Kerala film awards: How Anna Ben surpassed Parvathy and Shobhana to win the best female actor

Anna Ben in Kappela, Parvathy in Varthamanam and Shobhana in Varane Avashyamundu

Anna Ben is just four films old but she won her second state award in as many years in the industry.

Her performance in Kappela has won her the 'best female actor' prize in the 51st Kerala state film awards. In 2020, Anna Ben had won a 'Special Mention' for Helen.

This time the competition wasn't easy as the 22-year old matched her wits with proven stars, Parvathy, Nimisha Sajayan, and Shobhana.

According to sources, Shobhana was primed to win the award for Varane Avashyamundu and had even made it to the final rounds. While Parvathy was considered for Varthamanam, Nimisha Sajayan competed with the film The Great Indian Kitchen.

But Anna Ben's simple, yet complex character struck a chord with the jury.  

Her character 'Jessy', a naive girl caught in a whirlwind of forbidden romance that takes dangerous turns in Kappela captured the ethos of the small-town people of Kerala. The jury was impressed.

Addressing the media after winning the award, Anna Ben said, "Kappela was a small film. Initially, we were sad that the film couldn't run in theaters due to the pandemic. But now, I am really glad that the film is getting accolades. I did the role of Jessy and never expected an award for the same."

Written and directed by Muhammad Musthafa, the film also starred Roshan Mathew and Sreenath Bhasi.

Musthafa also won the best debut director in Kerala state film awards.

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