Thiruvananthapuram:  The National Film Awards , year after year, have sparked much enthusiasm with film buffs eagerly waiting to know if their favorite films, film makers and actors are among those set to celebrate. The 65th National Film Awards are expected to be announced on April 7, with many a Malayalam film in the fray this time around too.

Last year’s National Film Awards brought in much cheer for the Malayalam film industry with Surabhi Lakshmi being picked for Best Actress Award for her character in the critically-acclaimed Minnaminungu.

With the 65th National Film Awards approaching, let us look back at the famous actresses who brought the trophy to Kerala.


One of the most loved and respected actresses in Malayalam cinema, Sarada won the National Award for Best Actress thrice in her acting career. She brought the trophy to Kerala twice – in the year 1968 for the movie Thulabharam, and in the year 1972 for Swayamvaram. Sharada won the award for her part in the Telugu movie Nimajjanam later on in 1978.

Monisha Unni

In 1986, the Best Actress Award returned to Mollywood after a gap with Monisha winning the National Award for the Best Actress for the role in her debut movie Nakhakshathangal. In the movie, directed by Hariharan, Monisha played the role of Gowri. Monisha Unni was the youngest recipient to bag the National Film Award for the Best Actress. She was 16 years old when she won the award.


Manichitrathazhu is rated among the best and evergreen Malayalam films. And without the elegant Shobana, the movie would not have had such a huge impact. In 1993, Shobana won the National Film Award for Best Actress for the extraordinary performance she exhibited as Ganga and Nagavalli in the movie Manichitrathazhu. Shobana brought the award to the Malaylam film industry after a gap of six years.  In the year 2001 she again won the award for her character in the English movie Mitr My Friend, directed by Revathy.

Meera Jasmine

Malayalam cinema had to wait for around 8 years to earn back the trophy again. In 2003, Meera Jasmine won the National Film Award for her character Shahina in the movie Paadam Onnu: Oru Vilapam, written and directed by ace director T V Chandran.  

Surabhi Lakshmi

Surabhi’s performance in Minnaminungu was applauded by both critics and the layman audience, and t won her the coveted prize last year.  We just hope this year too, a Malayalam actress would bring home the award. [Read: What Makes Surabhi Lakshmi the Best Among Her Peers?]

Other Malayalam actresses including Jomol, Manju Warrier, and Jyothirmayi were also part of the winners list in the National Film Awards. These actresses were awarded special jury award for their movies Ennu Swantham Janakikutty, Kannezhuthi Potm Thottu and Bhavam respectively.

There are reports that director Shekhar Kapur will be Chairman of the jury at this year’s National Film Awards.  Film writer Imtiaz Hussain, lyricist Mehboob, actress Gautami Tadimalla, director Rahul Rawail and director P Sheshadri will also be part of the jury.

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By Manoj

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