This film holds the record for most National Awards with 8 wins; it’s not Pather Panchali, Sholay, RRR, Nayakan

This film holds the record for most National Awards with 8 wins; it’s not Pather Panchali, Sholay, RRR, Nayakan

This Bollywood film won a record eight National Awards, more than critically-acclaimed classics like Pather Panchali, RRR, Nayakan, Sholay and others.

The 69th National Film Awards were announced on Thursday evening with three films – RRR, Gangubai Kathiawadi, and Sardar Udham dominating. While Gangubai and Sardar Udham won five awards each, it was SS Rajamouli’s RRR that was the biggest winner of the evening with six major wins. However impressive this feat may be, it still falls short of what one film achieved over two decades ago, when it won eight National Awards.

The film with most National Film Awards wins

The film that managed the feat of bagging eight National Film Awards in the 2001 release Lagaan. The Ashutosh Gowariker film, which starred Aamir Khan, won awards in the Best Popular Film, Best Music Direction, Best Lyricist, Best Male Playback Singer, Best Costume Design, Best Art Direction, and Best Choreography categories. This helped the film beat the record of Vinay Shukla’s Godmother, which had won six National Awards in 1998. Lagaan was also nominated for an Oscar but missed out there.
Other Indian films with most National Awards wins

Since Lagaan’s big haul, only one film has managed more than six National Awards – Bajirao Mastani, which won seven National Awards in 2015. Other films to have won six National Awards are Kannathil Muthamittal (2002) and Aadukalam (2010). Before these films, the record belonged to Satyajit Ray’s Sonar Kella. The 1974 film had won five National Awards, including Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Child Artist, and Best Feature Film in Bengali.

Lagaan’s triumph at the awards in 2001

Lagaan, which told the fictional story of 19th century Indian villagers challenging their British masters in a game of cricket, was a successful film commercially and critically. It grossed Rs 67 crore, becoming the third-highest-grossing Indian film of the year behind Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham and Gadar. It was also a prolific winner at the major awards. Apart from the 8 National Awards, Lagaan won 8 Filmfare Awards, 9 IIFA Awards, 8 Zee Cine Awards, 8 Screen Awards, and four awards at international film festivals, including the prestigious Locarno. The film won a total of 49 national and international awards.

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