51st Kerala State Film Awards were presented on Monday at a ceremony held at the Nishagandhi auditorium in Thiruvananthapuram. Addressing the gathering, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan appreciated the jury for choosing pro-women films for this year’s awards.
Noting that cinema is the most influential medium to reach the public, the chief minister said, “It is noteworthy that both the best film and second-best film highlighted a pro-women stance and advocated for women’s right for self-determination. The Great Indian Kitchen, which won the best film award, exposed how patriarchy is silently prevalent in families without any obvious act of violence.”
Speaking about the winner of the second-best film award [Thinkalazhcha Nishchayam], Vijayan said it shows how democracy is not only important in a political setup, but must also be implemented within families.
“By choosing these films, the jury was able to highlight the transforming Malayalam cinema,” he added.
The CM noted that as many as 100 Malayalam films were certified by the CBFC during the year 2020, of which 80 were submitted for the awards. 38 of the 100 films were directed by first-timers, he added.
Vijayan also appreciated the film industry for finding innovative ways to stay active during the Covid-19 pandemic.
As many as 48 awards were presented to the winners on Monday and among the 34 categories, a special award in any category for women/transgender persons is a new addition this year. “It is a moment of joy to see Nanjiamma, a singer from a tribal community, be awarded under this category,” the CM said.
While Jayasurya bagged the Best Actor award for his performance in the survival drama Vellam, Anna Ben won the Best Actress award for Kappela.
Ayyappanum Koshiyum, the Prithviraj Sukumaran and Biju Menon-starrer directed by the late Sachy, won the award for Best Movie Providing Wholesome Entertainment. The late director’s wife, Siji Sachy, received the award on his behalf.
The jury panel was headed by actor-filmmaker Suhasini Mani Ratnam. Other members of the jury were director Bhadran, Kannada filmmaker P Sheshadri, musician Mohan Sithara, cinematographer CK Muraleedharan, sound designer M Harikumar, and critic and screenwriter N Sasidharan.
Cultural Minister Saji Cherian, the chairperson of Kerala State Film Development Corporation, and actor and jury member Suhasini were among the dignitaries present at the award presentation ceremony on Monday.
Tourism Minister PA Mohamed Riyas released the poster of the International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala (IDSFFK) at the event. The festival is set to be held from December 9 to 14.