The Kerala State film awards are rewarded to people who have shown exemplary performance in the motion picture industry for movies made in Kerala. These awards are principally given by an independent, non-profit organization operating under the Department of Cultural Affairs - the Kerala State Chalachitra Academy, on account of the Department of Cultural Affairs, Government of Kerala, India. These awards consist of a statuette, officially denoted as "replica” along with certificates or cash.
These awards have been given from the year 1998 through the Kerala State Chalachitra Academy but officially started in the year 1969 when they were bestowed by the Division of Cultural Affairs, Government of Kerala. The people who would be worthy to receive such awards are contemplated on by a panel which consists of members from the Academy as well as the Department of Cultural Affairs.The board consists of eminent personalities from the movie industry.
For the awards related to the literature on cinema, a separate council is formed. Every year all the films which are submitted are scrutinised so as to select a winner among them. The principal purpose behind the awards is to reward those films which have a meaningful message and which are beneficial for the society. It is also given to encourage more talent among the various members of the industry. While initially, the honours are announced by the Minister for Cultural Affairs, they are finally presented only by the Chief Minister of Kerala.
There are various subcategories of awards presented some of which have cash prizes linked to them. Some prominent subcategories are Best Film, Best Short Film, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Child Artist, Best Makeup Artist, Best Costume Designer, Best Story, Best Screenplay, Best Lyrics, Best Singer, etc. The awards for literature on cinema have subcategories like Best Book on Cinema, Best Article on Cinema, etc. which also include cash rewards.
For the year 1981 following are the list of winners belonging to prominent subcategories, Best Actor - Nedumudi Venu. He received the award not for his performance in a particular movie but for his acting in various films. , Best Film- Elippathayam ( Adoor Gopalakrishnan), Best Director – Aravindan for Pokkuveyil, Best Actress-Jalaja (Venal), Best Child Artist- Sudha for Elakkangal, Best Story- M. Sukumaran for Seshakriya, Best Male Singer- K. J. Yesu Das (Different Films), Best Female Singer- S Janaki (Different Films), Special Jury Award was received by Prem Nazeer (Vidaparayum Munpe, Parvathy, Special Award- Cancerum Laingika Rogangalum
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