Experimental cinema wins big at the 52nd Kerala State Film Awards

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Avasavyooham wins Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay, Krishnendu Kalesh wins Best Debut Director for his film Prappeda

Avasavyoham wins the prizes for best film and best original screenplay, Krishnendu Kalesh wins best debut director award for his film Prapeda

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

Experimental cinema took center stage at the 52nd Kerala State Film Awards, which were declared here on Friday, with debutant Krishand RK winning Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay for his film. Avasavyohamwhich raised questions about development and environmental concerns through a protagonist who turns into a frog.

Krishnendu Kalesh won Best Debut Director for his film Prapeda (Hawk’s Muffin), a wildly experimental film that escapes classification and exists without genre boundaries, highlighting the issues of war, land plunder and oppressive control by dictatorial minds.

Top honors

Dileesh Pothan won Best Director for joji, an insightful study of the slow unraveling of a criminal mind. Syam Pushkaran won Best Adapted Screenplay for Joji’s script based on Shakespeare macbeth.

Revathi won Best Actor (Female) for his portrayal of a mother battling depression and struggling to understand her son who also has mental health issues in Bhoothakalam.

The Best Actor (Male) award was split between Biju Menon, who played the role of a 73-year-old man, making us feel the weight of age in his behavior and voice in Aarkkariyamand Joju George, for a series of performances in Nayattu, Madhuram, Thuramukham and freedom fight.

Sumesh Moor’s powerful performance of a marginalized man’s fightback against an oppressor in Kala won him the award for Best Character Actor (Male), while Unnimaya Prasad’s performance in joji won him the award for Best Actor (Female).

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. | Photo credit: TH

Nishiddhodirected by Tara Ramanujam, one of two films produced under the Kerala State Film Development Corporation’s project to promote female filmmakers last year, shared the second best film award with Chavittudirected by Rahman Brothers.

Pure variety

Screenwriter and filmmaker Saeed Akhtar Mirza, who led the judging panel, said the judging panel was amazed at the wide variety of themes and topics covered in Malayalam cinema.

The jury had a tough choice to make in selecting the Best Picture and Best Actor awards, he said. A total of 142 films were submitted for the award. Two sub-committees reviewed the initial submissions and shortlisted 29 films, which were screened by the main jury, who also recalled two films – Bhoothakalam and Antharam.

To the question of whether the Jury had chosen to ignore House as her producer Vijay Babu is currently on the run from a rape allegation, Mr Mirza said the issue did not sway the jury’s decision.

Cultural Affairs Minister Saji Cherian delivered the awards.

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