The Nandi Award is the greatest recognition given to Telugu films by the Government of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. It is given for excellence not only in cinema but also in Telugu theatre, television and lifetime achievements. The name “NANDI” means bull and the award is named after the Lepakshi bull which is considered to be the cultural and historical symbol of the Telugu community. There are various categories in which the Nandi Awards are given away namely gold, silver, bronze and copper. The Nandi Natakotsavam award for theatre is another variety of the Nandi award. This award recognizes outstanding performance in the theatre area. The award, however mainly concentrates on social, mythological and poetic dramas.
The awards were instituted in the year 1964 to recognize and appreciate the best of all the films which are produced and made in the Telugu language. One important and distinct requirement for eligibility and application to the award is that the films are produced in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. In the year 1989, the Nandi Award for best feature film was given to C. Praveen Kumar Reddy for the film “Geethanjali”. The Andhra Pradesh Government also recognized Ushakiron Movies for the film “Mouna Poratam” by giving the Nandi Award for the second best feature film. The Nandi Award for the third best feature film went to C. Karunakaran and Betha Sudhakar for “Sutradharalu”. P.C Sreeram received the Nandi Award for the Best Cinematographer for the film “Geethanjali”.
Thota Tharani won the best art director Nandi for “Geethanjali” and Mani Ratnam won the best Story Writer Nandi Award for the same film. While ‘Suthivelu’ was given the award for best male comedian for “Geethanjali”, it was Ram Gopal Varma who won the best directorial debut award for the film “Shiva”. ‘O.P Nayyar’ was honored with the Nandi Award for the best Music Director for the film “Neeranjanam”. The Nandi Award for Best Supporting Actor was given away to Sarath Babu for Neerajanam. ‘Vijayashanti’ received the Nandi Award for being the Best Actress for in the movie Bharatha Naari. The Nandi Award for Best Director was given to Ram Gopal Varma for his debut venture of Shiva. The most coveted Nandi Award for Best Actor was received by Kamal Haasan for his performance in Indrudu Chandrudu.
The Nandi Award for being the Best Male Playback Singer was received by ‘S. P. Balasubrahmanyam’ for the film Neerajanam, while the Nandi Award for Best Female Playback Singer went to ‘P. Susheela’ for her song Pongindi Pongindi from the film Godavari Pongindi. The Nandi Award for Best Supporting Actress was given to Swaathi Chinukulu and the Nandi Award for Best Villain went to Rami Reddy for ‘Ankusham’. The Nandi Award for Best Lyricist was given to ‘M. S. Reddy’ for her work in Ankusam and the Nandi Award for Best Audiographer was adjudged as ‘Sutradharulu’.
The Nandi Award for Best Costume Designer was awarded to Mouna Poratam. Jagapati Babu received the Nandi Special Jury Award for Adavilo Abhimanyudu along with ‘K. R. Vijaya’ for Sutradharulu and Seetha for Mutyamantha Muddu. The Nandi Award for Best Editor was given to Gautham Raju for Bharatha Naari. ‘M.V.S. Harnatha Rao’ for her performance in Bharatha Naari received the Nandi Award for Best Dialogue Writer.