50th Kerala State Film Awards: Lijo Jose Pellissery, Suraj Venjaramoodu among winners


‘Vasanthi’ a tale on a woman’s survival against odds, directed by the Rahman brothers, won the best film award

Independent cinema continued to shine in keeping with the recent trend in Kerala State Film Awards, as ‘Vasanthi’ a tale on a woman’s survival against odds, directed by Rahman brothers (Shinos Rahman and Sajas Rahman) won the best film award announced by Minister for Cultural Affairs A.K.Balan on Tuesday. The film also picked up the award for the best screenplay.

Lijo Jose Pellissery picked up his second best director award in three years for ‘Jallikattu’, an immersive, sensory experience that bristles with gobsmacking visuals that blur the line between animals and humans. Suraj Venjaramoodu won the best actor (male) award for his moving performance of a lonely old man getting emotionally attached to a robot in ‘Android Kunjappan’ and for his portrayal of a deaf and mute man getting his life turned upside down by a social media post in ‘Vikrithi’.

Kani Kusruti won the best actor (female) award for her portrayal of a woman struggling hard to survive in a deeply religious, patriarchal society in ‘Biriyani’. Fahadh Faasil won the best character actor award for his role in ‘Kumbalangi Nights’, which lampooned the macho man usually valourised in mainstream cinema.

Fahadh Faasil in ‘Kumbalangi Nights’

Fahadh Faasil in ‘Kumbalangi Nights’

‘Kumbalangi Nights’ also won the award for the best film with aesthetic value and popular appeal. Swasika Vijay won the best character actor (Female) for her role in ‘Vasanthi’.

‘Kenjira’, a film in Paniya language directed by Manoj Kana, won the award for the second best film. Shahul Aliyar won the award for best story for ‘Vari — The Sentence’, a film on death penalty. Prathap. P. Nair won the best cinematographer award for ‘Idam’ and ‘Kenjira’. P.S. Rafeeque won the best adapted screenplay award for ‘Thottappan’, adapted from Francis Noronha’s story. Kiran Das won the best editor award for ‘Ishq’.

Nivin Pauly won a special mention for his performance in ‘Moothon’, while Anna Ben won the same for ‘Helen’ and Priyamvada Krishnan for ‘Thottappan’.

Anna Ben in ‘Helen’

Anna Ben in ‘Helen’

Sujesh Hari won the best lyricist award for ‘Pularippoo pole chirichum’ from ‘Sathyam Paranjal Vishwasikkuvo’. Sushin Syam won the best music award for the moody acoustic tunes from ‘Kumbalangi Nights’, signalling a shift from traditional Malayalam film music.

Ratheesh Pothuval won the best debut director award for ‘Android Kunjappan’. The jury headed by Madhu Ambatt pointed out the large number of debut directors this year, constituting a total of 71 films out of the 119 films submitted, which they said bodes well for the industry.

A still from ‘Android Kunjappan’

A still from ‘Android Kunjappan’

Ajmal Hasbulla won the best background music award for ‘Vrithakrithiyilulla Chathuram’. Najeem Arshad won the best playback singer (male) award for ‘Aathmaavile Vaanangalil’ from ‘Kettiyolanente Malakha’. Madhusree Narayan won the best playback singer (Female) for ‘Parayatharike vanna pranayame’ from ‘Kolambi’.

‘Nani’ directed by Samvid Anand won the best children’s film award. Catherine Biji won the best child actor (Female) for the same film. Vasudev Sajeesh Maran won the best child actor (male) for ‘Sullu’ and ‘Kallanottam’.

Jyothish Shankar won the best art direction award for ‘Kumbalangi Nights’ and ‘Android Kunjappan’. Harikumar Madhavan Nair won the best sync sound award for ‘Nani’. Kannan Ganapathi won the best sound mixing award for ‘Jallikattu’.

The best sound designing award went to Sreesankar Gopinath and Vishnu Govind for their work in ‘Unda’ and ‘Ishq’. Liju won the best colourist award for ‘Idam’. Renjith Ambady won the best makeup award for ‘Helen’. Ashokan Alappuzha won the best costume design award for ‘Kenjira’.

Actor Vineeth won the award for best dubbing artiste (male) for ‘Lucifer’ (dubbing for Vivek Oberoi) and ‘Marakkar’ (dubbing for Arjun). Sruthi Ramachandran won the best dubbing artiste (female) for ‘Kamala’. Brinda and Prasanna Sujith won the best choreography award for ‘Marakkar’. Siddarth Priyadarshan won the special jury award for visual effects for ‘Marakkar’.

Some of the notable awardees:

Best Film – Vasanthi

Best Popular Film – Kumbalangi Nights

Best Second Film – Kenjira

Best Director – Lijo Jose Pellissery (Jallikattu)

Best Debut Director – Ratheesh Pothuval (Android Kunjappan Ver 5.25)

Best Actor – Suraj Venjaramoodu (Android Kunjappan, Vikurthi)

Best Actress – Kani Kusruti (Biriyaani)

Best Character Actor – Fahadh Faasil (Kumbalangi Nights)

Best Character Actress – Swasika Vijay (Vasanthi)

Best Composer – Sushin Shyam (Kumbalangi Nights)

Best Playback Singer (Male) – Najeem Arshad

Best Playback Singer (Female) – Madhushree Narayanan

Best Editor – Kiran Das (Ishq)

Best Screenplay (Original) – Rahman Brothers (Vasanthi)

Best Screenplay (Adapted): PS Rafeeque (Thottappan)

Best Cinematography – Prathap P Nair (Kenjira)

Best Film with Popular Appeal and Aesthetic Value – Kumbalangi Nights

Best Children’s Film – Nani

Jury Award for Best VFX – Sidharth Priyadarshan (Marakkar: Arabikdalinte Simham)

Jury Mention – Actor – Nivin Pauly (Moothon)

Jury Mention – Actor – Anna Ben (Helen)

Jury Mention – Actor – Priyamvada Krishnan (Thottappan)

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