Kochi: The Malayalam movie world is rife with misogyny, and even an anti-labour attitude, opined experts closely associated with the tinsel world. Speaking at the presentation ceremony of the Eastern-Global Short Film Awards, reputed filmmaker and international film juror, Dr. Biju, said it was a pity that it took an incident like the assault on an actress last year to bring the focus on the ill-treatment meted out to women in general in the movie world.
“In domestic movies, we still see the female gender mostly in the role of actresses, but hardly in other roles, particularly as directors. In a country like Iran, I was surprised to know that there were over 40 female directors in the limelight,” Dr Biju said.
In his special address, Eastern Group Managing Director Firoz Meeran said, “Eastern is proud to be part of this initiative, celebrating young filmmakers. The subject, ‘Women’s journey’, is very close to our heart and is an extension of Eastern Boomika initiative. Our goal is to celebrate women achievers from different walks of life.”
“After the incident of the assault on the actress last year, the camera has now turned on the happenings in the Malayalam film world, exposing the misogyny. It is a patriarchal set up, but this has not stopped women from excelling,” said senior journalist Saraswathy Nagarajan.
Actor-producer Prakash Bare felt the Kerala society has come some way from an era when men were allowed to get away with anything, but opined that there was still a power structure in the industry that would put down anyone who had a different viewpoint. “Despite this, women have come forward, and we must lend them support”, he said.
Singer, actor and activist, Reshmi Satheesh said that strong winds were currently blowing in the Malayalam film world, overturning the traditional male domination and that women should focus on making the quality of their work speak for themselves.
Marathi film ‘Anahut’ and Malayalam short film ‘Pakshikalude Manam’ bagged the top awards at the Second Eastern-Global Short Film Awards. ‘Anahut’, directed by Umesh Mohan Bagade, picked up the Best Film award, while the Focus Award for the best women-oriented film was shared by ‘Pakshikalude Manam’ directed by Nayana Suryan and ‘Anahut.’
This year, the Eastern-Global Short Film Awards instituted the Focus Award for the best film that captured the theme of women, portraying the challenges, achievements and the journey of women in society. The Eastern-Global Short Film Awards are organised by condiments major Eastern Group and Global Initiative for Excellence, publishers of Global-K magazine.
The jury, headed by eminent filmmaker and Cannes Award winner Dr. Biju, also picked Bagade as the Best Director for ‘Anahut’, while Ashish Chinnappa’s ‘Thenvarikka’ was voted the Best Popular Film.
A sub-jury headed by popular actress and dance, Rima Kallingal picked the script for the movie, ‘Alamarakkullile Penkutty’, penned by Arun Sukumaran Nair for the Best Script Award on the theme of ‘Women’s Journey’.
Murali Ram won the Best Actor Award for his performance in ‘Valiya Kannulla Meenukal’, Vivek Joseph Varghese won the Best Screenplay Award for the film ‘Fugue’, and the Best Editor award went to Sooraj E S for the movie, ‘Appooppanthadi’
The Best Cinematographer award was shared by Gautham Lenin for the film ‘Pakshikalude Manam’, and Rakesh Dharan for the movie, ‘Rabbit Hole’.
The Best Background Music award was bagged by Midhun for the movie ‘Valiya Kannulla Meenukal’ and the Best Sound Designer award was shared by Shishir Chousalkar for the film ‘Anahut’ and Nikhil Varma for the film ‘Rabbit Hole’.
Special jury awards were bagged by K Jeyachandra Hashmi for ‘To-Let’, Ayswaria Wariar for ‘Nilima - Beyond the Blue an Exploration’, Sandhya Naveen for ‘Nashtavasantham’ and Safwan K Bawa for ‘Samakalikam’
Special mentions were accorded to the following films: Vivek Joseph Varghese for ‘Fugue’ (Best Film category), Arunsol for the movie ‘Memories of Morality’; (Best Director category), Devaki Rajendran for the film ‘Parvathy’ (Best Actor category), Mythili for the film ‘Pakshikalude Manam’ (Best Actor category), Krishnan Balakrishnan for the film ‘Ranthal’ (Best Actor category), Antony Varghese for the film ‘Mouse Trap’ (Best Actor category), Vinu Janardhanan for the film ‘Rabbit Hole’ (Best Screenplay category) and Kannan Patteri for the movie ‘Buhari Salon’ (Best Editor category).
Besides Dr. Biju and Rima Kallingal, the jury comprised filmmaker and director Sreebala K Menon, actor-producer Prakash Bare, filmmaker Pramod Payyannur, cinematographer M J Radhakrishnan, musician-composer Santosh Chandran, documentary and short filmmaker Ajan R S, recordist and sound designer Smijith Kumar P B, film editor Manoj, deputy editor of ‘The Hindu’ Saraswathy Nagarajan and writer and journalist C Rahim. Siraj Shah was the artistic director for the event.
M D Varghese, Chairman, Global Initiative for Excellence, Joe A Scaria, Executive Director. T Vinay Kumar, U S Kutty, Directors and Biju Job, Marketing Head, Eastern Group were also present at the function.