The 48th Kerala State Film Awards were announced on Thursday. About 20 films were shortlisted from 110 contenders for various awards in different categories. It was a tight race between newcomers and the seasoned artistes of the Malayalam film industry. Actor Parvathy was selected for the best actor female award for her performance in Take Off. No surprise there. The film inspired by a real-life incident also helped editor Mahesh Narayan bag the best debut director award. Make-up artist Ranjith Ambady also won an award for his work in the film.
Actor Indrans, who is mostly known for his comic roles, beat Fahad Fazil (Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum) to grab the best actor male award for his memorable performance in Aalorukkam.
Director Lijo Jose Pellissery won the best director award for Ee Ma Yau, a satirical drama starring Vinayakan, Chemban Vinod Jose and Dileesh Pothan. Ottamuri Velicham, helmed by popular independent filmmaker Rahul Riji Nair, was selected as the best film.
Director Ranjan Pramod’s comedy-drama Rakshadhikari Baiju Oppu, starring Biju Menon, took home the popular cinema award. Director Shyamaprasad’s Hey Jude, which had Nivin Pauly in the lead role, also managed to make a mark by bagging awards in multiple categories.
The selection for the Kerala State Film Awards took place in a highly guarded manner as the organisers had taken several measures to prevent any lapses.
The jury was divided into two groups, who shortlisted the best entries from 110 entries. The two groups of juries together saw the shortlisted movies again and selected the winner.
Dileesh Pothan’s Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum, Sanal Kumar Sasidharan’s controversial film S Durga, Parava, Udaharanam Sujata, Bhayanakam, Telescope, Pasu, Pathirakalam were among the films that made it to the final round of the selection.
Minister AK Balan, who announced the winners of the prestigious state awards, said that the size of the jury would be doubled next year for making the selection process more efficient. He also announced that a recognition for best special effects would also be included in the state awards from next year.
It is a very significant decision given that the Malayalam film industry has a slew of big budget films that are being made with the help of the best technical crew available in the special effects trade.