National Awards: ‘Rocketry…’ is best feature, Allu Arjun, Alia and Kriti bag acting honours

New Delhi: In a hat tip to mainstream cinema in the north and the south, Hindi film “Rocketry: The Nambi Effect” was named the best feature film in the National Awards for 2021 announced on Thursday while Allu Arjun, Alia Bhatt and Kriti Sanon won the top acting honours.

Bollywood stars Bhatt and Sanon shared the best actress prize for their roles in “Gangubai Kathiawadi” and “Mimi”, respectively. Southern cinema sensation bagged the best actor award for the Telugu blockbuster “Pushpa: The Rise (Part I)”.

The National Film Award for best director went to Nikhil Mahajan for Marathi film “Godavari”.

The National Awards for 2021 were announced by filmmaker Ketan Mehta who headed the 11-member jury.

Pankaj Tripathi was named best supporting actor for ”Mimi” and Pallavi Joshi the best supporting actress for ”The Kashmir Files”.

”The Kashmir Files”, directed by Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri, also won the Nargis Dutt award for best film on national integration.

”RRR” won six awards. Its music director MM Keeravani shared the best music direction award with ”Pushpa (The Rise Part I)” music director Devi Prasad. The SS Rajamouli-directed film also bagged awards for best popular film providing wholesome entertainment, best male playback singer to Kalabhairava, best special effects, best action director and best choreography.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s lavishly mounted biopic ”Gangubai Kathiawadi”, on the powerful and much respected Kamathipura courtesan, won five awards. Besides best actress for Bhatt, Bhansali won two awards — for best screenplay writer (adapted) along with Utkarshini Vashishtha and best editing for the film. The film’s other awards were for best dialogue writer for Vashishtha and Prakash Kapadia and best make-up artist for Preetisheel Singh D’souza.

”I’m happy for everybody who has won… Good cinema gets acknowledged and a pat on the back from the government, and nationally and from a respectful jury, it always brings you joy,” an elated Bhansali told PTI.

Shreya Ghoshal won the best female playback award for her song ”Mayava Chaayavaa” for the film ”Iravin Ninzhal”. The original screenplay honour went to Malayalam film ”Nayattu” and its writer Shahi Kabir.

The Indira Gandhi Award for best debut film of a director went to Malayalam film ”Meppadiyan” while the prize for best film on social issues was given to Assamese film ”Anunaad-the Resonance”.

Shoojit Sircar’s biopic ”Sardar Udham Singh” won the award for best Hindi film as well as honours for best cinematography (re-recording final mixing), best production design and costume design.

“I’m thankful that the National Award jury has acknowledged it (film), they have given so much respect and love to the film. A film on this kind of revolutionary, Sardar Udham, which includes Bhagat Singh, and the Jallianwala (Bagh massacre) incident, and it somehow gets this recognition and respect. We remember films because of National Awards, and we also remember these films for a long time. I’m proud and honoured,” Sircar told PTI.

Tripathi dedicated the award to his father, who passed away recently.

Agnihotri, who is in the US, said he dedicated his award to victims of terrorism, especially Kashmiri Hindus. The jury received 280 feature films in 28 languages were as entries. Asked about films releasing theatrically in 2022 winning the awards for 2021, Neerja Sekhar, Information and Broadcasting additional secretary, said, ”As per the regulations, the eligible films were certified and released from 1st January 2021 to December 31, 2021.”