The 68th National Film Awards ceremony, honouring the best that Indian cinema had to offer in the year 2020, was held on Friday at the Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi. The Press Information Bureau live-streamed the ceremony on its social media channels.
The National Awards are running a year behind schedule because of pandemic-related delays. The winners for the 68th National Awards were announced in a press conference in July. Tamil feature Soorarai Pottru was named the best film of the year. The late Sachidanandan KR, popularly known as Sachy, won the Best Director award for his Malayalam movie Ayyappanum Koshiyum. The Hindi historical drama Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior won the Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment award.
Asha Parekh was conferred with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award. Upon receiving the award, she said, “It’s a huge honour to receive the Dadasaheb Phalke Award. It makes me very grateful that the recognition comes to me just a day before my 80th birthday. This is the best honour I could get from the government of India.” The actor thanked the jury for recognising her contribution to Indian cinema and added, “I have been in this industry for the last 60 years and still continue to be attached to it in my own small way. Our film industry is the best place to be in and I would like to suggest to youngsters who are in this industry to have perseverance, discipline, determination and be grounded.” She also congratulated all the award winners.
You can watch the ceremony here:
Tanhaji star Ajay Devgn shared the Best Actor award with Soorarai Pottru’s Suriya. Aparna Balamurali won the Best Actress award, also for Soorarai Pottru. The prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award will be presented to veteran actor Asha Parekh at the ceremony. She was announced as the recipient of the honour earlier this week.
A cash prize of Rs 50,000 each will be awarded to the winners in the supporting and lead actor categories. Rs 250,000 will be awarded to the producers and director of the Best Feature Film winner. You can read the full list of winners here.