Eminent novelist, filmmaker and screenplay writer M.T. Vasudevan Nair has been selected for J.C. Daniel Award, Kerala Government’s highest honour for outstanding contributions to Malayalam cinema.
The annual award, named after Daniel, who made the first silent movie in Kerala, was announced by Minister for Cinema Thiruvanchur Radhakrishnan here today. A Janpith laureate, Nair (80) has made immense contributions to Malayalam cinema as script writer and director and many of his works are considered all-time classics. As in literature, in cinema as well he broke a new ground through his scripts which harmoniously blended literary and cinematic elements.
Starting from Murappennu in 1964, MT had penned over 50 screen plays, mostly based on his own short stories. His directorial debut Nirmalayam in 1973 won the National award for best feature film and brought the Bharat award for thespian P.J. Antony, who essayed the central role. MT also won the national award for screenplay.
Viewers and critics have often acknowledged the scripts he penned were the vital component of the success of scores of movies since 1960s. As a screen play writer, MT has shown for the first time in Malayalam that cinema has its own language and grammar. A close look at his rich body of work will reveal that he has kept this in mind in while writing all his scripts, said film historian Balagopalan.
A master craftsman in literature, he has turned into films scores of his stories such as Kuttiyedathi, Olavum theeravum and Valarthumrigangal. Born in a village on the banks of river Nila, many of his novels and stories narrate moving tales of strains and agonies of characters of a society undergoing transformation from feudal norms and ethos.
But there are also critics who consider his novel Randamuzham, an exploration into the psyche of mythical character Bhima, as his magnum opus. The award, comprising a purse of Rs 1 lakh, citation and memento, will be presented next month.
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