The award selection committee for South Indian films, chaired by director Ravi Kemu (Kashmir), included Sajeev Pazhur, who won the National Award for his film Thondimuthalum Driksakshi, Vishnu Mohan, the director of Mepadiyaan, and film critics Anupama and Pramod Kursima (Mumbai) from Tamil Nadu.
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This time, 40 films from Malayalam came before the regional jury. About 90 films were from other South Indian languages.
The specialty is that 90 percent of the films selected by the jury and sent are worthy of the award. Each award was sent to the final jury by the regional committee with a detailed description of the reason for its selection. Clarity in communication is what helps deserving films get awards. This is evident in the elections for Best Malayalam Film, Best Singer and Best Director.
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Undoubtedly, South Indian cinema, which poses a strong challenge to Bollywood in terms of big budget films and collections, is doing wonders with its diversity in content, distinct visual experience and simplicity. With the advent of OTT option, South Indian films are gaining popularity across language boundaries. The recognition of Malayalam and Tamil films at the national level will inspire new filmmakers.