KERALA

`Nizhalkuth' bags seven awards

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM April 9. Adoor Gopalakrishnan's `Nizhalkuth', the debutant director Sathish Menon's `Bhavum' and the hit movies `Nandanam' and `Nammal' shared among them, most of the State film awards for the year 2002, which were announced here today by G. Karthikeyan, the Minister for Cultural Affairs.

When Adoor's film walked away with seven awards, `Nandanam' won four, `Bhavum' three and `Nammal' two honours, in the different categories.

In the music department the film `Nandanam' has no rivals, with the awards for the best lyricist and the best composer going to Girish Puthancheri and Raveendran, respectively. The best background score is by Issac Thomas Kottukappaly, in the film `Bhavum'.

The best male playback singer is Madhu Balakrishnan who rendered the song `Amme...amme...', in the film `Valkkannadi'. K.S. Chithra remains unchallenged as the best female singer. The song is `Karmukilvarnante' in the film `Nandanam'.

The other awards that the film `Nizhalkuthu' has bagged are

those for the best cinematography (Mankada Ravi Varma and Sunny Joseph), the best sound recording (N. Harikumar), the best processing (Prasad Laboratory, Chennai) and the best costume design (S.B. Sathish). The best film editor is B. Ajith Kumar, also for `Nizhalkuthu' and `Bhavum'.

Satish Menon, the maker of `Bhavum' is also the best debutant director.

The film `Nammal' produced by David Kachappally and directed by Kamal has been adjudged the most popular film as well as the one with aesthetic value. The name of its heroine, Bhavana, has received a special mention of the jury. Suresh Kollam has won the award for the best art direction, also for the film `Nammal'.

The best story is of the film `Ayirathil Oruvan', penned by T.A. Razack. The best dubbing artiste is Bhagyalakshmi and the film is `Yathrakkarude Shradhakku'.

The best documentary is `Jeevanakalayude Pulluvageetham' directed by M. Venukumar and produced by L. Sivanandan. `Krishnapakshakilikal', directed by Abraham Lincon K.J. and produced by Pradeep Paliyath is the best film for children.

Dileep gets a special jury award for his performance in and as `Kunhikkoonan' and Master Vishnu receives a special mention for his role in `Punarjani'.

The best book on cinema is `Cinemayude Idangal' written by C.V. Balakrishnan and the best article on films is `Sthree Kathapaathrangal Televisionilum Cinemayilum', by Sudheer Parameswaran. Mangadu Ratnakaran's `Sathyacinema Pusthakam Athava Lumieremarude Makkal' receives a special jury award.

There were as many as 23 entries competing for the State awards this time. The jury, chaired by K.G. George, was of the opinion that the quality of films has been on the decline. The jury, in its set of recommendations, has asked the State Government to initiate urgent steps to resolve the prevailing crisis in the Malayalam film industry. Cinema halls of smaller size, like those in multiplexes, would serve the purpose better, the jury observed.

The jury was faced with questions on some of its decisions getting leaked out to a section of the media, well before they were formally announced today. However, there was no concrete reply.

Sarath rejects award

The noted director, R. Sarath, has rejected the award for his latest film, `Sthithi.'

Mr. Sarath who had won many State and national awards for his debut film, `Sayahnnam,' told The Hindu today that "I am not keen on accepting the `charity' of the jury which has failed to select the best director and scenarist.'' The jury statement that there was no film worth considering for the best director and scenarist smacked of its attitude that it was opposed to young talents making their impact in the industry, he said.

``I cannot make films on par with Satyajit Ray or Adoor Gopalakrishnan. I have perfected my own style. If Mr. Gopalakrishnan had said that his name need not be considered for the best director and screenplay writer, that does not mean both the awards should not be given to anyone at all. The credibility of the jury is at stake. Had they disclosed their intention to suspend these two awards this year, I would not have submitted my film,'' he said.