The winners of the 68th National Film Awards were announced in New Delhi. The Best Actor award for the year is to be shared by Suriya and Ajay Devgn for their work in Soorarai Pottru and Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior respectively. This is Suriya’s first National Award and Ajay Devgn’s third – he won Best Actor for his 1998 film Zakhm and 2002’s The Legend Of Bhagat Singh.Soorarai Pottru, based on events in the life of Simplifly Deccan founder G Gopinath, also won Best Feature Film, Best Actress for Aparna Balamurali, Best Screenplay and Best Background Score. Tanhaji, a historical film about legendary Maratha warrior Tanaji Malusare, won the award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment.
Malayalam thriller Ayyappanum Koshiyum won two big awards – K R Sachidanandan, known professionally as Sachy, won Best Director posthumously and Biju Menon won Best Supporting Actor. Sachy died of a cardiac arrest in 2020 at the age of 47.
Lakshmi Priyaa Chandramouli was awarded Best Supporting Actress for her work in Sivaranjaniyum Innum Sila Pengalum which also won Best Tamil Film as well as Best Editing.
Toolsidas Junior was awarded Best Hindi Film with a special jury mention for child actor Varun Buddhadev.
Dollu won Best Kannada Film and Best Location Sound. Avijatrik won Best Bengali Film and Best Cinematography.
Colour Photo won Best Telugu Film, Thinkalazhcha Nishchayam won Best Malayalam Film.
Madhya Pradesh was picked as the Most Film-Friendly State with Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh receiving special mentions.
The feature film jury this year is headed by filmmaker Vipul Shah; the awards were announced by jury member and cinematographer Dharam Gulati.
The National Film Awards will be handed out in a ceremony later this year.
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: Thinkalazhcha Nishchayam
Best Marathi Film: Goshta 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