CHENNAI: In a pleasant surprise to the film fraternity, the Tamil Nadu State government announced the State Film Awards for the years 2009-2014 on Wednesday.
This has come as some relief for the cinema industry which has been grappling with multiple issues, ranging from high taxation to the consequent shutdown of theatres, and also the filing of a police complaint against Bigg Boss host Kamal Haasan and the show’s participants.
The Tamil Nadu State Film Awards were last given in 2008, and the late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa had promised last year that they would be brought back in a grand manner. “Due to various reasons, we were not able to give out the State Film Awards to actors and technicians for the last five years. To make up for that, a grand function will be organised soon.” Finally, on Thursday, Chief Minister Edappadi Palanisamy announced the awards.
After winning the Tamil Film Producers Council (TFPC) elections earlier this year, actor Vishal also promised that he would approach the State government for the awards.
The 2014 Best Actress Award winner Aishwarya Rajesh expressed happiness at being recognised by the State for her role in Kaaka Muttai. “Being dark-skinned, I was not getting opportunities to play the heroine.
Kaaka Muttai was a turning point for me, and I thank Manikandan for giving me the role that broke many barriers. The winners’ list has a lot of actresses who aren’t exactly fair-skinned, and this is a great endorsement by the government.”
Prabhu Solomon, who won Best Director for Mynaa (which also won Best Film for 2010), also thanked the government. “I did not expect the film to get this award. I used to tell Thambi Ramaiah on the sets that he had done extremely well and that the film will get noticed. I’m also happy for the other directors who got recognised for their work. This motivates me to give better films in the future.”
Actor Abhinay, who played the titular role in Ramanujan (winner of the 2013 Best Film award) remarked,”This recognition is much deserved and I am very happy for my director who mainly does offbeat films. I would like to dedicate this award for Kanidhamedhai Ramanujan. The government has not recognised Tamil cinema’s contributions for quite a few years now, but better late than never.”
It remains to be seen when the award ceremony will be organised, and more importantly, when awards for 2015 and 2016 will be announced.