Special Correspondent

The prestigious NTR National Film Award is being revived after four years

HYDERABAD: Film actor G. Krishna, music maestro Ilayaraja and Kannada film star Ambareesh have been named for the prestigious NTR National Film Award for the years 2003, 2004 and 2005 respectively.

Their names were announced on Thursday after the State Government cleared the proposals submitted by a three-member selection committee comprising T.L. Kantha Rao, M. Balaiah and M. Mohan Babu, all film personalities.

Each award carries a cash prize of Rs. 5 lakh, a citation, shawl and a specially-designed silver memento. The awards will be given away at the presentation of the annual Nandi Film Awards of the State Government in November.

The awards were instituted in 1996 by then Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu in memory of the legendary actor and former Chief Minister N.T. Rama Rao who strode the Telugu film industry like a colossus for nearly five decades. The earlier recipients of the award were Akkineni Nageswara Rao, Dilip Kumar, Sivaji Ganesan, Lata Mangeshkar, Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Bhanumathi Ramakrishna and Raj Kumar.

The NTR National Film Award is being revived after four years. The Congress Government, which assumed office in May 2004, attracted criticism for not showing interest in continuing with the award.

The TDP even offered to give the award if the Government remained obdurate. But Congress leaders countered by saying that the Telugu Desam itself had discontinued the award in the year 2003. Amid much criticism from the Telugu Desam Party, the Government finally constituted a three-member committee on February 19 this year to recommend names of eminent film personalities across the country with outstanding contribution to Indian cinema for the NTR Award.

The committee submitted its report to Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy.

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