Kerala’s Minister for Cultural Affairs AK Balan on Tuesday announced the winners of the 50th Kerala State Film Awards. The government had selected the jury to pick the winners for the prestigious state awards in March this year. However, the worldwide outbreak of coronavirus and subsequent lockdown forced the government to postpone the awards announcement. “The jury selected the winners under the chairmanship of cinematographer Madhu Ambat,” said AK Balan.
Balan also noted that the government took extreme care to create a safe environment for the screening of the movies for the jury. “We followed all COVID-19 safety protocols for the screening. In fact, the chairman (Madhu Ambat) had travelled from Tamil Nadu, and as per the norms, he was under 14-day quarantine. He did his duty while he was still under quarantine,” he noted.
AK Balan also thanked all the jury members for being a part of the 50th Kerala State Film Awards despite the challenges.
As many as 119 movies competed for awards in about 30 categories in the 50th Kerala State Film Awards. More than 50 per cent of entries were helmed by newcomers.
Some of the top honours were bagged by independent movies. The Best Movie award went to Vasanthi, which was directed by Rahman brothers, who also bagged the Best Screenplay (Orginal) award for the same movie. Swasika Vijay won the Best Character Actress award for her performance in Vasanthi. Director Manoj Kana’s Kenchira won the Second Best Film award, along with awards for Best Costume Designer (Ashokan Alapuzha) and Best Cinematography (Prathap V Nair).
And some top honours went to movies that garnered commercial success and critical acclaim last year. While Lijo Jose Pellissery won the Best Director award for his internationally acclaimed movie Jallikattu, Suraj Venjaramoodu won the Best Actor award for his terrific performance in Android Kunjappan Version 5.25 and Vikruthi. And the award for Best Actress was given to Kani Kusruti for her performance in Biriyani, which is written and directed by Sajin Baabu.
Last year’s favourite of critics and the box office, Kumbalangi Nights bagged the award for Best Film with Popular Appeal and Aesthetic Value. Fahadh Faasil won the Best Character Actor award for his turn as the deranged patriarch in the film.
Priyadarshan’s ambitious movie Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham also bagged awards in multiple categories, including Special Jury Award. The movie boasting of an all-star cast led by Mohanlal was slated for release in March before the COVID-19 pandemic upset release plans.
Lastly, the Jury Special Mention was bagged by Anna Ben for Helen, Nivin Pauly for Moothon and Priyamvadha Krishna for Thottapan.
The distribution of awards and the prize money will take place in December.
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