Kerala’s Minister for Cultural, Fisheries and Youth Affairs Saji Cherian on Friday announced the winners of the Kerala State Film Awards 2022. The jury for the 52nd edition of the awards was headed by Hindi filmmaker-screenwriter Saeed Akhtar Mirsa. “There is no other state in India like Kerala that produces such a variety of movies,” Saeed said at the press conference held to announce the winners.
As many as 142 movies were submitted to the awards, including those featuring some of the biggest stars of Malayalam cinema. However, as is always the case with Kerala State Film Awards, the winners have not been picked based on their popularity but purely on merit. One of the highlights of the Kerala State Film Awards is that it puts the spotlight on hidden gems, which otherwise doesn’t find space in our everyday pop cultural discourse.
A little known movie Avasavyuham and its director Krishand RK bagged the top honours of Best Film and Best Screenplay Writer (original). Popular screenwriter Syam Pushkaran won the Best Screenplay (adapted) for his work in Joji, which instantly became the favourite of critics soon after its release on Amazon Prime Video last year.
Seasoned actor Revathy bagged her first ever Kerala Film State Award in the Best Actress category for her gripping performance in Bhoothakaalam. “I am very happy to get this award after 40 years (of journey) in the film industry. The film was a product of very good team work. And that’s why it got such a recognition,” Revathy told Mathrubhumi News.
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Written and directed by Rahul Sadasivan, Bhoothakaalam was released directly on SonyLIV earlier this year. The film garnered positive reviews from critics for delivering a spine-chilling horror drama, which has been long overdue in the Malayalam film industry. In the movie, Revathy essayed the role of a misunderstood single mother, who is constantly burdened by the fear of losing her son’s affection.
This year, the Best Actor award is shared between Biju Menon and Joju George. Biju is recognised for his performance as a guilt-ridden patriarch in the slow-burner drama Aarkkariyam. Joju, however, had quite a list of interesting characters to his name in the past year. He is receiving the award for his turn in Madhuram, Freedom Fight, Thuramukham and Naayaattu.
Actor Unnimaya Prasad, who played a complex role as the sister-in-law of Fahadh Faasil’s character in Joji, bagged the Best Character Actress award. And Sumesh Moor, who delivered a terrific physical performance in Kala, won the ‘Best Character Actor (male).’
Maverick director Lijo Jose Pellissery’s Churali, meanwhile, won awards in the categories highlighting the best visual and sound experiences. The film garnered awards for its cinematographer, sound design and colorist.
Director Basil Joseph’s superhero movie Minnal Murali won the special effects and costume design awards. Playback singer Pradeep bagged the Best Male Singer award for crooning “Raavil” in Minnal Murali.
Lastly, filmmaker-actor Jeo Baby was bestowed with Special Jury mention for his performance in Freedom Fight. He had delivered an intense performance as a grotesque megalomanic and a first-grade bigot.