Updated: March 22, 2021 9:29:08 pm
It won’t be wrong to say that south Indian filmmakers and artists dominated the 67th National Awards, which were announced on Monday. The awards recognised the best movies and performances that happened in the year 2019. This event, which was supposed to be held in May last year, was delayed owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As many as 15 films from south India won top honours in various popular categories, including non-feature films. Wildlife photographers Amoghavarsha and Kalyan Varma’s wildlife film, Wild Karnataka bagged two awards including Best Voice Over Artist (Sir David Attenborough) and Best Exploration Film.
And it was total domination of sorts by the south Indian filmmakers in the feature film categories. Director Priyadarshan and Mohanlal’s most ambitious film to date, Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham took home three awards, including the coveted Best Feature Film. It was a dream project of the actor-director duo as they nurtured the desire to make this movie for nearly a decade. Set in 16th century Kerala, the film follows the battle exploits of the most decorated naval chief of Zamorin, Kunjali Marakkar IV. The Rs 100-crore magnum opus also won awards for special effects (Siddharth Priyadarshan) and costumes (Sujith Sudhakaran and V. Sai). The film was delayed by over a year in the light of the pandemic. It is now due in cinemas on April 13.
Dhanush also bagged his second National Award for Best Actor for his work in director Vetrimaaran’s Asuran. His performance as a survivor of the evils of a casteist society received a lot of appreciation. He shares this top honour with Manoj Bajpayee, who won this award for his performance as a terminally ill patient in Bhonsle. Asuran has also been named the Best Tamil film, which is also Vetrimaaran’s third film to win top honours at the National Awards after Aadukalam (2010) and Visaranai (2015).
Vijay Sethupathi bagged his first National Award for his performance in director Thiagarajan Kumararaja’s hyperlink film, Super Deluxe. He had played the role of a transgender and delivered a realised performance in throwing the light on the abuse and violence faced by the LGBTQ community. He was conferred the Best Supporting Actor (Male) for this performance.
Talking about acting, young actor Naga Vishal won Best Child Artist for his work in director Madhumitha’s KD Engira Karuppudurai.
Actor-filmmaker R. Parthiepan wrote, directed, produced and acted in Oththa Seruppu Size 7. The single actor film won two awards, including Special Jury Awards and Best Audiography. “I would like to let all my media friends to know that this award is shared between my self and my co mixer Shri.Bibin Dev…Don’t miss to add his name… thanks . (sic),” tweeted Oscar-winning sound designer Resul Pookutty, who also worked on Oththa Seruppu Size 7.
And an unexpected winner of the 67th National Award was composer D Imman. His score for superstar Ajith’s blockbuster film Viswasam took home award for Best Music Direction. “I’m deeply humbled with National award announcement for Best Music Director Category. Its pure joy to receive national level recognition for Tamil music! (sic),” he wrote on his Twitter page.
With God’s Magnificent Glory,My Parents Blessings and continuous support from all dear MusicLovers worldwide!
I’m deeply humbled with National award announcement for Best Music Director Category. Its pure joy to receive national level recognition for Tamil music!
Praise God! pic.twitter.com/DoXb8pJuGl
— D.IMMAN (@immancomposer) March 22, 2021
Besides Marakkar, other works of Malayalam filmmakers, technicians, and actors also made a significant haul at the National Awards. Newcomer director Mathukutty Xavier won Best Debut Film of a Director for his survival drama Helen. The film’s make-up artiste Ranjith also won an award for his work in the film.
Director Sajin Baabu’s film festival circuit favourite Biriyaani bagged Special Mention, while director Manoj Kana’s Kenjira, which was named second-best film in Kerala State Film Awards last year, was accorded with Best Paniya Award. The film was based on the lives of people in the Paniya tribal community of Wayanad. In a very satisfying win, cinematographer Girish Gangadharan won the Best Cinematography award for Jallikattu, which was India’s official entry for the upcoming Oscars. And lyricist Prabha Varma won Best Lyrics award for the song “Arodum Parayuka Vayya” from director T. K. Rajeev Kumar’s Kolaambi. And Rahul Riji Nair’s Kalla Nottam (The False Eye) won the Best Film in the Malayalam language.
Jersey, starring Nani and Shraddha Srinath, was awarded Best Film in the Telugu language. The film’s editor Naveen Nooli also won the Best Editing award. Meanwhile, choreographer Raju Sundaram won the award for Best Choreography in director Vamshi Paidipally’s Maharshi. The film, starring Mahesh Babu in the lead role, also won Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment.
Director Manoj Kumar’s Akshi was named Best Film in the Kannada language. Actor-filmmaker Rakshit Shetty starrer Avane Srimannarayana was recognised for its sleek stunt sequences. The film’s stunt choreographer Vikram Mor received the award for Best Action Direction.
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