The Tamil drama Soorarai Pottru won five National Film Awards today, including for Best Feature Film. Sudha Kongara’s film, co-produced by Suriya’s company 2D Entertainment and starring him as a character loosely based on Air Deccan founder GR Gopinath, also won awards for Best Screenplay award for Kongara and Shalini Usha Nair, Best Actress for Aparna Balamurali and Music Direction (Background Music) for GV Prakash Kumar.
A fifth award, for Suriya in the Best Actor category, was shared with Ajay Devgn for Tanhaji – The Unsung Warrior. Devgn’s Hindi-language production, directed by Om Raut, picked up two more prizes: Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment and Best Costume Design for Nachiket Barve and Mahesh Sherla.
In a press statement, Devgn said about his film, “It is a good story of friendship, loyalty, family values and sacrifice. It has strong national sentiments, super VFX and a holistic approach in entertainment. I must share the honour with my director Om Raut, my co-producers, T-Series and my co-actors. Most of all, I thank my creative team who has contributed handsomely to making this a blockbuster and now a National Award winner.”
Soorarai Pottru was premiered on Amazon Prime Video in November 2020, suggesting that the National Film Awards selectors are not making a distinction between theatrically released and streamed titles. Akshay Kumar has bagged the remake rights, and will star alongside Radhika Madan.
The awards will be handed out later at an in-person ceremony in Delhi – the first time in two years. The criterion was feature and non-feature films certified by the Central Board of Film Certification between January 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020.
Sachidanandan KR (credited as Sachy) posthumously won the Best Director award for Ayyappanum Koshiyum, starring Prithviraj Sukumaran and Biju Menon and about the conflict between a police officer and a retired constable. Sachidanandan died on June 18, 2020, four months after his film’s release.
Ayyappanum Koshiyum had four more awards: Best Supporting Actor category for Biju Menon, Best Female Playback Singer for Nanchamma and Best Action Direction and Best Stunt Choreography, both for Rajasekhar, Mafia Sasi and Supreme Sunder.
The Best Supporting Actress award was won by Lakshmi Priyaa Chandramouli for Sivaranjiniyum Innum Sila Pengalum. Vasanth S Sai’s anthology feature was also named Best Tamil Film, apart from bagging Sreekar Prasad the Best Editing award.
The jury was headed by Hindi director Vipul Shah. Its members were Dharam Gulati, Sreelekha Mukherjee, GS Bhaskar, A Karthikraaja, VN Aditya, Viji Thampi, Sanjeev Rattan, S Thangadurai and Nishigandha.
Here is a list of the other major awards:
Best Screenplay (Dialogue Writer): Madonne Ashwin, Mandela.
Best Music Direction (Songs): Thaman S, Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo.
Best Male Playback Singer: Mi Vasantrao, Rahul Deshpande.
Best Lyrics: Manoj Muntashir, Saina.
Best Audiography (Location Sound Recordist): Jobin Jayan, Dollu.
Best Audiography (Sound Designer): Anmol Bhave, Mi Vasantrao.
Best Audiography (Re-recordist of the final mixed track): Vishnu Govind and Sree Sankar for Malik.
Best Choreography: Sandhya Raju, Natyam.
Best Cinematography: Supratim Bhol, Avijatrik.
Best Production Design: Anees Nadodi, Kappela.
Best Make-up: TV Rambabu, Natyam.
Best Hindi Film: Toolsidas Junior.
Best Kannada Film: Dollu.
Best Malayalam Film: Thinkalazhcha Nishchayam.
Best Telugu Film: Colour Photo.
Best Haryanvi Film: Dada Lakhmi.
Best Dimasa Film: Semkhor.
Best Tulu Film: Jeetige.
Best Marathi Film: Goshta Eka Paithanichi.
Best Bengali Film: Avijatrik.
Best Assamese Film: The Bridge.
Best Child Artist: Anish Mangesh Gosavi for Tak-Tak.
Best Non-feature Film: Testimony of Anna.
Best Environment Film: Manah Aru Manuh.
Best Film on Family Values: Kukumarchan.
Best Short Fiction Film: Kachichinithu.
Best Film on Social Issues: Shared by Justice Delayed But Delivered and Three Sisters.
Best Biographical Film: Pabung Syam.
Best Ethnographic Film: Mandal ke Bol.
Best Debut Non-feature Film of a Director: Pariah.
Best Direction: RV Ramani, Oh That’s Bhanu.
Best Cinematography: Nikhil S Praveen, Shabdikkunna Kalappa.
Best Audiography: Ajit Singh Rathore, Pearl of the Desert.
Best Narration Voiceover: Shobha Tharoor Srinivasan, Rhapsody of Rains – Monsoons of Kerala.
Best Music Direction: Vishal Bhardwaj, 1232 kms: Marenge Toh Wahin Jaakar.
Best Editing: Anadi Athaley, Borderlands.
Best On Location Sound: Sandip Bhati and Pradeep Lekhwar, Jadui Jangal.
Special Jury Award: Ojaswee Sharma, Admitted.
Best Book on Cinema: The Longest Kiss by Kishwar Desai.
Best Book on Cinema (Special Mention): MT Anunahvangalude Pusthakam, Anoop Ramakrishnan and Kali Paine Kalira Cinema by Surya Deo.
Best Film Critic: No winner.