The Nandi Awards is an annual function that honours the greatest performers of the year in Telugu cinema. It is considered a great prestige to receive the award for all those working in the industry and is a greatly awaited event also for those in the entertainment industry in the state. The award is extended to the field of stage and drama as well. Considering someone worthy of the award is up to the Government, which selects the shortlisted contenders from a set of criteria. The winners are ultimately chosen by a jury, but only after it is made sure that those in contention, match up to the sets of criteria presented. These criteria include whether or not the film was made in Andhra Pradesh, or by extension, Telangana. The function is quite a sober affair.
They are awarded as gold, silver, bronze and copper awards, following the classical scheme of first, second, third and an added prize for fourth. The Nandi Awards in 2008 were presented by the Chief Minister of the state at the time - Mr. K. Rosiah. The function took place at the Lalitha Kala Thoranam, which is an open air auditorium capable of seating about 4500 people in Hyderabad. The event took place on October 2009 for the preceding year. The Best Actor Award was bestowed upon Ravi Teja for his movie Neninthe. Swathi bagged the Best Actress for her work in Ashta Chamma. Both these awards are considered Silver Medals. Actors Venkatesh, Sobhan Babu, and Akkineni Nageswara Rao have each won the awards five times. Actresses Jayasudha and Vijayshanti have won the awards for times apiece.
These are the highest number of wins by an individual person in these respective categories. The Best Feature Film Award was given to Gamyam. The silver and bronze for the same category were received by the films Vinayakudu and Paragu respectively. The award function also gave out achievement awards and such for rewarding the excellence of individuals and their contribution to the world of cinema in the Telugu language. These include the Bommireddy Narasimha National Award and the Nagireddy-Chakrapani National Award. The former was won in 2008 by the famous director and producer Mr. K.B. Tilak. Other categories that were honoured during the ceremony included Best Documentary, Best Children's Film, Best Screenplay Writer, Best Lyric Writer, Best Child Actor/Actress and so on. All-in-all the evening was a huge success, and all the attendees were at their best.