Veterans fail to make the grade at 50th Kerala State Film Awards
On expected lines, seasoned veterans of the Kerala film industry failed to make the grade in the annual Kerala State Film Awards for 2019, which were announced here on Tuesday by Culture Minister A.K. Balan.
The best actor award went to popular comedian and character actor Suraj Venjaramoodu for his roles in Android Kunjappan and Vikurthi. He left seasoned veterans like Mammootty, Mohanlal far behind and also edged out his nearest rival Fahadh Faasil, who had to settle for the best character actor award.
"This is a great responsibility for me and I am greatly happy about this award. I am really thankful to those who took me in the two films. Now my wish is we all want the old normal to return, as Covid has really caused havoc. We all want the theatres to open and the audience to be back and wish and pray it happens," said Venjaramoodu.
Balan said that it was very difficult for the awards jury led by ace cinematographer Madhu Ambatt, who had to sit in quarantine for 2 weeks and do the job.
"In all 119 films including five children's films competed for the honours and the highlight has been that 71 films were directed by debut directors, which clearly shows that the industry here is doing well," said Balan.
Among the films that went before the jury was the costliest Malayalam film Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham directed by Priyadarshan. However, he did not have to return empty-handed, as his son Siddharth Priyadarshan won a special jury award for special effects.
The 35-year-old actress and model Kani Kusruti won the best actress award for her role in the film Biriyani. Meanwhile, the film Vasanthi won in the best film category.
Lijo Jose Pellissery won the best director award for his film Jallikattu.
"The awards will be given away at a function to be held here in the last week of December," added Balan.