69th National Film Awards: ‘RRR’, ‘Pushpa – The Rise’ lead as Telugu films grab 10 awards; Allu Arjun is best actor – The Hindu

Telugu cinema won big at the 69th National Film Awards announced on Thursday evening for films that were certified in 2021. S.S. Rajamouli’s RRR, which was certified in December 2021 before its worldwide release in March 2022 and director Sukumar’s Pushpa – The Rise led the pack as Telugu films bagged 10 awards. Actor Allu Arjun won the award for Best Actor (male) for his titular role in Pushpa – The Rise. Debut director Buchi Babu Sana’s Uppena was declared the Best Feature Film in Telugu language. Telugu writer Purushothama Charyulu won the award for best film critic.

Rajamouli’s RRR (Rise, Roar, Revolt), starring NTR Jr and Ram Charan, which bagged the first ever Academy Award for Best Original Song for an Indian film, with composer M.M. Keeravani and lyricist Chandrabose receiving the honours earlier this year, made its strong presence felt at the 69th National Film Awards. 

Ram Charan and NTR Jr in a still from ‘RRR’ song ‘Naatu naatu’.

Ram Charan and NTR Jr in a still from ‘RRR’ song ‘Naatu naatu’.

RRR was declared the Best Feature film for Providing Wholesome Entertainment, and also won in the following categories — Action Choreography (King Solomon), Dance Choreography (Prem Rakshith for ‘Naatu naatu’), Special Effects (V. Srinivas Mohan), Background Score (M.M. Keeravani) and Best Male Playback Singer (Kaala Bhairava for ‘Komuram Bheemudo’). Incidentally, this might be the first time for a father-son duo in Telugu cinema, Keeravani and Kaala Bhairava, to win national awards the same year.

Music composer Devi Sri Prasad won the award for Best Music for Pushpa – The Rise while Chandrabose won the award for Best Lyricist for the song ‘Dham dhama dham’ from the film Konda Polam.

The last time Telugu cinema made a considerable impression was at the 66th National Film Awards for films certified in 2018. Telugu cinema bagged six awards at the time, including Best Female Actor (Keerthy Suresh for Mahanati).

Earlier, director S.S. Rajamouli’s Baahubali – the Beginning won the award for Best Feature Film, becoming the first Telugu film to win the award, at the 63rd National Film Awards. Two years later at the 65th National Film Awards, Baahubali – the Conclusion won the award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment.

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