CHENNAI, August 23: A spectacular show of laser lights, a glamorous galaxy of film stars and cine artistes and a remarkable audience participation marked the `18th Ujala Cinema Express awards' function held in the city on Sunday.
And as if to warm the cockles of the Tamil film viewers, chief guest of the function, Bollywood mega star Amitabh Bachchan, paid handsome tributes to the South Indian film industry. The South Indian film industry was better than its counterpart in Mumbai due to its disciplined, well-planned and well-managed approach to the system of film making, he said.
Sarathkumar received the Best Actor award for his performance in Suryavamsam, while Meena got the Best Actress award for her roles in Bharathi Kannamma and Porkalam. Anandraj received the Best Villain award for his role in Suryavamsam, whose director, Vikraman, got the Best Director award.
The best comedian and comedienne awards went to Manivannan (Periya Manushan) and Kovai Sarala(Porkalam) respectively. Director V Sekar received the Best Story Writer award for Pongolo Pongal.
Crazy Mohan received the award in the Best Dialogue Writer category for last year's blockbuster Ahaa.
Suryavamsam cornered other awards as well. The film received the award in the Best Film category. S A Rajkumar received the Best Music Director award for the same film.
Vairamuthu was adjudged the Best Lyricist for Minsara Kanavu, while the same film fetched the Best Cameraman award for Venu. Krishnaraj received the Best Playback Singer (Male) award for Porkalam, while the song Rosapoo chinna rosapoo from Suryavamsam fetched the Best Playback Singer award (Female) for Sujatha. Brinda received the Best Dance Director award for the Rajnikanth starrer Arunachalam. Rocky Rajesh received the Best Stunt Director award for the action packed thriller Dharmachakram. Budding star Baby Jennifer received the Best Child Artiste award.
In the Telugufilms category, Annamaya received the award for the Best Film. Nagarjuna received the Best Actor award for his performance in the same film, while Vijayshanthi was picked up for the Best Actress award. Annamaya fetched the Best Director award to K Raghavendra Rao.
Aniyathipravu, the original of Kadhalukku Mariyadhai received the Best Film award in the Malayalam films category.
Jayaram was selected for the Best Actor award for his performance in Krishnagudiyil Oru Pranayakaalatthu. Shalini received the Best Actress award for the critically acclaimed Aniyathipravu. Fazil received the Best Director award for the same film.
In the Kannada films section, America, America received the Best Film award. Ramesh Aravind received the Best Actor award for the same film, while Shilpa Shetty was adjudged the Best Actress. T S Nagabarana received the Best Director award for Nagamandala.
Jeetendra and Hema Malini received the Guest of Honour awards from chiefguest of the function Amitabh Bachchan.
Earlier, Kalpana Sonthalia, Director of Express Publications (Madurai) Limited, lighted the kuthuvilakku.
Welcoming the gathering, Express Publications (Madurai) Ltd Chairman and Managing Director Manoj Kumar Sonthalia said Cinema Express awards honoured excellence in the film industry, especially the ``confluence of the four linguistic rivers'' of the South. It was the South Indian film industry which sustained the Hindi cinema, too. Cinema Express will continue to honour eminence in the future, he added.
Copyright © 1998 Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd.