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Home»News»68th National Film Awards: Team Soorarai Pottru and other winners in Kollywood react on bagging the honour»

68th National Film Awards: Team Soorarai Pottru and other winners in Kollywood react on bagging the honour

It was raining awards for Soorarai Pottru. The film, which premiered on Amazon Prime Video in 2020, was also screened at the Academy Screening Room.

  • S Subhakeerthana

Last Updated: 05.20 AM, Jul 23, 2022

68th National Film Awards: Team Soorarai Pottru and other winners in Kollywood react on bagging the honour

Clockwise: Suriya-GV Prakash-Sudha Kongara, Aparna Balamurali, Vasanth Sai, Madonne Ashwin, Lakshmi Priyaa Chandramouli/Twitter

The 68th National Film Awards were held at the National Media Centre in New Delhi and was broadcast live on the PIB's (Press Information Bureau) Facebook page and the official YouTube channel, on Friday. Suriya and Ajay Devgn shared the Best Actor award for their work in Soorarai Pottru and Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior, respectively. This is Suriya's first National Award and Ajay Devgn's third, after Zakhm and The Legend of Bhagat Singh. 

Soorarai Pottru, loosely based on Captain GR Gopinath and how he launched Air Deccan, was also nominated for Best Feature Film, Best Actress, Best Screenplay, and Best Background Score. And, Lakshmi Priyaa Chandramouli was awarded Best Supporting Actress for her work in Sivaranjiniyum Innum Sila Pengalum, which additionally, won Best Tamil Film as well as Best Editing. Then, the Indira Gandhi Award for Best Debut Film of a Director went to Madonne Ashwin, who made his directorial debut with Yogi Babu's Mandela. The director received an award for the film's dialogues, too!

In a statement, Suriya expressed heartfelt thanks for all the love that came his way. Further, he stated that Soorarai Pottru is the testimony of Sudha Kongara's many years of hard work and creative vision of Captain Gopinath's story." The actor, who made his debut with director Vasanth Sai's Nerukku Ner, extended his wishes to the filmmaker and his first producer Mani Ratnam for having trusted the actor in him.

Sudha Kongara says she feels humbled. "The idea was to show everyone that no matter what their circumstances are, if they have a dream, it can come true. Soorarai Pottru became a success because of my team. I think Suriya, Aparna and GV (Prakash) are deserving of these awards. Any film is a result of a collaborative process, and this is a fantastic feeling! The film ended up being a huge hit, despite the challenges involved, owing to the Pandemic."

Vasanth Sai, director of Sivaranjiniyum Innum Sila Pengalum which won Best Tamil Film, Best Supporting Actress and Best Editing, says he dedicates this honour to the women in his life, and his female characters. "The National Award will definitely push me to work harder and tread a different path in filmmaking. To be honest, I was never expecting such a nationwide recognition, but it feels great," he smiles. 

Sivaranjiniyum Innum Sila Pengalum, an anthology of three female-centric shorts based on stories written by Ashoka Mithran, Adhavan, and Jeyamohan, streams on SonyLIV. The film also stars Parvathy Thirvothu and Kalieswari Srinivasan.

Aparna Balamurali, who won the Best Actress Award, says she's speechless. "I ventured into acting without any in-depth knowledge; yet, here I am. For the first time, I am experiencing something like this. I am overjoyed. I'd thank Sudha ma'am for trusting me. In Soorarai Pottru, I was trained for my role. This award is for those, who helped me to perfect the Madurai dialect that I spoke in the film!" Further, the Veetla Vishesham actor says she's open to learning more and is aiming to do credible characters like Bommi.

Aparna adds, "Soorarai Pottru was released when Covid was at its peak. We even missed a proper theatrical release!"

Lakshmi Priyaa Chandramouli's phone hasn't stopped ringing ever since the awards were announced. "I can't believe this happened in real life. The fact that I won the National Award hasn't sunk in, yet. I was on the set when I received the first call from a regional TV channel. First, I couldn't understand why they were congratulating me. Eventually, I was taken in for a pleasant surprise. It feels quite nice!"

Director Madonne Ashwin, who bagged the Indira Gandhi Award for Best Debut Film, says, "Mandela won an award, along with Soorarai Pottru and Sivaranjaniyum Innum Sila Pengalum. That itself is a huge thing. The film's biggest success, in my opinion, was the recognition it received from the general public. I had previously won a National Film Award for a short film, but winning for Mandela is truly heartwarming."

Interestingly, Sivaranjiniyum Innum Sila Pengalum brought the National Award for the ninth time to editor Sreekar Prasad. Previously, he has won National Awards for Raakh, Rag Birag, Nauka Caritramu, The Terrorist, Vaanaprastham, Kannathil Muthamittal, and Firaaq, so on.