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October 15, 2001

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Meena wins award for best actress

The actress, who has been dominating the Tamil cinema for almost a decade, has won yet another Cinema Express award at a ceremony in Madras on October 14, that was somewhat subdued compared to previous years.

Meena won the best actress award for her bubbly role in Rhythm while Ajith was adjudged best actor for his performance in Citizen. This is Meena's fourth Cinema Express award.

Anandam received the best picture award and Maddy Madhavan, ironically a decade-old in the film world, was adjudged the best debutant for Minnale. The two films that won the most awards were Dum Dum Dum and Anandam.

The New Indian Express group of publications and the publishers of Cinema Express (which gives the annual honours) had promised that Hindi film star Hrithik Roshan would grace the 21st awards. Many fans had thronged the Nehru Indoor Stadium, Madras, despite it being a stormy night, only to return disappointed.

Sunday's awards were not telecast, the event was low-key and the crowd was thinner than last year. Despite all the new clothes, the dazzling diamonds and glittering gold in the gallery of nominees, the show lacked the punch of previous years.

There are 41 categories for which the awards, considered the biggest and most glamorous event on the southern film calendar, are given out. When it was introduced in 1981, only Tamil cinema was awarded in a dozen categories.

Cinema Express editor V Ramamurthy says, "In 1987 we introduced other categories at Kamal Haasan's suggestion".

Directors, playback singers, debutante directors, lyricists, scriptwriters and dialogue writers also get awarded. Hero Honda, the motorcycle giant, has introduced the critics' award and Green Label tea sponsors the best Woman Achiever's Award.

Actress-turned-singer Vasundhara Das, Mumtaz, Rambha, actor Prashanth and Abhirami performed at the show. Kasturi and YG Mahendran hosted the show.

In the Telugu cinema awards category, a special award went to Akkineni Nageswara Rao for 60 years of contribution to the southern film industry. He recalled how he had first come to Madras and roamed the streets barefoot, looking for work.

Nuvve Kavaali won the best Telugu film award and its director B Gopal was adjudged the best director.

In Kannada, Sparsh was the best film and Vishnuvardhan the best actor.

In Malayalam, Tenkasi Pattaam was the best film and the Kumari Kuttan team too won several awards. The critics' choice award went to Sayaji Shinde, the Maharastrian actor who played Bharathi in a film of the same name.

Tamil actor and parliamentarian Sarath Kumar received the Chevalier Sivaji Ganesan Award, named after the famous thespian who died this year. Kumar's wife Radhika took away all the awards in the television category for their home production Chitthi, the most popular soap aired by the Sun Network.

Indo-Asian News Service

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