There are years when you have pinned high hopes on someone and waited in front of the television to hear the national film awards being announced. Then there are years when you just leave the room after the major awards are announced. Like always, Kerala has found mentions at several places, but not in the coveted best film or best actor sections.
Even so, the state has received special mention in the best film-friendly state category. And among actors, little Gaurav Menon has won the best child actor award and Jayasurya, a special jury mention. M. Jayachandran won best music director award and quite a few films, including Nirnayakam, Priyamanasam and Valiya Chirakulla Pakshikal, have won awards too. To begin with Jayasurya, the word chameleon suits him the best. He is an actor who is willing to go to any lengths to achieve perfection.
The actor often uses his body as an extension of his acting prowess. He bulked up or lost weight to look emancipated, to suit the characters he plays. At long last when the National Award came calling in the form of a special Jury mention for him for the films Su... Su... Sudhi Vathmeekam and Lukka Chuppi, it was a much-deserved one.
Jayasurya says, “I cannot express my happiness on getting this national recognition. This National award is equivalent to an Oscar for me. That I am placed in the august presence of some great and talented actors like Amitabh Bachchan and Kangana Ranaut, and that too at a national level, is a truly big recognition.”
Asked if he expected the award, Jayasurya replies, “You cannot expect something; you can only wish for it!” Dr Biju whose film Valiya Chirakulla Pakshikal bagged the award for Best Film on Environment Conservation/Preservation, is happy to receive the national award for the third time. This is the second time his film is winnning an environment award. “I am happy that a subject like this (on the endolsufan tragedy) is getting national attention,” he says.
From the Malayalam cinema category, Pathemari has won the best film award and director Salim Ahammed wants to dedicate it to all those Malayalis who sacrificed a lot for the sake of their families, going to the Gulf countries in the 60s and 70s. “It is the effort of a lot of people, including Mammukka, Sreeni ettan, Siddique, other actors, the technical team and everyone,” a humble Salim says.
Ace director V.K. Prakash (VKP) says, it was his courage which helped him to make Nirnayakam, on such a much relevant subject, which eventually bagged the award for best film on other social issues. V K Prakash, who was not expecting any award, was busy with the shoot of Biju Menon-starrer Marubhoomiyile Aana when the jury chairman declared the awards.“It is really a happy moment for me. In fact, I was not expecting this award. But I am happy to know that Nirnayakam has been chosen for the award for best film on other social issues. Because the subject we have discussed in that film is still relevant in our society.”
The director feels that the award cannot be considered as a device which can churn in more viewers to watch a film. “All films are being made to be watched. Even if a film does not bag award, people should watch it,” he says.
There is a Malayali among the technicians who bagged the national awards for their contribution to Bajirao Mastani — Juztin Jose who won the award for best sound mixing. Juztin says he was expecting this award from the year in which he became independent. “We all have an aim as well as dream, right? I used to dream about bagging this award since 2008, the year in which I became independent. But it was now I could win this award. I am really happy,” says Justin, who has also mixed the soundtracks for Baahubali .
The other award winners include Prof Aliyar for best narration in Arangile Nithyavismayam, Vinod Mankara for best Sanskrit film (Priyamanasam), Christo Tomy for best short film (Kamuki) and Neelan for best direction in non-feature films (Amma).
(Contributed by Aravind K.S., Cris and Priya Sreekumar)...