69th National Film Awards: A star-studded affair in Delhi

69th National Film Awards

New Delhi: The 69th National Film Awards, the most prestigious awards in Indian cinema, were held on Tuesday, October 17, 2023, at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. The President of India, Draupadi Murmu, conferred awards to the winners in various categories, ranging from feature films to non-feature films, from Hindi to regional languages, and from acting to technical excellence. The Information and Broadcasting Minister, Anurag Singh Thakur, was also present at the event as the chief guest. The awards were announced on August 24 this year by a jury headed by filmmaker Shekhar Kapur.

The winners
The best feature film award went to Rocketry The Nambi Effect, a biopic on former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan, directed by and starring R Madhavan. The best Hindi film award was bagged by Sardar Udham, a historical drama on the life of freedom fighter Udham Singh, directed by Shoojit Sircar and featuring Vicky Kaushal in the lead role.

The best actress award was shared by two young and talented actresses – Alia Bhatt for her portrayal of a powerful brothel owner in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Gangubai Kathiawadi and Kriti Sanon for her performance as a surrogate mother in Laxman Utekar’s Mimi. The best actor award went to Allu Arjun for his role as a lorry driver turned rebel in Sukumar’s Pushpa, a Telugu action thriller.

The Best Editor award was also won by Sanjay Leela Bhansali for his magnum opus Gangubai Kathiawadi, which showcased his mastery of the craft of filmmaking. The Best Supporting Actor award was given to Pankaj Tripathi for his role as a lawyer in MM, a courtroom drama directed by Hansal Mehta. The Best Supporting Actress award was received by Pallavi Joshi for her role as a journalist in The Kashmir Files, a political thriller directed by Vivek Agnihotri.

The best music director award was claimed by Devi Sri Prasad for his catchy and melodious tunes in Pushpa. The best action direction, choreography, and special effects awards were swept by RRR, a period action drama directed by SS Rajamouli and starring Ram Charan and Jr NTR.

The best Gujarati film award went to Chhelo Show, a comedy film directed by Abhishek Jain. The Best Mishing Film award was given to Boomba Ride, a road movie directed by Manju Borah. The Best Assamese Film award was won by Anuar, a family drama directed by Bhaskar Hazarika. The Best Bengali Film award was conferred to Kalokho, a crime thriller directed by Srijit Mukherji. The best Kannada film award was bestowed to 777 Charlie, an adventure comedy directed by Kiranraj K. The best Maithili film award was awarded to Samantar, a social drama directed by Santosh Sivan. The best Marathi film award was presented to Ekda Ke Jaala, a musical romance directed by Nagraj Manjule. The Best Malayalam Film award was earned by Home, a comedy-drama directed by Rojin Thomas.

The best non-feature film award went to Ek Tha Gaon, a documentary on the life and culture of a Garhwali village, directed by Amit Dutta. The Best Director award for non-feature films was given to Bakul Matiyani for his documentary Smile Please, which captured the journey of a photographer who lost his eyesight. The Best Film on Family Values award was given to Chand Sansein, a short film on the bond between a grandfather and his grandson, directed by Prashant Nair. The Best Cinematographer Award for non-feature films was given to Bittu Rawat for his work in Pattal Tea, a documentary on the tea industry in Uttarakhand.

The best investigative film award was given to Looking for Chalan, an English documentary on the search for an elusive musician from Manipur, directed by Oinam Doren. The best educational film award was given to Sirpigalin Sipangal, a Tamil documentary on the achievements of differently-abled people in various fields, directed by Raja Maheshwaran. The best film on social issue award was shared by two films – Mithu Di, an English documentary on the plight of widows in Punjab, directed by Anshul Sinha, and One Two Three, a Marathi and Hindi short film on the issue of child marriage, directed by Ashwini Sidwani. The best environmental film award was given to Munnam, a Malayalam documentary on the conservation of mangroves in Kerala, directed by Sajin Babu.

The Nargis Dutt Award for best feature film on national integration was given to The Kashmir Files, a film that exposed the truth behind the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits in 1990, directed by Vivek Agnihotri.

The ceremony
The ceremony was a star-studded affair, as many celebrities from Bollywood to South cinema graced the occasion with their presence. Alia Bhatt, Pankaj Tripathi, Kriti Sanon, R Madhavan, Vicky Kaushal, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Pallavi Joshi, Vivek Agnihotri, Hansal Mehta, Shoojit Sircar, SS Rajamouli, Ram Charan, Jr NTR, Devi Sri Prasad, Allu Arjun, Sukumar, Abhishek Jain, Manju Borah, Bhaskar Hazarika, Srijit Mukherji, Kiranraj K, Santosh Sivan, Nagraj Manjule, Rojin Thomas and many others were among the winners and guests who attended the event.

The ceremony was hosted by actors Rajkummar Rao and Radhika Apte, who entertained the audience with their witty and humorous banter. They also introduced the various performances that added glamour and glitz to the event. Some of the highlights of the performances were:

  • A medley of songs from the films that won the Best Music Director award in the past decade, sung by Shreya Ghoshal, Arijit Singh, Sunidhi Chauhan, and Vishal Dadlani.
  • A dance tribute to the legendary actress Sridevi, who passed away in 2018, performed by Madhuri Dixit, Vidya Balan, and Janhvi Kapoor.
  • A rap battle between Divine and Naezy, who inspired the film Gully Boy won several awards last year.
  • A comedy skit by Kapil Sharma and Sunil Grover, who made fun of some of the films and actors nominated this year.
  • A musical tribute to AR Rahman, who completed 25 years in the industry this year, performed by his protégés such as Sid Sriram, Shashaa Tirupati, and Jonita Gandhi.

The celebration of talent and excellence at the 69th National Film Awards was telecast live on DD National today at 1:30 p.m. Apart from this, viewers could also watch the telecast of this ceremony on DD National’s YouTube channel. A poster regarding this event was also released by Doordarshan’s social media handle. Posting which it is written – ‘Celebrate talent and excellence at the 69th National Film Awards at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. Join us live on DD National on 17th October 2023.’ The telecast received a huge response from the audience across the country and abroad. The hashtag #NationalFilmAwards trended on Twitter and other social media platforms. Many fans and celebrities congratulated the winners and praised their work. The telecast also showcased some of the clips from the winning films and interviews with the winners and jury members.