Here are the key moments and big wins from the 68th National Film Award Ceremony for 2020 held in New Delhi, which felicitated veteran actor Asha Parekh, the film Soorarai Pottru, and more.
The 68th National Film Award Ceremony for 2020 was held at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi on Friday. President Droupadi Murmu presented the awards to the winners, with veteran actor Asha Parekh winning the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for 2020. More than 100 awards in the feature and non-feature film categories were presented.
A film that bagged five major awards in the feature film all-language category was Soorarai Pottru. Directed by Sudha Kongara and produced by Suriya and Jyothika, the film is based on the life of Air Deccan founder Captain GR Gopinath. It bagged Best Feature Film, Best Actor (Suriya), Best Actress (Aparna Balamurali), Best Screenplay, and Best Background Score.
Suriya told reporters after that he was very emotional after the win.
“It’s a huge honour. Truly grateful to the National Film Award jury and the Government of India. Lot of emotions running through my mind. I have a lot of people to thank. To begin with, there is Sudha. This is her baby. The film gave a lot of hope to people in COVID times. Then, of course, I thank my wife, Jyothika. Getting goosebumps. Truly a moment which I’ll never forget,” he said.
Suriya shared the Best Actor Award with Ajay Devgn for Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior.
Meanwhile, folk singer Nanchamma from Attappadi, Kerala, won the best female playback singer for her debut in Ayyappanum Koshiyum. She also sang a song before Asha Parekh after winning the award.
While presenting the Dadasaheb Phalke award to Parekh, President Murmu said that it is an honour for women of that generation who made their mark despite difficulties, and is an award for indomitable woman power.
She also spoke about the importance of cinema in society.
“Being an audio-visual medium, the influence of films is wider than other mediums of art. Cinema is not only an industry but also a medium of artistic expression of our culture and values. It is also a medium for connecting our society and for nation-building,” said Murmu.
Parekh, who turned 80 today, said that the award was very special. She made her debut in films in 1959 at the age of 16.
“It is a huge honour to have received the Dadasaheb Phalke Award. It makes me very grateful that the recognition comes to me just one day before my 80th birthday.” said Parekh.
Other wins included Ashutosh Gawarikar’s Toolsidas Junior and the Marathi film Sumi.
Edited by Divya Sethu