(This is an excerpt from an anonymous conversation with a jury member for 2014 awards. T360 didn’t validate some of the assertions he/she made)
Nandi awards that were announced for 2014, 2015 and 2016 opened a can of worms. Of course, it is common that whoever did not receive awards will question the transparency of the process and ask why their film did not receive that coveted award. But this time, there is one unanimous opinion that Telugu people are not convinced with Manam movie losing it to Legend.
A jury member for 2014 talked exclusively to Telugu360. The jury member wanted to remain anonymous as he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly on the issue. As per him, movies with rebirth concept, superstition, black magic are not eligible for awards. He said that this is part of by laws given to jury members. So they couldn’t give best feature film award for Manam movie as it would directly contradict bylaws of Nandi awards. (T360 didn’t independently verify if this is true) However they felt that if they didn’t give any awards it would be a major controversy and so wanted to accommodate that movie to pacify fans. So they gave it second best film and also gave awards in additional categories.
However, the jury member mentioned that they didn’t think that there would be this kind of backlash. Now they are caught between devil and deep blue sea. They can’t publicly announce that Manam is not eligible for awards as they have given awards in other categories for the same movie.
T360 also asked the same jury member if Legend deserves for 9 jury awards. He mentioned that a particular jury member has pushed agressively for this. That jury member also tried to influence 2015 awards. When he tried to do the same with 2016 awards, Pokuri Babu Rao didn’t entertain him.
So it looks, the unwritten rule on rebirth is used by jury to grant best picture award to Legend but obviously, they did not expect this much wide reaction from public. And now that are in a quandary – not able to justify their current position. Probably this also shows how much more social media impact has grown in recent times!!!