“Those who didn’t get the awards can go on and say anything they want”, Priyadarshan hits back at criticisms
Veteran filmmaker Priyadarshan has been in the news for sometime now. The director headed the jury for the 64th National Film Awards and some of their choices have been met with severe criticism. Many, including senior filmmakers, alleged nepotism in the jury’s choices.
The Priyadarshan headed jury have been at the receiving end of a lot of flak for some of their choices including the best actor award, which to everyone’s surprise went to Akshay Kumar for Rustom. It is worth a mention that the two have worked together in several movies like Hera Pheri, Bhool Bhulaiya and Garam Masala. Mohanlal, another close friend of Priyadarshan, winning the special jury award were also pointed out by many.
Priyadarshan has now hit back strongly at the criticisms. In a recent interview he said that all those who are crying foul are not aware of how a jury functions. The National awards jury comprises of ten regional jury members and himself.
He is quoted saying, “Out of the 334 films that were considered, many films that I personally considered were good, never made to the last 86 movies that were viewed by national jury. We could decide only from these movies. The list of winners was chosen by 38 jury members and I don’t believe that they were senseless. It was a collective decision. Those who didn’t get the awards can go on and say anything they want. The jury chairman is not the one who makes the decision. Chairman’s vote counts only if there is a dispute. The winners are chosen by voting by the jury members that included one member from every state. There were professors, vice chancellors, critics, filmmakers and journalists. I have to agree with their collective decision. For this year’s awards, I didn’t cast a single vote because all the decisions were unanimous. Majority in the jury had not not seen Mohanlal’s performance till then, so naturally they opted for him for the special jury award.“