In a rather bold statement, ace-filmmaker AR Murugadoss has made allegations of bias against the jury of National Film Awards 2017 that announced the 64th National Film Awards on Saturday. He said that the awards reflected the partiality of the jury members, which was headed by director Priyadarshan. “#NationalAwards Can clearly witness the influence & partiality of people in jury, it’s biased,” he wrote on his twitter account.
Murugadoss is not the first person to allege nepotism in the most prestigious film awards. People on social media have been questioning the wisdom of the jury for bestowing the best actor award on Bollywood star Akshay Kumar for his role in Rustom. The wide-spread skepticism among the public has cast a cloud over Priyadarshan. The director’s close proximity to Akshay and Malayalam superstar Mohanlal is no secret. And he is facing some uncomfortable questions as to whether he favoured his friends to bag the coveted awards. While Akshay won the best actor, Mohanlal received the special jury award for his performance in films like Janatha Garage, Pulimurugan and Munthirivallikal Thalirkkumbol. The award for best stunt choreography, which was introduced this year, also went to Pulimurugan’s stunt master Peter Hein.
Can clearly witness the influence & partiality of people in jury, it’s biased.
— A.R.Murugadoss (@ARMurugadoss) April 8, 2017
Malayalam screenwriter Vivek Ranjit also questioned the jury over his choice for the best actor. “Akshay Kumar? Seriously?,” he posted on his Facebook page. “The day my two all time favourite directors were grossly disappointing in what they set out to do! #NationalAwards #KaatruVeliyidai,” he said, referring to the fact that he did not like director Mani Ratnam’s new film and Priyadarshan was the head of the jury, who gave out awards to what seems to be unpopular choices of the majority.