Sibi Malayil Unveils 2009 National Film Awards Controversy: Preferring Shah Rukh Khan Over Mohanlal

The National Film Awards hold a paramount position in the Indian cinema landscape, symbolizing excellence and achievement. Recently, renowned Malayalam film director Sibi Malayil shed light on a controversial incident that unfolded during the 2009 ceremony.

Mohanlal vs. Shah Rukh Khan: A Clash of Titans

"Renowned director Sibi Malayil reveals the untold story of the 2009 National Film Awards, exposing the chairman's request to favor Shah Rukh Khan over Mohanlal. Explore the controversy surrounding 'Paradesi' and the overlooked cinematic brilliance that stirred the industry."

Mohanlal and Shah Rukh Khan, stalwarts in their respective film industries, are often regarded as cinematic icons. In a surprising revelation, Sibi Malayil disclosed that he was asked to favor Shah Rukh Khan over Mohanlal for the prestigious Best Actor Award.

Sibi Malayil’s Account of the National Award Incident

According to News18, Sibi Malayil detailed the exclusion of Mohanlal’s drama film, “Paradesi,” from the 2009 National Film Awards. He claimed that the chairman urged him to choose Shah Rukh Khan for the Best Actor Award instead. Sibi passionately advocated for multiple awards for “Paradesi,” including Best Actor, Best Director, Best Lyrics, and Best Singer. However, the film only received recognition in the makeup department.

Controversial Decision and Advocate Efforts

Sibi expressed his disappointment, stating, “Cinematographer Sunny Joseph and I were the Malayalees on the jury. We wanted ‘Paradesi’ to get an award at least for director, costume, lyricist, and singer, and strongly advocated for it.” Despite their efforts, the jury’s decision remained unchanged, leading to a contentious win for Shah Rukh Khan.

Behind-the-Scenes Drama: Sujatha’s Snub and Shreya Ghoshal’s Intervention

Sibi further revealed that singer Sujatha, nominated for the Best Singer category for the song “Thattam Pidichu,” was pushed aside. A north Indian director suggested Shreya Ghoshal’s songs from “Jab We Met” for the award. Upon discovering it was for Sujatha, the director intervened, showcasing Ghoshal’s video cassette and altering the award.

Insight into “Paradesi”

“Paradesi,” a 2007 Malayalam drama film directed by P.T. Kunju Muhammed, explores the challenges faced by Indian expatriates returning from Arabia to India holding Pakistani passports. Despite a positive critical response, the film faced a disappointing outcome at the National Film Awards.

Sibi Malayil’s revelations offer a glimpse into the intricacies and controversies that can surround the prestigious National Film Awards, highlighting the subjective nature of artistic recognition.

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