Thiruvananthapuram: Malayalam films did not win any of major National Film Awards, but they jointly secured 13 awards.
The awards were announced in Delhi Monday. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy applauded the efforts of all the awardees for keeping the Malayalam film's flag flying high with 13 awards. The 13 nods include four awards, which were shared, including the Indira Gandhi Award for the best debut film of a director, which was jointly picked by '101 Chodiyangal' with Hindi film 'Chittagong'.
The award for the best popular film for providing wholesome entertainment has been shared by 'Ustad Hotel' with another Hindi film 'Vicky Donor'. Actress Kalpana won the best supporting actress for 'Thanichalla Njan', and the award was shared by Dolly Ahluwalia for 'Vicky Donor'.
Reacting to the award, Kalpana, a popular comedy artist, said she is certainly delighted by this recognition. "Through this role, to which I am hugely indebted to the director, I have proved that not only can I handle comedy, but also serious roles. Moreover, all this while I have got small awards and this award is like getting a distinction in ones studies. Am really excited," said Kalpana.
The best child artist award too has been shared by Minon for '101 Chodiyangal' and Virendra Pratap for 'Dekh Indian Circus'. The other awardees include the best dialogue to Anjali Menon for the film "Ustad Hotel", which also won a posthumous special mention for ace actor Thilakan, who passed away in September last year. The Nargis Dutt Award for the best feature film on national integration went to Malayalam film 'Thanichalla Njan', directed by Babu Thiruvalla.
The film 'Spirit', directed by Renjith, in which Mohanlal plays the central role, won the award for the best film on social issue.
Renjith said that he is elated and pointed out that if filmmakers move away from the beaten path, then success can be limited. But he added that his film did that, and managed to succeed. 'Black Forest' won the National Award in the category on best film on environment conservation. S Radhakrishnan, who was the location sound recordist in the film 'Annayum Rasulum', bagged the award in that category.
Bijibal won the award for the best background score in the film 'Kaliyachan'. Filmmaker-actor Lal won a special mention for his role in the film 'Ozhimuri'.
Lal, who got a special mention, said that he is happy about the award but would have been happier had the film got more visibility. PS Radhakrishnan won the best film critic award for his analysis of the history, aesthetics and politics of cinema. "Malayalam film industry can certainly be proud because of the 31 film awards, Malayalam won 13," said jury member and award winning director Jayraj.