Tamil film Soorarai Pottru won the National Award for Best Feature, Best Actor and Best Actress at the 68th National Film Awards for 2020, announced on Friday.
The second big winner of the day was the Ajay Devgn-starrer Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior, which bagged Best Actor for Devgn and the award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment.
Directed by Om Raut, Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior is based on the life of Tanaji Malusare, the military leader of Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj's army. The film also won the Best Costume Designer for Nachiket Barve and Mahesh Sherla.
Devgn shared the Best Actor award with Suriya, who won for Soorarai Pottru. The film, inspired by the life of Air Deccan founder Capt. G.R. Gopinath, also won Aparrna Balamurali the Best Actress prize.
Devgn, who previously won the National Film Award for Best Actor for his performances in Zakhm (1998) and The Legend of Bhagat Singh (2002), said he was elated to receive the honour for the third time.
"I thank everyone, most of all my creative team, the audience and my fans. I also express my gratitude to my parents and the almighty for their blessings. Congratulations to all the other winners," Devgn said in a statement.
Soorarai Pottru also won the Best Screenplay award for Shalini Usha Nair and director Sudha Kongara as well as Best Music Direction (Background Score) for GV Prakash Kumar.
The late Malayalam filmmaker Sachidanandan KR was posthumously named Best Director for Ayyappanum Koshiyum, which also won Best Supporting Actor for Biju Menon, Best Action Direction (Stunt Choreography) and Best Playback Female Singer for Nanchamma.
The Best Playback Singer Male award was given to Rahul Deshpande for Marathi film Mi Vasantrao.
Tamil artiste Lakshmi Priya Chandramouli was named the Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Tamil movie Sivaranjaniyum Innum Sila Pengallum, which also received the Best Editing award for Sreekar Prasad.
The Best Hindi Film prize went to Toolsidas Junior, directed by Mridul Toolsidas. The Ashutosh Gowariker production, which was the last film appearance of late actor Rajiv Kapoor, also received a Special Jury Mention for child actor Varun Buddhadev.
In the music category, Thaman S won the Best Music Direction (Songs) award for Allu Arjun's Telugu hit Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo, while Best Lyrics award was given to Manoj Muntashir for Hindi film Saina.
Telugu movie Natyam won awards for Best Make-up Artist (TV Rambabu) and Best Choreography (Sandhya Raju). Madonne Ashwin won the Indira Gandhi Award for Best Debut for his Tamil film Mandela. He was also given the Best Dialogue writer prize for the film. Best Cinematography award went to Supratim Bhol for the Bengali movie Avijatrik.
The winners for the 68th National Film Awards were selected by the 10-member jury headed by Hindi filmmaker Vipul Shah. The awards were announced by jury member Dharam Gulati.
The prize for the Most Film Friendly state went to Madhya Pradesh, with Special Mention for Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.
Author Kishwar Desai's The Longest Kiss, based on 400 letters written by cinema icon Devika Rani, received the award for the Best Book on Cinema.