‘Big B’ Amitabh Bachchan receives NTR National Film Award, Nayantara, Mahesh and Nagarjuna get Nandi awards. The applause that began when his name was announced, rose to a crescendo as the Big ‘B’ got up to receive the NTR National Film Award for 2011 from the hands of Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy at a glittering function here on a hot Thursday evening

The applause that began when his name was announced, rose to a crescendo as the Big ‘B’ got up to receive the NTR National Film Award for 2011 from the hands of Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy at a glittering function here on a hot Thursday evening.

Apart from Amitabh Bachchan, Nandi awardees for the year 2011 — Mahesh Babu (Best Actor-Dookudu), Nayantara (Best Actress-Sri Rama Rajyam), Charmee (Special Jury Award) and Akkineni Nagarjuna for producing and acting in ‘Rajanna’ — were also feted.

Receiving the award, Mr. Bachchan said in his signature baritone: “I feel humbled being honoured with an award that carries the name of N.T. Rama Rao, a great man with whom I worked a lot. We exchanged ideas and remade Telugu films in Hindi and vice versa and I interacted a lot with him.”

“Cinema is a great unifier and integrator. I think of the 100 years of Indian cinema since dada Saheb Phalke’s ‘Raja Harishchandra’ in 1913 and how much films have grown, transformed. I wish cinema grows even further to unify the nation,” he said to thunderous applause.

The NTR National Film Award comes with a cash prize of Rs. 5 lakh.

Other prestigious awards given away include the Nagi Reddy-Chakrapani National Film Award to producer G. Adiseshagiri Rao and the Raghupathi Venkaiah National Film Award to veteran actor Kaikala Satyanarayana. The B.N. Reddy National Award went to filmmaker Shyam Benegal, who could not make it to the event as he was indisposed. All three awards carry a cash prize of Rs. 2 lakh each.

The first, second and third best films were ‘Sri Rama Rajyam’, produced by Yelamanchili Sai Baba and directed by Bapu with Nandamuri Balakrishna and Nayanatara in the lead, ‘Rajanna’ produced by Mr. Nagarjuna and directed by V. Vijayendra Prasad, starring Mr. Nagarjuna and Sneha and ‘Virodhi’, produced by Meka Anil Kumar and directed by Gajjela Neelakanta Reddy starring Srikanth and Kamalinee Mukherjee. ‘Jai Bolo Telangana’, produced and directed by N. Shankar won the award for the Best National Integration Film. ‘Dookudu’, directed by Srini Vytla and produced by Achanta Gopichand, Achanta Ramabrahmam and Anil Sunkara got the Best Entertainer award.

Others present included Ministers D.K. Aruna, J. Geeta Reddy and Pithani Satyanarayana while those from the film industry included Rajasekhar and his wife, director Jeevitha, producers D. Rama Naidu and Ramesh Prasad.

Copy has been edited to correct a factual error.

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