ANR Awards: Rekha and Sridevi felicitated; an emotional Boney Kapoor accepts award on his wife’s behalf
It was a reunion of sorts for some of the biggest names in Telugu and Hindi film industries when veteran actor Rekha and late actor Sridevi were felicitated at the Akkineni Nageswara Rao (ANR ) National Awards on Sunday. The ANR awards were conferred on the two celebrated actors for the years 2018 and 2019.
It was a trip down the memory lane for all present -- filmmaker Boney Kapoor, who received the award of behalf of his late wife; Chiranjeevi, who was the chief guest at the function and Nagarjuna in whose father’s name the award has been instituted.
An emotional Boney was quoted by The Hindu as saying, “I’m sure she (Sridevi) would have felt humbled to receive this award and I accept this on her behalf with humility.”
For actor Rekha too, it was a homecoming of sorts, as she had starred as a one-year-old child in the Telugu film Inti Guttu in 1958, the report added. She also expressed a desire to do a film in the language. She said, “To get fluency in the language, I want to do a Telugu film soon. I have to hone my speaking skills akin to how Sridevi used to deliver her dialogues effortlessly.” Wearing her trademark gold Kanjivaaram sari, the 65-year-old actor made a graceful presence at the awards.
Both Nagarjuna and Chiranjeevi got nostalgic recalling the times when they worked with Sridevi. Indian Express, quoting Nagarjuna, said: “I worked with Sridevi in four films. My first film with her was Akhari Poratam. She carried an aura into the set. She was the goddess of grace. Everyone says that the beauty and talent she possessed were God’s gift. But I say that Boney Kapoor was a real gift to her. I knew both of them for a long time. While Himmatwala made her a star in Bollywood, it is Mr. India produced by Boney Kapoor that made her a national superstar. ANR garu and Sridevi garu live on as long as cinema is alive.”
Chiranjeevi too had warm thoughts on Sridevi. He was quoted in the same report as saying, “I worked in 3-4 films with Sridevi. Even during the shoot, she used to talk about cinema. She was completely dedicated to cinema. It’s very sad that she left us very early. She acted in almost all Indian languages and became The Lady Superstar of India. I am very happy that this award is giving an opportunity to once again remember her on this stage.”
ANR Awards are given every year to those who have made a lasting impact on cinema and has been instituted by Akkineni International Foundation.The function was held at Hyderabad’s Annapurna Acres on Sunday.