Kerala State Film Awards: Kani Kusruti says, ‘I dedicate this award to PK Rosy and remember the assaulted actress’ – Times of India


Talking about Kani Kusruti’s performance in Biriyaani that bagged her the best actress award at the Kerala State Film Awards 2020, Madhu Ambat tells us that even her eyes had multiple expression and Sajin Babu the director of the movie reveals Kani was just living as Khadeeja in the movie and the film wouldn’t have been the same if it wasn’t Kani playing the role. She had earlier won the BRICS best actress award at the Moscow film festival and the second-best actress at the Imagine India Film festival at Madrid.

Kani is happy about winning the award. At Goa, Kani is busy answering to the congratulatory calls she has been receiving ever since the awards were declared. Finding time amidst the calls, Kani shares her thoughts about the award, Malayalam industry and the prevailing discrimination and the conversations related to the actress assault.

Winning the best actress award for Biriyaani…

I want to dedicate this award to PK Rosy, the first heroine of Malayalam cinema and the first Dalit actress. Despite it being seven decades since a woman entered the industry, discrimination in caste, colour, creed and class still prevails. At this moment, I believe, when I say her name, at least a few would think of her. She faced difficulties for not being from the upper caste and also because she was a woman.

Importance of breaking the beauty standards

Even now the word ‘nadi’ is frowned upon and to be a heroine in the industry, we still need to adhere to a certain set of ‘beauty standards’. Many have told me that I would have excelled if I was a bit fair and my nose was longer. People like me aren’t even considered for an audition most of the time. But I am still part of the privileged lot and so, in a better space than many. There is a huge gap in the representation of talents in the industry. I wish together we can work for a new culture where there are equal opportunities to all the actors without any kind of divide.

Assaulted actress and the Edavela Babu’s remark

I also would like to remember the assaulted actress who is striving hard to face the world with utmost strength and courage. I am not surprised to hear the insensitive remarks of Edavela Babu as we have reached a state where we cannot expect anything from them above this. I am upset by that. However, I wish during a time when women are going through emotional, physical and even creative abuse and disrespect, he didn’t make such statements. I am extremely proud of Parvathy as there are many women whose voices will not be heard like hers. I wish people like Edavela Babu could deal with things more sensibly and treat people with respect. I am not a member of AMMA as people like me cannot afford the membership fee and also, I am not part of the mainstream industry.

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