The award ceremony of the 22nd Gollapudi Srinivas Award was held recently and the honour of the Best Debut Film has been given to director C Prem Kumar's romantic drama 96. The film was selected by the members of the Gollapudi Srinivas Memorial Foundation, from among 10 nominations in various languages from all over the country. The award was announced earlier in March and the function felicitating the winners was held on Monday. Mani Ratnam, Bala and Vettrimaaran presented the award to Prem Kumar. The movie's protagonist Vijay Sethupathi was also reportedly present to congratulate the director.
The story of 96 is that of a photographer's trip down memory lane and his musings about an old flame. A cinematographer-turned-filmmaker, Prem Kumar has helmed the camera for acclaimed movies like Pasanga, Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom and Sundarapandian. He had also written the story of 96. Starring Vijay Sethupathi and Trisha, this movie became a blockbuster hit and received critical acclaim. Prem Kumar is currently remaking the movie in Telugu, with little changes to the script. This movie, produced by Dil Raju, has Sharwanand and Samantha Akkineni in the lead roles. The jury described 96 as path-breaking.
These awards are named after the youngest son of veteran film personality Gollapudi Maruthi Rao - Gollapudi Srinivas, who passed away in an accident while directing his first movie. The memorial award was first announced in Chennai in 1996 and Janaki Vishwanathan became the first Kollywood member to win the award for her debut Tamil film Kutty, in 2001. 96 is the second Kollywood movie to be honoured.
The award has a memento and a cash prize of Rs. 1,50,000. The award is announced annually on March 17 and presented on August 12 each year. Last year, the award had gone to Konkona Sen Sharma for A Death in the Gunj. The Kannada movie Godhi Banna Sadharana Mykattu, directed by Hemanth Rao had won in 2017. It is indeed an honour for Kollywood that 96 has won it this year!Read More