Mohanlal's Oppam not in the running for National Film Awards as director Priyadarshan chairs jury
Priyadarshan's crime thriller from last year, Oppam, starring the Malayalam cinema veteran Mohanlal, received unanimous praise from all quarters. It was considered a top contender for Best Film and Best Actor in the Kerala State Film Awards but as a pleasant surprise, parallel cinema got the better of commercial cinema there.
Vidhu Vincent's social drama Manhole and Vinayakan's act in the crime drama Kammatipaadam snatched the top honours away from Oppam and Mohanlal. Now, matters have turned verse for the veteran as his film will not be in the running for the National Film Awards in any of the categories.
The rationale behind the same is not because of its credibility as a good contender for a National Award, but a technical reason. The director of the film, Priyadarshan has been appointed as the head of the jury for the 64th National Film Awards. In order to avoid any conflict of interest, his directorial has not been included in the shortlisted names running for the Best Film or any other category.
The Times of India reports that close to 380 films have been shortlisted for the National Awards this year. The same report quotes Priyadarshan saying, "I have only been sent the list of the movies that are being assessed. I will have a clear idea of the composition of the panel and other details only after I reach Delhi." He adds that the screening will begin on 16 March and will go on for a month.
His films, like Kaalpani in 1996 and Kanchivaram in 2007 brought multiple National Awards to Malayalam cinema. The report by the Times of India states that his film Sia Samayangalil had made it to the final round of nomination for the Golden Globe Awards this year. While this is his first stint as the jury chairperson for the National Film Awards, he has previously chaired the jury for the 2011 International Film Festival of Kerala.