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Nandi Awards

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Nandi Awards
Current: Nandi Awards of 2016
Swarna Nandi (The Golden Bull)
Awarded forExcellence in cinematic achievements for
Telugu cinema
Telugu theatre
Telugu television
Sponsored byGovernment of Andhra Pradesh
Presented byAndhra Pradesh Film, Television and Theatre Development Corporation[1][2]
First awarded1964
Last awarded2016

The Nandi Awards are the awards that recognise excellence in Telugu cinema, Telugu theatre, Telugu television, and Lifetime achievements in Indian cinema. Presented annually by the Government of Andhra Pradesh the awards are named after the big granite bull at Lepakshi - a cultural and historical symbol of the Telugu people.

Nandi Awards are presented in four categories: Gold (Swarnam), Silver (Rajatam), Bronze (Kamsyam), and Copper (Raagi). A variant, the Nandi Natakotsavam Awards for Theatre, is also given every year by the government for social, mythological and poetic dramas.[3][4]


The Government of Andhra Pradesh commissioned the Nandi Film Awards to recognise and commend the best films produced in the Telugu language in Andhra Pradesh from 1964 onwards. The objective of the film awards is to encourage the production of films in the Telugu language with high technical excellence and aesthetic values bearing cultural, educational, and social relevance and also promoting the integration and unity of the nation. Awards are given annually and are presented in a public event on Ugadi, Telugu New Year Day. The Government has transferred the activity relating to conferring Nandi Awards to the Film Television and Theatre Development Corporation. Since 1998, the awards have been organised by them.

The Awards are given in the categories of feature films, feature films on national integration, children's films, documentary films, educational films, and books/articles on Telugu cinema in Telugu language for the best films, producers, directors, artistes, and technicians. The awards are usually in the form of Golden Nandi, Silver Nandi, Bronze Nandi, and Copper Nandi, in addition to medals, and commendation certificates.[5]

Selection criteria[edit]

Annually, a state panel appointed by the Government of Andhra Pradesh selects the winning entries and the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh presents the awards at the public ceremony. A list of rules is presented every year in a document of regulations. The criteria for eligibility include many clauses. Among them is a direct requirement that the film, and particularly films entering the competition, should be produced in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, and in case of co-production involving a foreign entity, there are as many conditions which should be fulfilled in order for the film to qualify.[6]

In order to be eligible for consideration of the jury, a film should be certified by the Central Board of Film Certification between 1 January and 31 December. The Government does not have influence over which films are selected for consideration and which films ultimately win the award. However, there are strict criteria which determine whether a film is eligible for consideration by the jury panels.[7]

Honorary Awards – Gold[edit]

Raghupathi Venkaiah Award[edit]

The award is named after Raghupathi Venkaiah Naidu, and presented annually to "an eminent film personality for his outstanding contribution to Telugu cinema." (since 1980).[8]

NTR National Award[edit]

The NTR National Award is named in the memory of former chief minister and actor N. T. Rama Rao, and is presented to "an eminent film personality every year for outstanding contribution to the growth and development of Indian Cinema." (since 1996).[9]

BN Reddy National Award[edit]

The award is named after director B. N. Reddy and is presented to "an eminent film Director for outstanding contribution to the growth and development of the Indian Cinema," annually from 2009. The awardee receives a cash price of 2 lakh, a special memento, citation and shawl.[10]

Nagireddy–Chakrapani National Award[edit]

Named after filmmakers, Nagi Reddi and Chakrapani, the award is presented annually since 2009 to "an eminent film Producer or Writer or Technician or Infrastructure provider to the film industry for outstanding growth and development of the Indian Cinema every year." The awardee receives a cash price of 2 lakh, a special memento, citation and shawl.[16]




Since 1977[edit]

Since 1981[edit]

Since 1985[edit]


Nandi Award for Best Educational Film[edit]

Since 1981, a Nandi Award for Best Educational Film has been attributed, although it was not awarded even year.[18]

Year Film Winner
2009 Vimukti
2008 Adavi Naa Thalliro Alla Rambabu
2007 Good Bad Ugly Magapu Suryakamala
2005 Blue T. Sulthan
2000 Madhura Kshanam (Aid for AIDS) Alla Rambabu
1990 Dhanalakshmi Kataksham
1986 Keetakalu Prakruthi Yokka Adbutha Vara Prasadam
1985 Bhoosara Pariksha K. S. Ch. Bose
1984 Polio K. S. Ch. Bose
1981 Manchineeti Saraphara C. D. Kishore

Criticism and controversies[edit]

The Nandi Awards of 2014 have sparked a controversy where a few Telugu filmmakers have alleged political favouritism, casteism and negligence.[19]

The producer of Race Gurram (2014), Nallamalupu Bujji felt that his film was ignored despite being "the biggest hit of 2014" as they did not indulge in lobbying. Bunny Vasu, a close associate of the Allu–Konidela family also echoed the same.[19] Some have pointed out that the winners mainly belonged to the Kamma community.[20] Gunasekhar, the director of 2015 film Rudhramadevi, in an open letter to the Government of Andhra Pradesh wrote: "Why wasn't Rudhramadevi considered for one of the three Best Feature Film awards, despite its subject, which highlighted the achievements of a queen? Wasn't it even good enough for a jury award?" Producer Bandla Ganesh dubbed the awards as "Cycle Awards" taking a dig at the symbol of then ruling Telugu Desam Party.[21]

Responding to the allegations, Nara Lokesh, then IT minister and the son of the chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, asked why Hyderabad-based filmmakers were being critical of the state which they were not residents of.[21] Actor-director Posani Krishna Murali returned his Nandi Award for Best Supporting Actor (2015), condemning Lokesh's comments.[22] Chief minister Naidu said that he never expected that the awards would trigger so much controversy.[23]


  1. ^ "Government announces Nandi Awards committee members". Ragalahari.com. 23 December 2007. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  2. ^ "Nandi Awards 2012 and 2013: Rajamouli, Ilayaraja, Samantha and Prabhas emerge winners". 1 March 2017.
  3. ^ Kavirayani, Suresh (13 October 2012). "2011 Nandi Awards winners list". The Times of India. TNN. Archived from the original on 27 June 2013. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  4. ^ "Andhra Pradesh / Hyderabad News: ETV, SVBC, DD sweep Nandi awards". The Hindu. 11 November 2010. Archived from the original on 30 May 2013. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  5. ^ "నంది అవార్డు విజేతల పరంపర (1964–2008)" [A series of Nandi Award Winners (1964–2008)] (PDF) (in Telugu). Information & Public Relations of Andhra Pradesh. Retrieved 21 August 2020.
  6. ^ "Front Page: Nandi awards for 2005 announced". The Hindu. 12 November 2006. Archived from the original on 3 December 2006. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  7. ^ "Andhra Pradesh / Hyderabad News: Nandi Natakotsavam from June 19". The Hindu. 17 June 2004. Archived from the original on 4 August 2004. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  8. ^ "RAGHUPATHI VENKAIAH AWARDEES". APSFTVTDC. Retrieved 3 January 2021.
  9. ^ "N.T.R. NATIONAL FILM AWARDEES". APSFTVTDC. Retrieved 3 January 2021.
  10. ^ "B N REDDY NATIONAL FILM AWARDEES". APSFTVTDC. Retrieved 3 January 2021.
  11. ^ "Nandi Award for Ravi Teja, Swati". The Hindu. 17 March 2010. Archived from the original on 23 March 2010. Retrieved 22 March 2010.
  12. ^ Prakash KL (7 December 2010). "B Saroja .in". Archived from the original on 9 December 2010. Retrieved 28 May 2012.
  13. ^ a b Eenadu daily, Eeenadu Cinema, Page 10, Nandi lifetime achievement awards, retrieved, 24 March 2013.
  14. ^ a b c d Correspondent, Special. "S.P. Balasubrahmanyam, Hema Malini bag NTR awards".
  15. ^ Awards Winners List For 2014, 2015 and 2016[permanent dead link]
  17. ^ "Andhra Pradesh government announces Nandi awards for 2014–2016".
  18. ^ "Nandi awards 2009 announced - Telugu cinema news". www.idlebrain.com. Retrieved 15 January 2024.
  19. ^ a b "Nandi Awards row hits Tollywood: A lowdown on the allegations of political favours, casteism, negligence". Firstpost. 17 November 2017. Retrieved 31 December 2020.
  20. ^ Kavirayani, Suresh (19 November 2017). "Nandi Awards influenced by Balakrishna?". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 31 December 2020.
  21. ^ a b Palat, Lakshana N. (23 November 2017). "Nandi Awards 2017: Balakrishna over Baahubali Prabhas and nepotism allegations. What went wrong?". India Today. Retrieved 31 December 2020.
  22. ^ "Nandi Awards: Posani Krishna Murali returns his Best Supporting Actor honour as sign of protest". Firstpost. 22 November 2017. Retrieved 31 December 2020.
  23. ^ Staff Reporter (20 November 2017). "Row over Nandi awards pains CM". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 31 December 2020.