Hindi film Rocketry: The Nambi Effect on Thursday won the national award for the Best Feature Film.

The film stars R Madhavan as Indian Space Research Organisation scientist Nambi Narayanan, who was falsely accused of selling information on India’s cryogenic programme to Pakistan in 1994.

The 69th National Film Awards for 2021 were on Thursday announced by filmmaker Ketan Mehta, who headed the 11-member jury.

Historical drama Sardar Udham was awarded best film in the Hindi language. Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Gangubai Kathiawadi won five national awards, including for Best Makeup, Best Editing and Best Screenplay.

The film also got Alia Bhatt the Best Actress award, which she jointly shared with Kriti Sanon for Mimi. Allu Arjun won the Best Actor award for his performance in the movie Pushpa.


The Kashmir Files, directed by Vivek Agnihotri, was awarded the Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration while SS Rajamouli’s global blockbuster RRR bagged the award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment.

The National Film Awards will be handed out later at an in-person ceremony in Delhi. The criterion was feature and non-feature films certified by the Central Board of Film Certification between January 1, 2021, and December 31, 2021.

“It was a very tough competition between all the films in every category,” Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shri Anurag Thakur said. “My congratulations and best wishes are with the winners. Today India is the largest film-maker in the world. We have the potential to become the content hub of the world. This is our time. Today our films are being recognised all over the world, be it BAFTA [British Academy Film Awards] or the Oscars.”

Here is a list of the other major awards:

  • Best Screenplay (Dialogue Writer): Utkarshini Vashishtha and Prakash Kapadia, Gangubai Kathiawadi
  • Best Music Direction (Songs): Devi Sri Prasad for Pushpa: The Rise and MM Keeravaani for RRR
  • Best Male Playback Singer: Kaala Bhairava, RRR
  • Best Lyrics: Chandrabose, Konda Polam
  • Best Choreography: Prem Rakshith, RRR
  • Best Cinematography: Avik Mukhopadhyay, Sardar Udham
  • Best Production Design: Dmitrii Malich and Mansi Dhruv Mehta, Sardar Udham
  • Best Make-up: Preetisheel Singh D’souza, Gangubai Kathiawadi
  • Best Assamese Film: Anur
  • Best Bengali Film: Kalkokkho (House of Time)
  • Best Kannada Film: 777 Charlie
  • Best Maithili Film: Samanantar (The Parallel)
  • Best Marathi Film: Ekda Kay Zala
  • Best Meiteilon Film: Eikhoigi Yum (Our Home)
  • Best Oriya Film: Pratikshya
  • Best Tamil Film: Kadaisi Vivasa (The Last Farmer)
  • Best Telugu Film: Uppena (Wave)
  • Best Child Artist: Bhavin Rabari, Last Film Show
  • Best Non-feature Film: Ek Tha Gaon
  • Best Environment Film: Munnam Valavu
  • Best Direction: Nikhil Mahajan, Godavari (The Holy Water)
  • Best Editing: Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Gangubai Kathiawadi
  • Best Book on Cinema: Music by Laxmikant Pyarelal: The Incredibly Melodious Journey by Rajiv Vijayakar
  • Best Film Critic: Purushothama Charyulu