The jury of the Kerala State film awards is busy watching the movies that have proceeded into the final rounds, at the KINFRA Film and Video Park in Thiruvananthapuram. The awards are likely to be announced on 13 October.
Though the screening of the movies was delayed due to the pandemic situation, sources say that the competition is tougher as usual. A total of 119 movies are in the run for the top honors.
From big budget movies starring super stars to small movies made by debutants, the list is pretty impressive.
The government had announced the jury members on 18 March this year. However, the screening couldn’t be held as scheduled due to the pandemic. Meanwhile, 3 members, music composer PJ Berni, actress Archana and writer TD Ramakrishnan had withdrawn from the jury citing personal or health issues. Three new members, playback singer Lathika, actress Jomol and writer Benyami were soon appointed by the authorities.
Ace cinematographer Madhu Ambattu who is the jury chairman and member L Bhoominathan had reached from Chennai and completed their mandatory quarantine before the screening sessions began. The screenings are being conducted by strictly following the Covid 19 protocols.
As 119 movies have been nominated this year, the jury members were divided into groups to watch the movies. The ones that made into the final rounds would be watched and analyzed by the jury members together before determining the winners. If a movie gets rejected in the first round due to poor quality, the chances for the actors and technicians who have worked in it too would be diminished. The jury is led by noted cinematographer and director Madhu Ambattu. Film makers Salim Ahmed and Abrid Shine, cinematographer Vipin Mohan, editor L Bhoominathan, sound engineer S Radhakrishnan, playback singer Lathika, actress Jomol, writer Benyamin and Chalachithra Academy member secretary C Ajoy are the jury members.
The Kerala state awards has often seen small and underrated movies over take the big ones to take home the top honors. From veteran directors like KP Kumaran to debutants, hundreds of film makers have submitted their movies for the coveted state awards. However, experts and cinema lovers express doubts over the quality of many movies that have been nominated this year.
Two mega budget movies, Marakkar Arabikadalinte Simham (Priyadarshan) and Lucifer (Prithviraj) starring Mohanlal in the lead are competing this year. Meanwhile, Mammootty-starrer Mamankam (M Padmakumar) is yet another big budget movie in the race. Besides these movies, Mohanlal’s Ittymani Made in China (Jibi Kochappu and Joju Rapheal) and Mammootty’s Unda (Khalid Rahman) and Pathinettam Padi (Sankar Ramakrishnan) too would be vying for the awards.
Though the movie Nine, directed by Jenuse Muhammad, the son of Chalachithra Academy chairman Kamal is in the race, the latter hasn’t submitted his own movie. Even though Kamal cannot compete in the category of best director, the actors and technicians in his movie could have competed in their respective categories. However, as the movie hasn’t been entered to be considered for the awards, it is an opportunity lost for the actors and technicians in it.
Thanneer Mathan Dinangal (AD Gireesh), Kumbalangi Nights (Madhu C Narayanan), Jallikattu (Lijo Jose Pellissery), Virus (Ashiq Abu), Veyilmarangal (Dr Biju), Kolambi (TK Rajeev Kumar), Prathi Poovan Kozhi (Rosshan Andrews), Uyare (Manu Ashokan), Android Kunjappan (Ratheesh Pothuval), Ambili (John Paul George), Driving License (Jean Paul Lal), Thelivu (MA Nishad), Jalasamadhi (venu Naair), Gramavrikshathile Kuyil (KP Kumaran), Finals (PR Arun), Athiran (Vivek Thomas Varghese), Porinju Mariyam Jose (Joshiy), Vikriti (MC Joseph), Hasyam (Jayaraj), Moothon (Geethu Mohandas), Stand Up (Vidhu Vincent), Thakkol (Kiran Prabhakaran), Satyam Paranjal Vishwasikumo (G Prajith), Kenjira (Manoj Kana), Abhimanini (MG Shashi), Kallanottam (Rahul Riji Nair) and Biriyani (Sajin Babu) are some of the noted movies that made into the final rounds.
Interestingly, there are a few movies with strange titles, competing for the awards this year. PRArun’s Rampuntanavaruthi and Kaghaganga chachajanja tatadana thathadadana paphababhama yaralavasashasazhara directed by Sherry surely have unique titles. Meanwhile, Nalla Kottayamkaran directed by Simon Kuruvila and Kottayam directed by Binu Bhaskar have the name of ‘Kottayam’ district in their titles.
These are the other movies that are nominated for the state awards – Chachaji (M Haja Moinu), Thureeyam (Jithin Kumbukattu), Mi.Ram (Sivaram Mani), Swanasham (Prijukumar Hriday Ayush), Idam (Jaya Jose Raj), Raktasakshayam (Bijulal), Kattu Kadal Athirukal (Samad Mankada), Mohabathin Kunjabdulla (Shanu Samad), Ishq (Anuraj Manohar), Sthree Sthree (R Sreenivasan), Vuishuda Pusthakam (Shabu Usman Konni), Hridyam (KC Binu), Ente Satyanweshana Pareekshakal (Kuku Surendran), Vishudha Rathrikal (Dr S Sunil), Swarnamatsyangal (GS Pradeep), June (Ahmad Kabeer), Kadoram (Muhammad Sajil), Premika (Sajeev Kilikulam), Bilathikuzhal (AK Vinu), Vasanthi (Rahman Brothers ), Neeyum Njanum (AK Sajan), Samaya Yathra (Vithura Sudhakaran), Nan Petta Makan (Saji S Palamel), Velathan (Karimadi Rajendran), Trip (Anwar Abdullah, MR Unni), Edakkad Battalion (Swapnesh K Nair), Kuttiyappanum Daivadhootharum (Gokul Harijaran), Thottappan (Shanavas K Bhavakutty), A For Apple (Madhu S Kumar, Sreekumar), Evide (KK Rajeev), Samanwayam (PP Govindan), 41 (Lal Jose), Marjara Oru Kallu Vacha Nuna (Rakesh Bala), Vari the Sentence (Sreejith Poyilkavu), Thamasha (Ashraf Hamsa), Rameshan Oru Peralla (Sujith Vigneshwar), Maranam Durbalam (Vijayan Balakrishnan), Lonappante Momodeesa (Leo Thadevoos), Athmavidyalayam (Dr Chungath), Oru Pakka Nadan Premam (Vinod Nettathanni), PK Rosy (Shashi Nadukkad), Kamala (Ranjith Sankar), Kodathi Samaksham Balan Vakeel (B Unnikrishnan), Moonnam Pralayam (Ratheesh Raju), Vakathirivu (KK Muhammad Ali), My Lucky Number is Black (Athmabodh), Iruttu (Satheesh Babusenan, Santhosh Babusenan), Syamaragam (Sethu Eyyal), Vrithakrithiyillula Chathuram (RK Krishnang, Geethanjali), Odunnon (KV Noushad), Run Kalyani (J Geetha), Kakshi Amminipilla (Dinjith Ayyathan), Kakkaponnu (Dinesh Gopal), March Randam Vyazham (Jahangir Ummar), Munthiri Monjan (KP Vijith), Kattinarike (Roy Jospeh Karakkat), Kozhiporu (Jinoy Janardhanan), Mounaksharangal (Devadas Kallurutty), Lessons (four directors), Ketyolanente Malakha (Nisam Basheer), Cheriya Cheriya Valiya Karyanangal (Raveendranath), Changayi (Sudesh Kumar), Sairayum Njanum (KS Dharmarajan), Pullu (Riyas, Praveen), Luka (Arun Bose), Oru Vadakkan Pennu (Irshad Hameed), Sameer (Rasheed Parakkal), Safe (Pradeep Kalipirayathu), Confessions of a Cuckoo (Jai Jithin Prakash), Muthassikoru Muthu (Anil Karakulam), Big Salute (AKB Kumar), Lona (Biju Bernard), Helen (Mathukutty Xaviour), Pattabiraman (Kannan Thamarakulam), Kalamandalam Haidarali (Kiran G Nath), Oru Desha Vishesham (MR Narayanan), Sakshi (Soorya Sundar), Kurup (T Deepesh), Sullu (Vishnu Bhardwaj), Nani (Samvid Ananad), Ottachodyam (Aneesh Urumbil).