Absence of Malayalees in jury helped us win awards: Dileep

May 20, 2011 IANS

hiruvananthapuram, May 19 (IANS) Malayalam films Thursday won six national awards including for best feature film, best actor and best music director. Actor Dileep and director Biju feel that it happened mainly because not a single Malayalee was in the jury.

Producer-director Salim Ahamed's "Adaminte Makan Abu" won four awardes - it was named the best feature film, Salim Kumar got the best actor award, Madhu Ambat picked up the best cinematography trophy and Issak Thomas Kottakapally got the best music director award at the 58th National Film Awards.

Sound designer Subhadeep Sengupta won the best audiography award for "Chitrasutram", while "Veettilekkulla Vazhil" was named the best Malyalam movie.

"You do not know how happy I am when I heard the news of Salim Kumar winning the best actor award. It was as good as me winning the award," Dileep told reporters here.

"One major factor why Malayalam films have won good awards this time is probably because not a single Malayalee was in the jury. On a few occasions we have all seen several good films from here getting sidelined because of the presence of Malayalees in the jury," he added.

Echoing similar feelings, Biju, a medical professional turned filmmaker whose "Veettilekkulla Vazhi" got the best Malayalam film award, said: "Who does not know that there is group here who corner all the awards and this happens because of vested interests! These people make merry at the expense of hardworking and real film enthusiasts who come into the film industry with huge expectations.

"This time without doubt I can vouch that Salim Ahamed's movie ('Adaminte Makan Abu') won the best feature film award simply because there was not a single Malayalee in the jury. I wish and hope that the new government in the state will take a serious look into how the affairs of the state film awards are being run," said Biju.

Last year, director Majid Gulistan had approached the Kerala High Court against giving the national award to children's film "Kesu" directed by Sivan alleging his own children's film, "Chithrakuzhal", was rejected by the regional jury. The case is still pending in the court.

Reacting to top awards that Malayalam films have won this year, Gulistan said that it is an open secret that people in the industry have complexes and can't accept others' success.

"I spend a lot of time and energy doing off-beat films and I think it is not worth the trouble because it is difficult to raise money for such films. Once it is completed, we have to run from pillar to post for its release. Finally, when it is released, it is branded as an award film and, therefore, the box office returns are negligible," Gulistan told IANS

"I have now decided to do a commercial film and I am working on one in Tamil now, which would begin this year," he added.

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