Kerala State Film Awards were started in 1969 for a motion picture made in Kerala. They are given by Kerala State Chalachitra Academy on behalf of Government of Kerala (Department of Cultural Affairs) since 1998. An independent jury decides the winners which consist of eminent personalities from cinema field, while a separate jury is created for awards related to the literature on cinema. The films are invited for awards, and the submitted films are analysed by the jury for deciding the winners. The awards emphasize on the promotion of films with artistic values and encouraging producers, technicians, and artists. The awards are presented by CM of Kerala.
The number of awards changes every year based on the scenario of motion picture arts. All the winners get a cash prize, a replica, and a certificate. Kerala State Film Awards 1997 for Best Film went to Bhoothakkannadi, its director Lohithadas was given a cash award of Rs 40,000, and its producer N. Krishnakumar was given a cash award of Rs 100,000.
Suresh Gopi became Best Actor for the film Kaliyattam whereas Jomol became Best Actress for Ennu Swantham Janakikutty and both were given Rs 1 Lakh each. The best Documentary award was shared by Ayyankali and Mizhavu for which directors, R.S. Madhu and K.R. Subhash, got Rs 9,000; and producers, P. Sasidharan and P.D. Raphel got Rs. 15000. Moksham became Best Children’s Film, and the prize was given to its director, Beppur Mani, and its producer, K.P. Venu.
The award for Best Film with Popular Appeal and Aesthetic Value was given to Kaliyattam for which its director, Jayaraj, and producer, K. Radhakrishnan (Jayalakshmy Films) were given the prize. Best Cinematographer award was received by Hari Nair for Ennu Swantham Janakikutty along with Rs 15000, and Lohithadas received Best Screen Play Award with Rs. 15000. T.V. Chandran became Best Director for Mangamma and got Rs. 50000. Best Book on Cinema award was given to V.K. Joseph for his book ‘Cinemayum Prathaiyayasasthravum’ with Rs 15000.
Balachandra Menon was given Special Jury Award for film ‘Samaantharangal’ with Rs. 30,000.
The best Dubbing Artists award was shared by Krishnachandran who dubbed for
Kunchacko Boban and
Sreeja Ravi for Shalini Kumar in the film,
Aniyathi Pravu, and they both were given Rs 7500 each. S.B. Satheesan became Best Costume Designer for Guru and was given Rs 15,000, while Pattanam Rasheed became the Best makeup artist for the same film, Guru and was also given Rs 15000. Best Processing Lab Award went to Prasad Colour Lab for Ennu Swantham Janakikutty, and T. Krishnanunni was given Best Sound Recordist Award for Janmadinam, and both were given Rs. 15,000 each.
Muthuraj became Best Art Director for Guru whereas L. Bhoominathan became Best Editor for Asuravamsam and both got Rs 15000 each. Best Music Director Award was given to Kaithapram for Karunyam with Rs 15000, while Krishnanunni became Best Sound Editor for Janmadinam.
Bhavana Radhakrishnan became Best Singer with song Ennodenthini Pinakkam from Kaliyattam and was given Rs 15000, whereas Rajmani received Best Background Music Director award for
Aaram Thamburan and got Rs 15000. Best Lyrics Award went to
Gireesh Puthenchery for
Krishnagudiyil Oru Pranayakalathu with Rs 15000. Best Story award went to story writer Sethu for Poothiruvathira Raavil along with Rs 50000.
Baby Shilpa became Best Child Artist for Janmadinam and got Rs 50000. Second Best Actor and Actress Awards went to
Biju Menon for Krishnagudiyil Oru Pranayakalathu, and Sreelakshmi for Bhoothakkannadi and both got Rs 50000 each. Poothiruvathira Ravil became Second Best Film and its director, V.R. Gopinath was given Rs 30000 and its producer/production company, NFDC got Rs 60000. Kerala State Film Awards’ Lifetime Achievement Award is known as J.C. Daniel Award and its given for outstanding contribution to Malayalam Cinema. It's winner in 1997 was K. Raghavan who is a composer.