JC Daniel award is a prestigious award named after the famous filmmaker in Kerala who made the first silent film in Malayalam. It is the highest honour for outstanding contribution to Malayalam cinema from the Kerala government. The award carries a purse of Rs 5 lakh, a citation and a plaque. Iconic director Adoor Gopalakrishnan and veteran lyricist Sreekumaran Thampi were the recipients of the honor in the previous years. Now, for this year veteran actress Sheela has been chosen to receive this award on the 27th July. In an interview to a leading daily, Sheela expresses her delight over receiving the award and also discusses the current affairs in the industry that include Women In Cinema collective, the MeToo movement among others.
Sheela said, “I was thrilled to receive the news of the Kerala state government honoring me with the JC Daniel award. And I felt all the more happy as Culture Minister A K Balan himself called to give me the news. This clearly indicates respect for artists”. When asked to compare the present cinema with that during her times, the beautiful actress said, “There are many changes. I feel we have grown a lot technically and also in terms of looks. Earlier, our crane and supporting equipment were made of wood and now, it is metal.”
Besides being a prolific actress, Sheela has also directed two films, Yakshaganom and Shikharangal. On the current #MeToo movement, Sheela attributes to the behavior of men towards women to food when she states, “I think the hormones in our food make men behave like this. It makes them 90% man and 10% beast. In the old days, youngsters fell in love when they were in their 20s. Now teenagers are already thinking about love. I feel this is all down to our food”. She wants the government to take stringent action against the perpetrators of such heinous crimes. On the Women in Cinema Collective, she says that if she were based in Kerala, she would have joined the movement but sitting in Chennai she feels she cannot do much. “My voice would have been heard the loudest in the issue. But I don’t believe I will be doing much by attending one meeting and returning to Chennai where I live”, she signs off.Read More