Receiving the prestigious N.T. Rama Rao (NTR) award Thursday, megastar Amitabh Bachchan said that he and NTR shared great relationship and he considered him a great son of Indian soil.
Bachchan said he was honoured and humbled to receive such a recognition. He received the award for his contribution to Indian cinema as an actor.
"I extend my deepest gratitude to Andhra Pradesh government for giving me this prestigious award. NTR and I shared great relationship. We used to exchange ideas and even remade each other's film in our languages. He is a great son of Indian soil," bachchan said at the Nandi awards ceremony for 2011 here.
He said that cinema was a great unifier of the country.
"Cinema unifies us despite caste, creed and race. While watching a movie in a cinema hall, we don't care who is seated next to us. We laugh at the same jokes and cry at the same scenes. We should be proud of Indian cinema for integrating us," he said.
Veteran Bollywood filmmaker Shyam Benegal was presented the B.N. Reddy award for his directorial excellence.
Owing to ill health, Benegal was not present to receive the award.
The Raghupathi Venkaiah award for outstanding contribution to cinema was presented to veteran Telugu actor Kaikala Sathyanarayana, known for playing roles of villains and supporting characters.
"I share this honour with all directors, producers, technicians and co-actors I have worked with in my career till date. I believe it's my responsibility to share my success with them as well," Sathyanarayana said.
Veteran Telugu producer G. Adiseshagiri Rao, brother of Telugu superstar Krishna, received the B. Nagireddy Chakrapani award for his involvement in the constant development of Telugu cinema.
"Besides all those who have been associated with me in my journey as a producer, I personally need to thank my brother for this honour," Adiseshagiri Rao said.