The atmosphere in the auditorium was electric as the Vikatan Cinema Awards got underway. A glittering event, attended by stars from the silver screen, the audience had gathered to celebrate their love for cinema and to recognise the incredible talents who entertain them. Justice Chandru, who inspired the heartwarming story of "Jai Bhim", presented the Best Film award to the team behind the movie. Speaking about the impact of the film, he said, "This film has kickstarted a lot of conversation. The students tell me that they are now more aware of social issues. They are eager to know how they can contribute to society in dealing with these issues."
As the Jai Bhim team took to the stage, the audience erupted into thunderous applause. Actor Suriya thanked Justice Chandru for sharing the details of the case that inspired the film, and expressed his gratitude to Kalyani sir for his guidance. He also praised the tribal people who appeared in the film, saying they had only agreed to participate because they believed the movie could bring about change.
The crew members also shared their thoughts and experiences of working on the film. T.J. Gnanavel spoke of how his team members helped him realize his dream, while cinematographer S.S. Kathir explained that the movie was all about social justice, inclusion, and democracy. Sean Roldan, who composed the film's music, expressed his delight at being a part of such an important project. Finally, editor Philomin Raj drew parallels between Jai Bhim and a Korean movie that sparked social change and expressed his hope that the film would do the same in Tamil Nadu.
Vetrimaaran presented the Best Director award to T.J. Gnanavel. Reflecting on the significance of the Vikatan awards, Vetrimaaran noted that "Vikatan review and recognition from Vikatan has always been special to the film industry. It has always been that way." T.J. Gnanavel expressed his gratitude to Vikatan, saying, "Vikatan is like a mentor to my writing. Thank you for mentoring me."
Actor Kamal Hassan then presented the Best Actor award to Suriya, who received a standing ovation from the crowd. Suriya praised Vikatan, noting that the magazine had been read by people for almost 100 years and had featured legendary writers like Kalki, Sujatha, and Jayakanthan. He also thanked Vikatan for honoring his Agaram foundation with the Nambikkai award in 2019.
Reflecting on receiving the award from Kamal Haasan, Suriya said, "Not all winners are trendsetters. But Kamal Haasan is a trendsetter. I am happy to be following in his path, even if I am lagging behind and I have miles to go. To be honest, even if I had been in some other profession, he would still be my role model."
Suriya expressed his gratitude to Director T.J.Gnanavel, who had inspired him to create Agaram, a non-governmental organization that helps underprivileged children receive a better education. Suriya credited Gnanavel for guiding him through the project and leaving his job to help him with it. The organization has since helped 5000 children from government schools receive a college education. Suriya also thanked Vikatan for recognizing Gnanavel's efforts and for presenting him with the Best Director Award.
Suriya dedicated his Best Actor Award to his wife, actress Jyothika. He also invited his co-star Manikandan to the stage and expressed his admiration for Manikandan's fanhood of Actor Kamal Haasan. Suriya then called Kamal Haasan a trendsetter and a role model, stating that he would follow in his footsteps. Kamal Haasan blessed both Suriya and Manikandan with a forehead kiss and took Suriya's hands while getting down from the stage.
Overall, the event was filled with joy and appreciation for the contributions made by various members of the film industry, as well as recognition for the legacy of Vikatan magazine, which has been a staple of Tamil literature for almost a hundred years.
Actress Meena and Joy Alukkas Retail Manager Rajesh Krishna presented the award for Best Actress to Lijo Mol Jose for her remarkable performance in Jai Bhim. “I did not know about the community before this movie. I had to work a lot to portray this character. The people in the community helped me a lot in getting into the character. As a woman, I can understand the pain, but to fully get inside the mind of the character, it was the people who helped me. They also taught me Tamil”, she expressed gratefully.
Anirudh, who won the award for Best Music Director for his hit numbers in Master and Doctor, was unable to attend the ceremony but sent a video message expressing his joy in receiving the honor.
Director Sasi presented the award for Best Supporting Actor to Pasupathi for his excellent portrayal of the virtuous Rangan Vaathiyar in Sarpatta Parambarai. “I have been in the cinema field for 23 years, and this is my first Vikatan award,” he exclaimed happily as he received the award.
Actress Kushbu and the Managing Director of Geetham Veg Restaurant, Mr. Murali, presented the award for Best Supporting Actress to Urvashi. “Even though I was in the middle of a shoot, I had come all the way here to receive the award because of Actor Suriya. I am a fan of Actor Kamal Haasan, and in the present generation, Actor Suriya is my favorite. I still cannot forget what the Vikatan team had written about my debut performance. ‘Beware fellow actresses! Actress Urvashi has arrived,’ they had proclaimed. I was very happy to read that,” she said. Actress Kushbu praised the extraordinary acting skills of her dear friend, and Actress Urvashi praised Kushbu’s bravery and outspoken nature. She called Actor Suriya on stage to share the moment with him.
At the Vikatan Awards ceremony, Dr. Selvakumar from AVT presented the Best Comedy Actor Award to Redin Kingsley for his off-beat performance in the movie Doctor. Director Nelson and the actor shared witty one-liners and pulled each other's legs, revealing the origins of the quirky dark comedy in the movie to the audience.
Lokesh Kanagaraj presented the Best Debut Director Award to Madonne Ashwin for the movie Mandela. Ashwin thanked his hardworking assistant directors, acknowledging their eye for detail and their contribution to the film. He also talked about how Vikatan magazine gave the movie a rating instead of marks, as it was released on an OTT platform. The audience witnessed the beautiful friendship between Madonne Aswin and Lokesh Kanagaraj.
Actress Devayani and Radio Jockey Nidhi presented the Best Debut Actor Award to Hakeem Shah for his performance in the movie Kadaisila Biryani. Hakeem dedicated the award to all the struggling actors and filmmakers who want to make their mark in the industry.
Director Kiruthiga Udhayanidhi presented the Best Debut Actress Award to Abarnathi for her performance in the movie Thaen. Abarnathi expressed her happiness in receiving the award and thanked the director for trusting her and guiding her to great heights.
The Best Actor in a Negative Role Award was announced for SJ Suryah, who was not able to attend the function. The team met him later and presented him with the award.
At the Vikatan Awards ceremony, Cinematographer Ravi.K.Chandran presented the Best Cinematography award to Tanvir Mir for his exceptional work in the movie Psycho. Expressing his joy and gratitude for the recognition, Tanvir Mir praised the guidance of Mysskin sir and suggested that every aspiring cinematographer should work with him at least once.
Producer Sathya Jyothi Thyagarajan presented the award for Best Art Direction to Tha.Ramalingam for his commendable work in the movie Sarpatta Parambarai. Ramalingam thanked the movie's producer and director Pa.Ranjith and dedicated the award to his assistants. He also likened the Vikatan award to a compliment from one's father.
The Best Production award was presented to AP Production for their movie Thaen, by Producer Sathya Jyothi Thyagarajan. Producers Ambalavaanan and Prema received the award and expressed their appreciation for the recognition. Thyagarajan praised the producers for taking the initiative to produce small-scale movies like Thaen and encouraged the audience to celebrate such movies more.
Director-actor Parthiban presented the Best Crew award to the team of Karnan. Director Mari Selvaraj thanked the villagers of Puliankulam and Pilakkulam for their immense support during the movie's shoot and dedicated his award to them. Parthiban also commended Mari Selvaraj's skill in capturing human emotions.
Cinematographer Ravi Varman presented the Best Editor award to K.L.Praveen for his outstanding work in the movie Maanadu. Ravi Varman hailed editors as "script doctors," while Praveen.K.L spoke about the challenges of completing the movie during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Director Mohan Raja, Music Director Karthik Raja, and Prem Das and Ravi Das from VGP Marine Kingdom presented the Best Screenplay award to Venkat Prabhu for his excellent screenwriting in the movie Maanadu. Venkat Prabhu expressed his happiness at the recognition and talked about the creative effort that goes into making fun movies.
Stunt Silva received the Best Stunt Choreographer award for his exceptional work in the movie Master. In his acceptance speech, Silva thanked Actor Vijay and acknowledged him as the sole reason for his recognition.
Producer Dhananjayan presented the best dance choreographer award to Dance Master Dinesh for his work in the movie 'Master'. Receiving the award, he reminisced about his Vikatan award for the movie 'Pokkiri'. He talked about the dancing skills and style of Actor Vijay. As the peppy anchors wanted him to dance for the 'Vaathi coming' song with his signature steps, he called Dhananjayan to accompany him and made him dance for a bit.
Director Kiruthiga Udhayanidhi and Jagdish, the CEO of Next Advertising solutions presented the best lyricist award to Poet Thamarai for her beautiful song 'Yaar Azhaippadhu' in the movie 'Maara'. 'I do not travel much. I virtually travel through my songs', said poet Thamarai, much to the surprise of the audience.
Singer Srinivas presented the best male playback singer award to Kapil Kapilan for his soulful rendition of the song 'Adiye' in the movie 'Bachelor'. Kapil said that he would dedicate the award to Vibu Menon Thomas. As the anchors were bringing up popular 'Adiye' songs, Srinivas sang his popular number 'Adi Nee enge' and was drenched in the applause.
Actress Rachitha Mahalakshmi and Jackson of Sathya agencies presented the award to singer Kidakkuzhi Mariammal for her song 'Kanda vara sollunga' in the movie 'Karnan'. "I am just a folk singer. It was my grand children who told me that I have received an award from Vikatan. I could not just believe it. Vikatan has such a great legacy", Mariammal said happily in her endearing dialect. She thanked Director Mari Selvaraj and Music Director Santhosh Narayanan.
Producer Rajsekar Pandian presented the best wholesome entertainment film award to Director Nelson. As he received the award, the director took a walk down the memory lane and talked about his early days where he used to direct Vikatan awards. He spoke about how everyone received the movie properly and expressed his happiness towards the recognition.
Actor Vimal presented the best Child artist award to Mukesh for his performance in 'Mandela'. Mukesh expressed his joy in receiving the award. "It is a magical feeling to have received the award for my Debut acting venture. It is unbelievable", he said.
Actress Rohini presented the best story award to Writer-Director Virumaandi for his movie 'Ka.Pe.Ranasingam'. Virumaandi expressed his happiness in receiving the award. "I am the son of a theatre actor. When I came to Chennai, I did not even have the money to buy the Vikatan magazine. Now, I am receiving an award, I am very happy. I am interested in people's stories. Our family does not know anything other than cinema, we will make the cinema for the people", he said. He called his family to the stage to celebrate the recognition. His mother was very moved as she came to the stage. "My husband is a theatre actor, my son Virumaandi is a director. My grandchildren are also in cinema. We have been in the film industry for three generations", she said as the audience cheered.
Costume designer Anu Vardhan presented the Best Costume Designer award to Aegan Ekambaram for his work in the movie Sarpatta Parambarai. Ekambaram expressed his gratitude and dedication to the weavers who inspired his designs, and Vardhan revealed that he had left a high-profile job to pursue his passion for film industry design. Actress Ramya Pandian then presented the Best Makeup award to Dasarathan for his work in the same movie, and he thanked director Pa.Ranjith for the opportunity and his assistants for their support.
The Best Web Series award was presented by Director Ezhil to the team behind November Story, Radhika Srinivasan from AV Production and director Indira Subramaniam, who spoke about the challenges of producing during the COVID-19 pandemic and the creative freedom that comes with streaming platforms.
Actor Kamal Haasan presented the S.S.Vasan lifetime achievement award to Director Mani Ratnam for his outstanding contribution to Tamil cinema. “I am filled with more of humility than pride to be presenting this award", said Kamal Haasan. He spoke about how glory or popularity is not the property of a single person. Director Mani Ratnam, a man of few words surprised everyone by speaking a lot as he received the award. "I am very happy to be receiving the award instituted in the name of S.S.Vasan. This 'lifetime' achievement thing makes me hesitant, I am not done, I wish to do more. You know, Pan India is not a recent concept. In Chandralekha they had done it already, to have taken the movie in Tamil and carried it across to North India on a grand scale speaks volume about the sheer confidence of S.S.Vasan. The Vikatan magazine is very stingy in giving marks to my movies, so I came forward immediately when they gave me an award”, he said. Kamal Haasan interjected and said, "This is the worry of studious first benchers like you. Students like me will take whatever marks they give”. The audience cheered.
The actor-director duo then spoke about their dreams and plans. They spoke about how they have to make the movie that they want to see. They spoke about how they had tall dreams as aspirational youngsters. They spoke about how they have tried to make the dreams a reality and urged the youngsters to chase their dreams. Kamal Haasan praised Mani Ratnam for his subtleties. They spoke about how actors and directors come together to make movies. Kamal Haasan said that everyone involved in making movies is a revolutionary in these days. Kamal Haasan revealed some exciting news without giving away much detail. "You know something, I have heard my most favourite song of A.R.Rahman. It has not been released yet, none of you had heard it”, he said, leaving the audience to wonder what could it be. Mani Ratnam dedicated the award to everyone who loves cinema.
Actor Sivakarthikeyan was presented with the Best Entertainer award by Director Shankar and Mahesh Anand, managing director of Nippon Paints. Sivakarthikeyan expressed his happiness in receiving the award, stating that it was his first Vikatan award and that it was extra special to be receiving it from Director Shankar, who he described as the king of grandeur and entertainment. Speaking about his work in the movie 'Doctor', Sivakarthikeyan said that he always used to think that his job is entertainment and that the movie was an experiment that was received well. Despite 50% theatre occupancy due to the pandemic, the movie collected around hundred crores, which gave hope to producers. Sivakarthikeyan also praised Director Nelson for his unique timing and credited music director Anirudh for taking care of the rest.
Overall, the Vikatan Awards celebrated the diverse and talented individuals who contribute to the vibrant Tamil film industry.