The Aravindan Puraskaram is another feather in Albert's cap.

Albert is delighted by the awards that are pouring in for his debut film `Kanne Madanguka.' It bagged three awards in the State film awards, including the best actress award for Navya Nair. Albert has also won the John Abraham special jury award and now, the prestigious Aravindan Puraskaram.

Cold response of distributors

"I am absolutely thrilled. I wanted the message conveyed by my film to reach the audience, as I feel it reflects the pathetic state of certain sections of people in our society. I am a bit disappointed by the cold response from the distributors though. "It would be too much to expect the audience to immediately respond to the film, as `Kanne Madanguka' is a serious film. One should not compare it to a film that has all the right commercial ingredients. It would have been great if the film is re-released now, with all the positive interest shown for the film after the announcement of the awards."He has taken up the issue with a theatre in Chennai and they have agreed to screen the film from March 2. "I was in the news during the Goa festival, where I pasted the posters of the film myself and I am doing the same right now in Chennai. But I have no problems doing all this," laughs Albert.Albert is going ahead with a "big budget" Tamil film, which will be produced by a Singapore-based businessman. "The script will be written by S. Ramakrishnan, who has just written `Sandakozhi' and the film will deal with some serious issues in the health sector," he claims.

Days of struggle

Albert's struggle to find a way to tinsel town could make an interesting film script. After years of uncertainty about a career, things are moving in the right direction for him. Albert, who hails from Parassala, spent his childhood and youth in Agra and Hyderabad, as his father was an army officer. After completing his graduation in commerce, he joined EME as a second lieutenant. But he quit and joined Adayar Film Institute to learn film direction in 1989."It was quite tough to convince my family since almost everyone in my family were government servants. But I was adamant," recalls Albert. His dreams of making it big in the film world did not happen overnight. After working with a friend for two short films, he directed `Ishtadanam', a serial for Surya TV, "which was going quite good when it was pulled off the air as the sponsors backed out."In December last year, he approached K.G. Prasannan, a businessman, to produce a feature film. Albert promised to complete the film in the next two months for a budget of Rs.30 lakhs. "With the budget I knew I could only expose 60 cans of film, shoot for 15 days with not more than a single take. So I decided not to compromise and signed on some experienced artists, who supported me wholeheartedly. Most of the faces behind the camera were relatively new. We shot the film in Pothencode and it was completed as planned."`Kanne Madanguka,' according to Albert, was inspired by real-life incidents. The film narrates a poignant tale of how society ruthlessly exploits a young girl who shoulders the responsibility of her family after her father is disabled in an accident. Navya Nair is the protagonist while Murali and Shobha Mohan play her parents.