Kerala film awards has surprise winners

Feb 9, 2007 IANS

Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 9 (IANS) In surprise announcements, Kerala Friday nominated young star Prithviraj as best actor and yesteryears heroine Urvasi as best actress for the prestigious state film awards, giving a go by to the reigning superstars.

The announcement of the top awards of the Kerala State Film Awards could lead to a controversy with sterling performances by superstars Mammootty and Mohanlal in their films ignored. State Culture Minister M.A. Baby announced the awards here.

Mammootty was tipped to be nominated for best actor for his poignant emoting in three films - "Karuthapakshigal", "Palunku" and "Kaioppu" - and Mohanlal too was a contender for "Rasthanthram" and "Kirti Chakkra". The performance of Murali in "Pulijanam" had also won accolades.

However, the surprise winner was Prithviraj, who has been nominated for his performance in "Vasthawam", and Urvasi, who made a comeback to films in "Madhuchandralekha".

Lenin Rajendran has been selected for best director for "Rathrimazha" and Prabha Varma as best songwriter.

Reacting to the announcement, Prithviraj said: "For a small actor like me this big award is certainly an inspiration."

"I am extremely delighted because 'Vasthawam' was a film which had a lot of experiments," said the young actor, whose father and mother are former award winners.

His father, the late Sukumaran, won the best actor award in 1978 for "Bandhanam" and his mother Mallika was adjudged second best actress in 1975.

Jury chairman T.K. Rajiv Kumar, an accomplished director, said that this year the mode of selection had been a bit different.

"When each film was screened the jury was asked to prepare an analysis and come prepared for a discussion to make the final selection. Earlier, we used to have a discussion on the comparative performances of the best actors and actress. This time we decided not to follow that method," said Kumar.

No award was given for children's films.

According to Kumar, there was just one film in the children's category. It was not considered as it was not of the desired quality, he said.

Talking to IANS, Mammootty said he was certain he would not figure in the list. "Didn't I tell you much before that I would not figure. See, hasn't my prediction come true."

Mammootty had bagged the Atlas Film Critics award announced last month.

The film awards will be given away at a function after a month.

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