Jury chairman Saeed Akhtar Mirza shared that selecting the best actor was ‘extremely difficult’. He added that Biju Menon’s performance in ‘Aarkkariyam’ was ‘extremely nuanced’. He further added that Joju George’s character in ‘Nayattu’ was ‘exuberant’ and ‘vulnerable’.
It is worth mentioning that Joju George has received a special jury mention in 2019 at the National Film Awards for his performance in the film ‘Joseph’, and Biju Menon is a two-time winner of the Kerala State Film Award for Second Best Actor.
About 142 films were submitted for the awards this year, under different categories. Both theatrical releases and direct digital releases were considered for the award, as a lion’s portion of Malayalam films were directly released on streaming platforms owing to the pandemic. And 29 film reached the final rounds, which was then been analyzed by a panel, chaired by Bollywood filmmaker and screenwriter Saeed Akhtar Mirza. And as the jury members had to select from an ocean of films, and outstanding performances, the competition was pretty tough this year.
The past two years were pretty productive for Malayalam films, despite the pandemic blues. Movies like ‘#Home’ and ‘Drishyam 2’ broke the language and geographical boundaries and went on to impress cinephiles and critics alike for its refreshing plot, narrative, and performances.