Thiruvananthapuram, March 7 (IANS) Malayalam films drew a virtual blank at the 59th National Film Awards annoucned Wednesday in the capital, but Malayalees Vidya Balan, K.B. Suveeran and Mallika saved the grace for the industry.
Vidya, who belongs to Tamil speaking Palakkad Iyer family, walked away with the best actress award for her role in 'The Dirty Picture', while Malayalam director Suveeran's 'Byari', the first ever film in the Beary language, shared the best film award with Marathi movie 'Deool' and actress Mallika won a special mention for her role in 'Byari'.
Debutant film director Sherry's 'Adimadhyantham' got a special mention at the awards.
'Byari' stars Malayalam actor Mamukoya with Mallika playing Nadira whose life ends in misery after being forcefully married off at the age of 13.
'I am really delighted that my film has won this award and for many years I was trying to do a Malayalam film but it never happened and had to run away to neighbouring place to do this film,' said Suveeran, a theatre and drama personality.
'Even though drama is my background, cinema has a language of its own whereas drama is self expressive. Now I have two offers from the Malayalam film industry,' added Suveeran who said that he has been one who likes to compete in his field,' he added.
Mallika, who made her debut with Adoor Gopalakrishnan's 'Nizhalkuthu' in 2002 and was known as Reeja Venugopal, is happy after winning for her performance, which she described as a tough role.
'It was a very tough role for me and now I am so thankful to all who helped me get this. I knew when I took the role, it would be one film which would be remembered by all because it was the first ever film in Beary language,' said Mallika.
'Adimadhyantham', about a deaf Vedan boy from northern Kerala, made news when Sherry openly took on film star turned Kerala Cinema Minister K.B. Ganesh Kumar for rejecting his film for the competition section at the 16th edition of the International Film festival of Kerala.
'This is a fitting reply to the Minister Ganesh Kumar who played truant with my film when it was first selected to the IFFK and later removed. I am happy,' said Sherry.
Incidentally, at the last edition of National awards, comedy and character actor Salim Kumar won the best actor award and this year according to jury member K.P. Kumaran, veteran superstar Mohanlal was considered for the best actor award but was edged out because his role in the film 'Pranayam ' was not the main character.