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Tuesday, March 06, 2001

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'Sayahnam' bags seven awards

By Our Staff Reporter

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, MARCH 5. `Sayahnam', produced by M. S. Nazeer and directed by R. Sharath, has been selected for the State Award for the Best Malayalam Feature Film of 2000. The film has bagged seven awards.

The jury, chaired by Mr. Saeed Mirza, noted that the film, though it was the first-time work of its director, was outstanding. ``It deals with pressing contemporary issues in an amazingly compassionate and simple way.''

`Madhuranombarakattu,' produced by P. Nandakumar and directed by Kamal, has been adjudged the second best film, for its director's ``creditable control over the medium.''

M. T. Vasudevan Nair has been chosen the best director, for the ``remarkable handling of a very complex situation,'' in ``Oru Cheru Punchiri.'' O. Madhavan won the best actor prize, for ``a wonderfully restrained and nuanced performance,'' in ``Sayahnam.''

Samyukta Varma has been named the best actress, for portraying ``an exceptional range of emotions,'' in `Madhuranombarakattu,' `Mazha' and `Swayamvarapanthal.'

The J. C. Daniel Award for life-time achievement goes to veteran director M. Krishnan Nair.

Announcing the awards at a press conference here on Monday, the Cultural Affairs Minister, Mr. T. K. Ramakrishnan, said 28 feature films, three children's movies, six documentaries, seven books and 14 articles had competed for the honours.

The awards in the other categories are as follows:

Best story-writer - R. Sharath (`Sayahnam'); best screenplay- writer - M. P. Sukumaran Nair (`Shayanam'); second best actor - Jayaram (`Swayamvarapanthal'); second best actress - Vani Viswanath (`Susanna'); best child artistes - Ashwin Thampi and Baby Manjima (`Madhuranombarakattu').

Best film editor - Bina Paul-Venugopal (`Sayahnam'); sound recordist - Harikumar (`Mazha'); art director - A. V. Gokul Das (`Sayahnam'); costume designer - A. Satheesan (`Devadoothan'); make-up artiste - Pandian (`Madhuranombarakattu'); cinematographer - Sunny Joseph (`Swayamvarapanthal'); processing laboratory - Prasad Film Laboratory (`Swayamvarapanthal').

Best playback singer (male) - Vidhu Prathap (for the song, `Kalame Kaikkolluka,' from the film, `Sayahnam'); playback singer (female) - Asha Menon (for the song, `Aaradyam Parayum', from the film, `Mazha'); lyricist - O. V. Usha (for the song, `Aaradyam Parayum,' from the film, `Mazha'); music director - Vidyasagar (`Devadoothan'); music director (background score) - Baiju (`Mazha').

Best dubbing artiste - S. Gopalakrishnan (`Sayahnam'); documentary - `Pala Thulli Peru Vellam,' produced by Kerala State Film Development Corporation and directed by Mohankumar; children's film - no entry has been selected for the prize; director of a children's film: no entry has been recommended; best directorial debut - Subaramanian Santhakumar (`Mankolangal');

Special jury award - `Susanna', directed by T. V. Chandran.

Best film with popular appeal and aesthetic quality - `Devadoothan,' directed by Sibi Malayil; best book on cinema - `MT Oru Anuyaatra,' written by John Paul; best article on cinema - `Iddaliyum Fascisavum,' written by M. G. Radhakrishnan.

The jury appreciated the innovative themes in Malayalam cinema and the revival of good story-telling, but criticised the undue use of violence. ``There was unnecessary display of blood, often bordering on the sadistic. Also, women were displayed as mere objects. They were often victims of machobrutality.''

The jurors were also unhappy about the quality of documentaries. ``It was with difficulty that we could select one for the award. We found that most directors had a mistaken notion of the very concept of the form. The children's films in the competition too were unsatisfactory.''

The jury which decided the award for the best book and article on cinema urged the Government to jack up the prize money in this category.

Mr. Shaji N. Karun, chairman, Kerala State Chalachitra Academy, and the members of the jury, Mr. P. M. A. Azeez, Prof. Satheesh Kumar, Dr. Punathil Kunhabdullah, Mr. Gautaman Bhaskaran, Mr. B. Lenin, Mr. Kallikkad Ramachandran, Mr. M. C. Raj Narayanan and Mr. A. V. Alikkoya (secretary), were also present at the press meet.

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