R Madhavan in 'Rocketry: The Nambi Effect'
R Madhavan in 'Rocketry: The Nambi Effect' Image Credit: Supplied

Indian scientists are having a moment in the sun with its citizens celebrating the successful landing of Chandrayaan-3 on the moon, and with actor R Madhavan being honoured with the best film at the 69th National Film Award for ‘Rocketry: The Nambi Effect’.

As the title suggests, the award-winning film chronicles the eventful life of Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) scientist Nambi Narayanan who was a bonafide genius, but accused of espionage and later exonerated. Madhavan, whose lives with his family in Dubai, has acted and directed the movie.

National Film Awards, bestowed by the Indian government, are a huge honour for any filmmaker or actor.

Actor R Madhavan with former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) engineer Nambi Narayanan poses for a photo during the screening of his upcoming film 'Rocketry: The Nambi Effect', in Mumbai on June 30
Former Isro scientist Nambi Naryanan with Indian actor R Madhavan. Image Credit: ANI

In an earlier interview with Gulf News in Dubai, Madhavan called this film his biggest passion project and was determined to make his directorial debut a significant one where India and its scientific prowess arecelebrated.

“I want to use that template used in ‘Make America Great’ films and make India great through this film. Remember, we have very limited resources and we are a much younger country, but we have managed by amalgamating ancient philosophy and science with our modern technology. India’s a super power to reckon with and we have recognised that in my film,” said Madhavan in that interview with Gulf News. He had undergone a massive physical transformation for this role. From packing in the extra kilos to pouring all his resources into his "labour of love", Madhavan had spared no efforts.

The film premiered at the Cannes International Film Festival in 2022 and was received well by the critics.

The news of ‘Rocketry’ co-incides with India’s jubiliation over Isro’s historic landing on the moon’s South pole yesterday.

Other big winners:

It was also a big day for actors including Alia Bhatt, who was honoured for her titular role in 'Gangubai Kathiawadi', Kriti Sanon for playing a surrogate in 'Mimi', and Allu Arjun who was honoured for his rakish act in 'Pushpa: The Rise'.

Gangubai Kathiawadi-1672746297557
Alia Bhatt in a scene from 'Gangubhai Kathiawadi'. Image Credit: Supplied

Actor Pankaj Tripathi was named the Best Supporting Actor for is turn in Mimi, while the Best Supporting Actress went to Pallavi Joshi for 'The Kashmir Files'.

In a statement, Tripathi -- who recently lost his father -- expressed his happiness by describing it as a bitter-sweet moment.

"This is unfortunately a period of loss and grieving for me. If Babuji was around, he would have been really happy for me. When I first got the National Award mention, he was very proud and pleased. This National Award I dedicate to him and his spirit. I am who I am today because of him," he said.

He also gave a big shout out to his 'Mimi' co-star Sanon for her National Award nod.

'Sardar Udham', directed by Shoojit Sircar and based on the life of Indian freedom fighter Udham Singh, bagged five national awards, including those for best Hindi film, best cinematography, best costume designer, best production design and best audiography.