In a year when theatres were mostly closed and all production work suspended for several months due to COVID-19, quite a few movies did make the mark to contend for the yearly state awards in Kerala. Among them, The Great Indian Kitchen became the best film, Jayasurya the best male actor and Anna Ben the best female actor in the 51st Kerala State Film Awards, declared on Saturday afternoon for the performances in the year 2020.
It is the second time that the jury is headed by a woman in all these years, said Minister for Culture and Kerala State Film Development Corporation, Saji Cheriyan. Suhasini Mani Rathnam, actor and director, was the jury chairperson.
Anna Ben won the award for her performance in the film Kappela, while Jayasurya got it for Vellam. Director Jeo Baby won the best scriptwriter award for his film The Great Indian Kitchen. However, Siddhartha Siva won the best director award for his film Ennivar. Senna Hedge, who scripted and directed the film Thingalazcha Nishchayam, won the best storywriter award. His film was declared the second best.
Best character actor (female) was won by Sreerekha for her performance in Veyil. Best character actor (male) was won by Sudheesh for his performance in Ennivar and Bhoomiyile Manohara Swakaryam. The awards for best background score and music were won by M Jayachandran. Best lyricist award was won by Anwar Ali. Mahesh Narayanan was declared best editor and best art director was won by Santhosh Raman. Best cinematographer award went to Chandru Selvaraj for his work in Kayattam.
Best singer awards were won by Shahabaz Aman and Nithya Mamen. Best costume design is by Dhanya Balakrishnan for Malik. Best Malayalam film with aesthetic quality and popular appeal is Ayyappanum Koshiyum. Best new director is Muhammed Musthafa TT, winning the award for his film Kappela.
Niranjan S and Aravya Sharma bagged the best child artiste awards. Special jury mention for costume design was won by Nalini Jameela, the author of the The Autobiography of a Sex Worker. Another special award, newly introduced, for any category for women or transgender people, went to Nanchiyamma, a tribal singer, for her rendition of the song Kalakkatha in Ayyappanum Koshiyum.
Jayasurya has earlier won the state award for best actor for his film Captain, while this is the first time that Anna Ben is winning the recognition.
The Great Indian Kitchen by Jeo Baby won critical acclaim for its realistic portrayal of the situation that most women go through, spending their entire lives in the confines of their home, cooking and cleaning and looking after others.