Manikchand Filmfare Awards: Sizzling at 50

HYDERABAD: With the mercury already soaring, one would have thought they had had enough of the hot stuff. But as Saturday night showed, sizzle and spice are indeed a way of life for the Hyderabadi, who took both the summer heat and the hot numbers in his stride.

And rightly so, for it was a special occasion, being the 50th Manikchand Filmfare Awards 2002 (South) night, held at the Gachibowli indoor stadium here on Saturday. As the annual Filmfare Awards, widely acknowledged as the Indian Oscars, celebrates its golden jubilee this year in the south, the Cyber City played host to the star-studded evening.

The Filmfare Awards for the south recognises and honours excellence in cinema in Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu. The event kicked off on a musical note, with a blended performance from Shankar Mahadevan, whose medley of songs included 'Breathless' and a blend of melodies from all south Indian languages.

Adding glamour and excitement to the evening were the hosts, the versatile R Madhavan of Aley Patyuthey fame and Telugu heart-throb Shriya, who stole the show in Santosham. The awards presentation ceremony began with recognition of efforts for best technician, best choreographer, best newcomer and best playback singer.

Ravi K Chandran picked up the best technician award for Kannathil Muthamittal (Tamil), while Lawrence received awards for his choreography in Indra (Telugu). The best newcomer award went to Nitin for his appearance in Jayam, while Anooradha Sriram received the best playback singer award for her song in Gemini.

This year, Manikchand Filmfare Awards introduced awards in four new categories - best comedian, best actor in a villainous role, best supporting actor and best supporting actress in Tamil and Telugu films. Vivek bagged the best comedian award for Run in Tamil, while the same award in Telugu went to Brahmanandam for his role in Manmadhudu. The best villain awards in Tamil and Telugu went to Kalabhavan Mani in Gemini and Shafi for Khadgam, respectively.

The best supporting actor and actress awards in Tamil went to Sneha for Unnai Ninaithu and Jayaram for Panchatantram , while Sangitha for her role in Khadgam and Prakash Raj for his role in Nuvve Nuvve bagged the Telugu supporting role awards.

The event was interspersed by performances from Urmila Matondkar, Yana Gupta, Reema Sen, Bhoomika, Sada and Silambarasan. Chiranjeevi's performance in Indra fetched him the best actor award, while Sada won the best actress award for her role in Jayam. The best film award went to K L Narayana's Santosham. The film also won an award for music direction by R P Patnaik. The best director award in this section went to Krishna Vamsi for Khadgam.

Ajith won the best actor award for his dual role in Villain. Tamil film Gemini again scored when music director Bharadwaj picked up the award. The best director award went to Manirathnam for Kannathil Muthamittal, a film which also fetched the best actress award for Simran. D Udhaya Kumar's Azhagi bagged the best Tamil film award. Girish Kasaravalli's Dweepa swept the awards in the Kannada film section, bagging trophies for the best film, best actress and best director. Soundarya collected her trophy for best actress, as well as the producer of the film. The awards for the best actor and best music director went to Sudeep (Nandi) and Guru Kiran (Dhum) respectively.

In the Malayalam film category, Meesa Madhavan scored over the rest with awards for the best actor (Dilip), best director (Lal Jose) and best music director (Vidyasagar). Director Ranjit's Nandanam followed close behind, winning the award for the best film, while Navya Nair won the best actress award for the same film. Telugu's man with the Midas touch, K Raghavendra Rao, and Kannada thespian Vishnuvardhan were honoured with Filmfare lifetime achievement awards for their contribution to the film industry.

The 50th Manikchand Filmfare Awards was supported by Vijay Television and Eenadu Television, Pepsi, Kingfisher and Bagpiper for beverages. Airtel supported as a communications partner, while Radio Mirchi was the radio partner. The event, produced by 360 degrees, was supported by Stanza for transportation and hospitality from Taj Krishna.

Source: The Economic Times