As Charlie and Ennu Ninte Moideen, two movies which had a good run at the box office, walked away with most of the awards, there was disappointment and disagreement in many quarters, but most film personalities kept their mouths shut. An old debate was revived. Is the purpose of the awards to promote good cinema? If so, how is it that all but a few of the awards are bagged by commercial cinema and its votaries?
“The state award is the only hope for art movies,” says producer and actor Prakash Bare. “However, they have been sidelined in the past five years. The jury gives one important award to a serious film, keeps it aside, and gives a bunch of awards to other films and stars they want to appease.
This has been going on for the last five years. Last year they gave an important award to Crime No: 89 and this year to Ozhivu Divasathe Kali. If someone questions it, they will justify the situation saying that they give the most important award to art movies.”
He adds: “This new practice is visible in award distribution ceremony too. The government is actually trying to compete with award nights organised by private parties. How it was conducted last year in Kottayam is an example. They invited actors who have no awards for the function just as crowd-pullers. At the same time, photos of lesser-known award winners were not even included in the leaflet,” he laments.
Sanal Kumar Sasidharan, director of Ozhivu Divasathe Kali, had always maintained that awards are meant for the growth of good cinema. “There’s been a tendency in the past couple of years to give away a few major awards to art films and distribute the rest among commercial films. It is not exactly a good trend but that doesn’t mean commercial cinema can’t be good cinema.”
Salim Ahamed’s Pathemari brought to the big screen the trials and tribulations of the protagonist played by Mammooty who slipped effortlessly into the skin of the NRI Narayanan toiling in the Gulf. Salim says, “As a director, what I ardently wish is that my film runs well — an award would be a bonus. When I do a film, my aim is that the common audiences identify, enjoy and appreciate it. Besides that, an award would be an encouragement to go higher and try harder. That said, I’m not disappointed about the award declaration. Each jury has its own viewpoint and decisions.”
When asked his opinion, Dr Biju has this to say, “I have stopped caring about receiving an award or not.”...