Mimi actress Kriti Sanon, Gangubai Kathiawadi filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali, and Sardar Udham director Shoojit Sircar on Thursday expressed happiness after their films won big at the 69th National Film Awards.
Sanon and Pankaj Tripathi won the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor honours, respectively, for their film Mimi. Sanon shared the Best Actress award with Alia Bhatt of Gangubai Kathiawadi, which also won in four other categories.
Sanon said it was a big moment for her to be recognised by the National Film Awards jury.
“This film (Mimi) will now hold a special place in my filmography for life,” Sanon told PTI.
Sardar Udham, which won National Awards in five categories, said the team was dedicating the honour to late actor Irrfan Khan, who was originally supposed to play the titular character.
For Gangubai Kathiawadi, Bhansali won two awards for Best Screenplay Writer (adapted) along with Utkarshini Vashishtha and Best Editing Segments.
“I’m happy for everybody who has won, my film and other films… Good cinema gets acknowledged and a pat on the back from the government, nationally, and from a respectful jury, it always brings joy. As long as cinema is celebrated all over India, it is a wonderful moment for all of us. I’m too happy,” the filmmaker told PTI.
The film’s other awards went to Best Dialogue Writer for Vashishtha and Prakash Kapadia and Best Make-up Artist for Preetisheel Singh D’souza.
Tripathi dedicated the award to his father, who passed away recently.
“This is unfortunately a period of loss and grieving for me. If Babuji was around, he would have been really happy for me. When I first got the National Award (special mention for ‘Newton’), he was proud and pleased. I dedicate this National Award to him and his spirit. Kriti also has won the Best Actress, so a huge congratulations to her,” Tripathi said in a statement.
R Madhavan’s maiden directorial effort, Rocketry: The Nambi Effect, was named the best feature film at the 69th National Awards.
In his Instagram Stories, Madhavan dedicated the award for “Rocketry…” to his parents and Nambi Narayanan, a former ISRO scientist whose life story inspired the film.
The National Film Award for best director went to Nikhil Mahajan for the Marathi film Godavari.
Mahajan said he is glad to have won the award for a “film that is probably the closest to my heart”.
“This award is for my mom and dad who have tirelessly ensured that I get to live my dream. It is also for Jitendra Joshi who believed in me and stood by my side. It is for my entire cast and crew of Godavari who rallied like champions against all odds and made it happen. It is for Nashik which holds in its heart the mighty Godavari,” Mahajan said.
He dedicated the honour to late cinema veteran Vikram Gokhle and late filmmaker Nishikant Kamat.
RRR won six awards.
Its music director MM Keeravani shared the best music direction award with Pushpa (The Rise Part I) music director Devi Sri Prasad (DSP). The SS Rajamouli-directed film also bagged awards for Best Popular Film providing Wholesome Entertainment, Best Male Playback Singer to Kaala Bhairava, Best Special Effects, Best Action Director, and Best Choreography.
In a post on X, formerly Twitter, Keeravani said, “Much honoured by this recognition for my background score by the honourable jury of 69th National Film Awards and congrats to DSP, Bose garu, Kaala Bhairava and my dear team of RRR’.
Prem Rakshith, who won the award for best choreography for RRR, said he is honoured.
“This is really a big thing. I’m grateful to everyone, I’m honoured,” Rakshith added.
The Kashmir Files, directed by Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri, also won the Nargis Dutt Award for best film on national integration.
“This award I am dedicating on behalf of our IamBuddha Production Company to all the victims of terrorists especially to the Kashmiri Hindus and besides that to all the Indians who are facing terrorism. This film is their voice, their sufferings so it belongs to them,” Agnihotri said in a statement.
His actor-wife Pallavi Joshi won the Best Supporting Actress award for her performance in the movie.
“I am very happy about winning this award, of course, every actor will be happy but I am happier that our film won the 69th National Award in the category of Best National Integration because that is important for us. I dedicate this award to the entire Kashmiri Pandit community and all the persecuted communities in the world who have suffered at the hands of terrorism,” Joshi added.
DSP, who won the national award for music director (songs) for Pushpa: The Rise, dedicated the honour to the film’s ardent fan base.
“Thank you for this honorable award for Pushpa. It was a pleasure and a challenge to make music for Pushpa. Director Sukumar deserves my gratitude and Allu Arjun deserves my admiration for his outstanding performance that gave life to ‘Pushpa’.
“I also applaud Mythri Movie Makers, Chandrabose, singers, and technicians for their excellent work,” he said.