69th National film awards to be declared today: How to watch, who are key contenders

Kangana, Alia in the race for Best Actress


The 69th National Film Awards will be declared in Delhi at 5pm on Thursday. Multiple awards, including those in the much-awaited categories of Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Film will be announced at the press meet.

The announcements at the National Media Centre can be streamed live on the YouTube channel and Facebook handle of PIB India.

This year's National Awards is set to be a faceoff between Bollywood and south Indian films. According to reports, several Malayalam films including Nayattu, Minnal Murali, The Great Indian Kitchen are among key contenders for the top award. RRR, which brough home an Oscar, and Pushpa aare also hopefuls in various categories. 

Malayalam actor Joju George is in contention for the Best Actor award, reports state, for his performance in Nayattu. Alia Bhatt and Kangana Rananut, are reportedly, being considered for the Best Actress Award. 

While her performance as the titular character in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Gangubai Kathiawadi makes Alia a strong contender, Kangana is being considered for her performance in Thalaivii, the biopic of former Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa. Kangana has previously won three National Awards for Best Actress, for the films Queen, Tanu Weds Manu and Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi.

R. Madhavan's Rocketry: The Nambi Effect, that traces the real life story of former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan, is also in the limelight.

In 2022, the Best Actor award was shared by Suriya (Soorarai Pottru) and Ajay Devgn (Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior). Aparna Balamurali bagged the award for best actress, also for the Tamil film Soorarai Pottru which was adjudged the Best Film last year.