Kerala’s Minister of Culture, Fisheries and Youth, Saji Cherian, announced the winners of the Kerala State Film Awards 2022 on Friday. The jury for the 52nd edition of the awards was headed by Hindi filmmaker and screenwriter Saeed Akhtar Mirsa . “There is no other state in India like Kerala that produces such variety of films,” Saeed said during the press conference held to announce the winners.
No fewer than 142 films were submitted for the awards, including those featuring some of Malayalam cinema’s biggest stars. However, as is always the case with the Kerala State Film Awards, the winners were not chosen on the basis of popularity, but solely on merit. One of the highlights of the Kerala State Film Awards is that it shines a light on hidden gems, which otherwise find no place in our everyday pop cultural discourse.
A Little-Known Movie Avasavyuham and its director Krishand RK took home honors for Best Picture and Best Screenwriter (Original). Popular screenwriter Syam Pushkaran won Best Screenplay (Adapted) for his work in Joji, which instantly became a critics’ favorite shortly after its release on Amazon Prime Video last year.
Veteran actor Revathy has won his first ever Kerala Film State Award in the Best Actress category for his captivating performance in Bhoothakaalam. “I am very happy to get this award after 40 years (of career) in the film industry. The film is the result of very good teamwork. And that is why it has obtained such recognition” , Revathy told Mathrubhumi News.
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Written and directed by Rahul Sadasivan, Bhoothakaalam was released straight to SonyLIV earlier this year. The film garnered positive reviews from critics for delivering a chilling horror drama, which is long overdue in the Malayalam film industry. In the film, Revathy tried out for the role of a misunderstood single mother, who is constantly burdened with the fear of losing her son’s affection.
This year, the Best Actor award is shared between Biju Menon and Joju George. Biju is recognized for his performance as a guilt-ridden patriarch in the slow-burning drama Aarkkariyam. Joju, however, had a whole roster of interesting characters to her name over the past year. He receives the award for his turn in Madhuram, Freedom Fight, Thuramukham and Naayaattu.
Actor Unnimaya Prasad, who played a complex role as the sister-in-law of Fahadh Faasil’s character in Joji, won the Best Actress award. And Sumesh Moor, who delivered a terrific physical performance in Kala, won “Best Character Actor (Male)”.
Churali, from maverick director Lijo Jose Pellissery, won awards in categories highlighting the best visual and sound experiences. The film won awards for its cinematographer, sound design, and colorist.
Director Basil Joseph’s superhero flick Minnal Murali won awards for special effects and costume design. Playback singer Pradeep won Best Male Vocalist for singing “Raavil” in Minnal Murali.
Finally, filmmaker-actor Jeo Baby received a special mention from the jury for his performance in Freedom Fight. He had delivered an intense performance as a grotesque megalomaniac and bigoted freshman.