu)
Best Female Playback Singer: Nanchamma, AK Ayyappanum Koshiyum
Best Male Playback Singer: Rahul Deshpande, Mi Vasantrao
Best Film on Environment Conservation: Manah Aru Manuh (Assam)
Most Film-Friendly State: Madhya Pradesh
Best Narration: Rhapsody of Rains – Monsoons of Kerala
Best Editing: Borderlands
Best Audiography: Dollu
Best On-Location Sound Recordist: Magical Forest
Best Cinematography: Shabdikkunna Kalappa
Best Direction: Oh That’s Bhanu
Best Film on Family Values: Kumkumarchan
Best Short Fiction Film: Kachichinithu
Special Jury Award: Admitted
Best Investigative Film: The Saviour: Brig. Pritam Singh
Best Exploration Film: Wheeling the Ball
Best Education Film: Dreaming of Words
Best Film on Social Issues: Justice Delayed but Delivered
Best Environment Film: Manah Aru Manuh
Best Promotional Film: Surmounting Challenges
Best Art and Culture Film: Naadada Navaneeta DR PT Venkateshkumar
Best Biographical Film: Pabung Syam
Best Ethnographic Film: Mandal ke Bol
Best Non-Feature Film: Testimony of Ana
Best Debut Non-Feature Film of a Director: Pariah
Best Book on Cinema: The Longest Kiss, by Kishwar Desai