India is a diverse country, and we have various religions, castes, and tribes. However, the most crucial feature of India’s unique diversity is the multiplicity of languages that people verbalize in different parts of the country. Hence, people expect entertainment in their mother tongue and apparently this need is being fulfilled by the two separate film industries residing inside the country (Bollywood and Tollywood). However, being entertained is not sufficient; also there needs to be acknowledgement for those people who are a source of our entertainment. This need was untimely identified by the Kerala Government who inaugurated Kerala State Film Award, in association with the Department of Cultural Affairs. The Kerala State Film Award is an annual award function bestowed to those who have achieved an immense excellence in Malayalam Film Industry.
Initially, the award was directly honoured by the Department of Cultural Affairs, Government of Kerala, but since 1998 the honour, on behalf of the Department of Cultural Affairs, is presented by Kerala State Chalchitra Academy. However, the award function to honour those people who contributed to the Malayalam Cinema had commenced in 1969. The panel of adjudicators which consist of prominent figures of the film industry has to decide the deserving winners. The Chief Minister of Kerala presents this prestigious award. The Kerala State Film Award 1980 was organized by the Government of Kerala to felicitate those artists who played an important and integral part in the enhancement of the Malayalam Film Industry. The Government of Kerala in collaboration with Department of Cultural Affairs rewarded the most entitled victors.
Opel by K.S.Sethumadhevan won the best film award, Champaran by Bharathan won the second best film award, Achan Kunju for Lorry won the best actor award, and Poornima Jayaram for Manjil Virinja Pookal won the best actress award. The other winners included Master Aravind, K.J.Yesu Das, and S.Janaki, who won the best child artist, best male singer, and best female singer, respectively. The then Chief Minister of Kerala bestowed this prestigious award. The Kerala State Film Award, right since its commencement, has played a very integral and prominent part in encouraging and motivating the artists of Malayalam Cinema. The award bestowed by the Chief Minister himself is a pivotal part of this ceremony as it embarks the feeling of immense prestige within the winners instilling in them the sense of motivation to do better and to set a benchmark for them in the Malayalam Film Industry.