'Ranjith a gentleman and legend': Minister Saji Cherian rules out review of film awards

Saji Cherian
Saji Cherian. Photo: File image

Alappuzha: Kerala Minister for Fisheries, Culture and Youth Affairs Minister Saji Cheriyan has ruled out reviewing the recently announced State Film Awards amid allegations of bias.

The awards were decided by a jury and the chairman of the Kerala Chalachitra Academy could not intervene in the process, the Minister said apparently backing Malayalam filmmaker Ranjith who has been blamed for influencing the jury headed by noted Bengali film personality, Gautam Ghose.

"Ranjith has no role in deciding the awards. The awards were won by those who deserved them and there is no need for any relook into the issue," the Minister said. The other day Ranjith's industry colleague Vinayan had claimed his film ‘Pathonpatham Noottandu,' missed out on major awards due to the former's intervention.

"The allegations being made now are baseless. All the responsibility lies with the award committee. If those who pose the allegations have any evidence, they can put up a legal challenge,” Cheriyan said. The minister also vouched for Ranjith's integrity.

“Director Ranjith did not choose the jury whose members were selected through a proper process. There is no way he can intervene in that procedure. An impartial jury selected the winners," Cheriyan asserted. The minister also said Ranjith, in fact, deserves a pat on his back.

"Ranjith is a gentleman of the highest order and a legend in Kerala’s film industry. We should congratulate him on the excellent functioning of the Chalachitra Academy under his chairmanship during the past few years. The Chalachitra Academy is one of the well-run institutions under the Department of Culture," he noted. The members of the jury are highly popular personalities globally and no one should feel aggrieved over their choices, the minister further said.

"Can anyone object to the best actor award being given to Mammootty? Awards have been given to others too in the other categories. All of them are good artists. The awards were decided after their performances were tested on the touchstone of talent, he remarked defending the winners.

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