Tollywood superstar and heartthrob Rana Daggubati is a happy man after the 65th National Film Awards were announced on Friday. The reason? His films Baahubali: The Conclusion and The Ghazi Attack have won big at the awards.
Speaking to TNM, Rana said that while he expected awards for Baahubali: The Conclusion, which won the Best Action-Direction film, Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment, and Best Special Effects, he was pleasantly surprised for The Ghazi Attack, which won the award for the Best Telugu Film.
"When it comes to Ghazi, a film that had so much resistance from producers, it’s turned out to be something exceptional. I’m very happy for everything we are winning," he said.
The Ghazi Attack, a drama that unfolds in a submarine and is set in the backdrop of the 1971 Indo-Pak war, initially had a budget of Rs 10 lakh and was to be released as a YouTube film.
However, in an interview to Firstpost, then debut director Sankalp Reddy said that the film had a turn-around of sorts, with a bigger budget, bigger star cast and even a bigger set, after Rana came into the picture. The film was well-received at the box office and was deemed a huge success within four days of its release.
Last year, Rana had three big hits which include Baahubali: The Conclusion, The Ghazi Attack and Nene Raju Nene Mantri. The year was also unique as the actor, who is known to choose roles carefully, experimented with roles.
“I’ve been trying to do many experimental things. I’ve played an antagonist for the first time in a film and that worked out extremely well and it was a big spectacle film," the actor said, referring to Baahubali 2.
The actor will soon be seen in the upcoming Hindi Film Haathi Mere Saathi.
Asked if he contemplates doing more Hindi films this year, Rana said, “Well, for me I never split these industries by languages, whether it’s Hindi, Telugu or Tamil. Ultimately, it’s stories that I tell. I’m hoping they can be told in multiple languages. That’s how I look at it,”
The actor also believes that the awards are a big deal for the Telugu industry.
“These are two regional films being positioned at a national scale. This did not happen at the box office (for The Ghazi Attack) or at every single scale. It gives a Telugu filmmaker an opportunity to make cinema and know that there’s an entire country out there to watch you,” he said.