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Gollapudi Srinivasa Rao National Award 2019 goes to Aditya Dhar, Madhu C Narayanan 

Dhar won the award for Uri:The Surgical Strike, while Narayanan received it for Kumbalangi Nights. 

Our Correspondent

Aditya Dhar and Madhu C Narayanan have been named joint winners of the 2020 Gollapudi Srinivasa Rao National Award for Best Debut Director. Instituted in 1998, this is the first time the award has seen joint winners. 

Named after the late director Gollapudi Srinivasa Rao, who passed away while making his debut feature in 1997, the previous winners of the award have included Aamir Khan (Taare Zameen Par, 2007), C Prem Kumar (96, 2018), Konkona Sensharma (A Death In The Gunj, 2017), among others. 

Thanking the organisers for the award on social media, Dhar wrote, 'Truly Humbled to receive this prestigious award!! Thank you so much jury for bestowing me with such a wonderful honour!! Really looking forward to the ceremony!!'

Narayanan, the other winner of the award, directed the critically-acclaimed Kumbalangi Nights (2019), which went on to become a critical and commercial success in Malayalam. 

Dhar's Uri:The Surgical Strike (2019) went on to win the National awards for Best Actor (Vicky Kaushal) and Best Director (Dhar), while also becoming one of the biggest successes at the box office for 2019

Currently, Dhar is working on his next project, The Immortal Ashwatthama, featuring Kaushal. The film is reportedly a fantasy superhero project, and will be the first part of the trilogy.