Keerthy Suresh became the first actress to win a National Award for a Telugu film in 29 years. The last time a female actor got the coveted award at the National Film Awards for a Telugu film was in 1990, when Vijayashanthi won the award for the film Karthavayam.
Since 1954 National Awards were given away to the best films, filmmakers, and actors from across the country. It was only in 1968 the National Film Award for the Best Actress was instituted. It has officially known as the Rajat Kamal Award for the Best Actress ever since.
Over the years, looking back at the list, the Best Actress for a Telugu film was awarded four times, and actress Saarada won the award for the first-time for the film Nimmajjanam in 1978.
After 10 years Tamil/Telugu actress Archana won the award for the B Narsinga Rao's film Daasi in 1988.
Incidentally, both Sarada and Archana along with Shobhana have the won award for two languages. Sarada won the Best Actress award thrice. Archana won the award twice in a row , first in 1987 for the Tamil film Veedu and the second time in 1988 for the Telugu film Daasi. Two years later Vijayashanthi received the award for her role as a fiery cop in the 1990 film Karthavyam.
After a long gap of 29 years Keerthy Suresh bagged the award for the Telugu film Mahanati in 2019. Keerthy who hails from Kerala has acted predominantly in Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam films.
1978-Sharada for the film Nimajjanam
1988-Archana for the film Daasi
1990-Vijayashanti for the film Karthavyam
2018- Keerthy Suresh for the film Mahanati
National Film Awards 2019
This year, Telugu cinema witnessed a bonanza, by bagging seven awards at the 66th National Film Awards. It is, probably, the first time also when the Telugu industry received so many in a year, where the best actress award went to Keerthy Suresh, for her outstanding performance in Mahanati as the legendary actor Savitri. The movie also bagged the best film award in Telugu (regional language segment) and for the best Costume.
The Telugu film Awe won the best special effects award and it shared it with Kannada film KGF and also for the best make-up.
Rahul Ravindran won the award for best original screenplay for the much-appreciated romantic film Chi La Sow, while MR Raja Krishnan won the award for the best mixed track for the hit movie Rangasthalam directed by Sukumar.
Another Telugu technician Sudhakar Reddy Yakkanti won the best debut director for a Marathi film Naal.