The key people now just happen to be Bharathiraja, the legendary film maker and chairman of the jury this year, other jury members, chairman of the Chalachithra Academy, Cultural Secretary and others of this stature!
This is, without a doubt, an embarrassment of epic proportions and casts a huge shadow over the entire industry, especially the system of awarding such recognitions.
For those of you still unaware of the actual scandal, let’s recap shall we..
After this year’s awards were declared, many cried foul over what they thought was an unfair judgement of several talents, including Suraj Venjaaramoodu who won the national award for best actor but only won the best comedian award at the state level. There were other “ignored talents” too.
There were accusations that arose even then that jury had neglected to watch all 85 of the movies, which was the total number of candidates in all the categories put together.
But this turned serious when a zealous young film maker, utilized the Right to Information Act to get his hands on documents regarding the jury members and their itineraries and figured out that Bharathiraja, for example, had only stayed half of the required time in Kerala, at the capital city, as was mandated by the rules of the award system, to spend time watching the movies on the list.
When called out on this however, the iconic director and the other members of the jury kept trying to convince the public that they watched all the movies and that their judgement was fair.
Now though, further analysis of the documents has revealed that they watched only maybe 35 of the 85 movies at best. The producer of the movie Perariyathavar, Anilkumar Ambalakkara, filed a case against the jury members and those who supported their blatant lies, for defrauding the public.
The High Court has admitted the petition and the issue of notice is a result of this. The Court has asked the defendants to respond within ten days and has asked that the awards be kept suspended until then.
A truly shameful moment for the industry at large; it seems lying to the public and inept and incompetent service are rampant at all levels and areas of Government run departments, including those that deal with the arts.
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