Deccan Herald, Hyderabad, Dec 6, (PTI):

Saroja Devi gets N T Rama Rao National Film Award

Yesteryear actress B Saroja Devi has been chosen for the prestigious N T Rama Rao National Film Award for 2009. Noted director K Raghavendra Rao has been chosen for the B N Reddy National Film Award while media baron and film producer Ch Ramoji Rao has been chosen for the Nagireddy- Chakrapani National Award instituted by the Andhra Pradesh. Another producer K Raghava has been chosen for the Raghupati Venkaiah Award, the Telugu equivalent of Dada Saheb Phalke Award. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy will present the awards at a function here on December 12.

Born in Karnataka, 72-year-old Saroja Devi has acted in about 170 films in Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Hindi and won several honours at the state and the national level. She was conferred the Padma Bhushan in 1992.

Saroja Devi made her debut in Telugu films with the legendary N T Rama Rao's Panduranga Mahatyam and went on to act alongside him in many other films. She also starred opposite Akkineni Nageswara Rao. The NTR National Film Award carries a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh, a memento and a citation.

K Raghavendra Rao, chosen for the B N Reddy award instituted in the name of the acclaimed Telugu film director, directed about 100 films in Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Hindi with all the top stars in the respective industries. Son of another famous Telugu director K S Prakasa Rao, Raghavendra Rao was known for his powerful action-oriented films. He adopted a unique style in filming songs that made him immensely popular with the audiences not only in the South but also in the North. The B N Reddy award carries a cash component of Rs 2 lakh besides a citation and a memento.

Ch Ramoji Rao is the chief of Ramoji Group, which publishes the most-popular Telugu daily Eenadu and runs the Eenadu television channel in 14 languages. He produced many movies with real-life stories like 'Mayuri' (story of a physically-challenged dancer) and 'Aswini' (athlete Aswini Nachappa). Ramoji Rao also built the world-famous Ramoji Film City, which found its place in the Guinness World Records, on the outskirts of Hyderabad. The Nagireddy-Chakrapani award, instituted after the famous Telugu film-makers of Vijaya Productions fame, carries a cash prize of Rs 2 lakh besides a citation and a memento. K Raghava produced several successful Telugu films under his Pratap Art Productions banner with the top stars of the industry. The Raghupati Venkaiah award is in recognition of his services to the film industry. The award carries Rs 2 lakh, a citation and a memento. A five-member committee headed by noted producer G Adiseshagiri Rao has chosen the awardees for the year 2009. Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy approved the selection panel's recommendations here today, official sources said.

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