In keeping with the recent trend in Kerala State Film Awards, independent cinema continued to shine as Vasanthi, a story about the survival of a woman against odds, directed by Rahman brothers (Shinos Rahman and Sajas Rahman) won the best film award.
The award was declared on Tuesday by Minister of Cultural Affairs A.K. Balan.
The movie also won the award for best screenplay.
In three years, Lijo Jose Pellissery received his second award for best director for Jallikettu, an interactive, sensory experience that bristles with gob smacking visuals that blur the line between animals and people.
For his moving performance as a lonely old man emotionally attached to a robot in Android Kunjappan and for his depiction of a deaf and mute man having his life turned upside down by a social media post in Vikrithi, Suraj Venjaramoodu won the best actor (male) award.
Kani Kusruti, for her portrayal of a woman struggling hard to survive in a deeply religious, patriarchal society in Biriyani, won the best actor (female) award.
For his appearance in Kumbalangi Nights, which lampooned the macho man commonly valued in mainstream cinema, Fahadh Faasil earned the best character actor award.
Best film with artistic value
The award for best film with artistic value and widespread appeal was also won by Kumbalangi Nights.
Swasika Vijay won for her role in Vasanthi as the best character actor (Female).
Kenjira, a Paniya-language film directed by Manoj Kana, won the best second film award.
For Vari-The Sentence, a film on the death penalty, Shahul Aliyar won the award for best plot.
The best filmmaker award for Idam and Kenjira was won by Prathap P. Nair.
P.S. Rafeeque received the award for best adapted screenplay for Thottappan, adapted from the story of Francis Noronha.
Kiran Das won the award for the best editor for Ishq.
For his performance in Moothon, Nivin Pauly won a special mention, while Anna Ben won the same for Helen and Priyamvada Krishnan for Thottappan.
Pularippoo pole chirichum from Sathyam Paranjal Vishwasikkuvo won Sujesh Hari the best lyricist award. The best music award for the moody acoustic tunes from Kumbalangi Nights was won by Sushin Syam, signalling a change from conventional Malayalam film music.
The best debut director award for Android Kunjappan was won by Ratheesh Pothuval.
Significant number of debuts
The jury headed by Madhu Ambatt pointed out that this year there were a significant number of debut directors, making up a total of 71 of the 119 films submitted, which they said bodes well for the industry.
The best background music award for Vrithakrithiyilulla Chathuram was won by Ajmal Hasbulla. Najeem Arshad won Aathmaavil Vaanangalil from Kettiyolanente Malakha with the best playback singer (male) award.
The best playback singer (female) for Parayatharike vanna pranayame from Kolambi was won by Madhusree Narayan.
Nani, directed by Samvid Anand, won the award for best children’s movie. For the same film, Catherine Biji won best child actor (Female). Vasudev Sajeesh Maran won the award for best child actor (male) for Sullu and Kallanottam.
For Kumbalangi Nights and Android Kunjappan, Jyothish Shankar won the best art direction award. Harikumar Madhavan Nair has received the best sync sound award for Nani.
For Jallikettu, Kannan Ganapathi won the best sound mixing award.
For their work on Unda and Ishq, the best sound design award went to Sreesankar Gopinath and Vishnu Govind.
Liju won the best colourist award for Idam. For Helen, Renjith Ambady won the best makeup award.
Kerala State Film Awards List
Best Film – Vasanthi
Best Popular Film – Kumbalangi Nights
Best Second Film – Kenjira
Best Director – Lijo Jose Pellissery (Jallikettu)
Best Debut Director – Ratheesh Pothuval (Android Kunjappan Ver 5.25)
Best Actor – Suraj Venjaramoodu (Android Kunjappan, Vikurthi)
Best Actress – Kani Kusruti (Biriyani)
Best Character Actor – Fahadh Faasil (Kumbalangi Nights)
Best Character Actress – Swasika Vijay (Vasanthi)
Best Composer – Sushin Shyam (Kumbalangi Nights)
Best Playback Singer (Male) – Najeem Arshad
Best Playback Singer (Female) – Madhushree Narayanan
Best Editor – Kiran Das (Ishq)
Best Screenplay (Original) – Rahman Brothers (Vasanthi)
Best Screenplay (Adapted) – P.S. Rafeeque (Thottappan)
Best Cinematography – Prathap P. Nair (Kenjira)
Best Film with Popular Appeal and Aesthetic Value – Kumbalangi Nights
Best Children’s Film – Nani
Jury Award for Best VFX – Sidharth Priyadarshan (Marakkar: Arabikdalinte Simham)
Jury Mention – Actor – Nivin Pauly (Moothon)
Jury Mention – Actor – Anna Ben (Helen)
Jury Mention – Actor – Priyamvada Krishnan (Thottappan)