The 69th National Film Awards were held on Thursday, August 24. The awards honored the cinematic achievements of films and artists for the year 2021. This led to some confusion among netizens who had anticipated that the awards would be given for the year 2022, like all other film awards. However, this mismatch is the result of a delay caused by the Covid-19-induced lockdown.
The awards for the year 2021 were originally supposed to be held in the year 2022. However, Covid-19 caused a two-year delay in the ceremony. In 2022, the 68th National Film Awards honored the best of Indian cinema for the year 2020.
Similarly, due to the delay, the winners for the year 2021 were announced on August 24, 2023, by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting at a press conference.
Feature and Non-Feature Films certified by the Central Board of Film Certification between January 1, 2021, and December 31, 2021, were eligible for the 69th National Film Awards.
This 69th iteration of the prestigious awards proved to be a historic event. Actor Allu Arjun won in the Best Actor category for his Telugu film, Pushpa: The Rise. This marked the first time any Telugu actor won the National Award in the Best Actor category.
Actresses Alia Bhatt and Kriti Sanon won in the Best Actress category for Gangubai Kathiawadi and Mimi respectively. This was the first time that both actresses won a National Award. Actor Pankaj Tripathi also won in the Best Supporting Actor Category for Mimi. Meanwhile, Gangubai Kathiawadi won in four other categories other than Best Actress. These were: Best Editing, Best Make-up, Best Screenplay Writer (Adapted) and Best Dialogue.
While RRR won the award for the Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment, the Best Feature Film award was bagged by R Madhavan’s Rocketry: The Nambi Effect.