Tamil family drama Thanga Meengal, Telugu drama Naa Bangaru Thalli, Kannada film Prakruthi and Malayalam drama 24 North Kaatham were among the southern movies that pocketed 17 awards at the 61st National Awards in Delhi on Wednesday. The other southern films include Dharmam (Tamil), Kanyaka (Malayalam), December 1 (Kannada), Vallinam (Tamil), Thalaimuraigal (Tamil), Perariyathavara (Malayalam) and Swapaanam (Malayalam).
In Tamil, Ram-directed Thanga Meengal was adjudged the best Tamil film, besides bagging best lyrics by Na. Muthu Kumar for the song Ananda Yaazhai and best child artist for Sadhana as well. For Tamil sports-drama Vallinam, VJ Sabu Joseph pocketed an award for best editing. Late filmmaker Balu Mahendra's Tamil drama Thalaimuraigal bagged the Nargis Dutt Award for best film on National Integration. Tamil film Dharmam, which is about middle class hypocrisy, won a special mention award.
Telugu drama Naa Bangaru Thalli, a story about sex trade, bagged three awards - it was adjudged the best film in the language, while actress Anjali Patil received a special mention certificate for her performance in the film and composer Shantanu Moitra won award for background score.
Kannada movie December 1 bagged two awards - best film and best original screenplay for P Seshadri. Writer Panchakshari won an award for best adapted screenplay for Kannada drama Prakruthi. Malayalam filmdom bagged a total of five awards. Suraj Venjaramoodu won the best actor award for Malayalam film Perariyathavara, which also won best film award on Environment Conservation and Preservation.
In the best audiography category, D. Yuvaraj won the best re-recordist of the final mixed track award for Malayalam film Swapaanam. Malayalam drama North 24 Kaatham won the best film award in the language. Director Christo Tomy won the best debut director award for his Malayalam film Kanyaka.