Malayalam actor Kunchako Boban presents an award to Manjusha Radhakrishnan, Entertainment Editor of Gulf News, at Sharjah on June 3, 2023.
Malayalam actor Kunchako Boban presents an award to Manjusha Radhakrishnan, Entertainment Editor of Gulf News, at Sharjah Expo on June 3, 2023. Image Credit: Supplied

Is entertainment journalism crucial to a movie’s success, and can an in-depth interview with its lead cast drum up awareness about a film?

These pertinent questions were answered when Gulf News’ Entertainment Editor, Manjusha Radhakrishnan, was honoured for her exclusive interview with the lead actor Tovino Thomas, who spearheaded the recent Malayalam-language blockbuster '2018', at a glittering awards night at the Sharjah Expo on June 3.

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The team of the hit disaster saga '2018', on Kerala floods, including its actors Tovino, Kunchacko Boban, Asif Ali, Aparna Balamurali, Tanvi Ram, Lal, Vineeth Sreenivasan, director Jude Anthany Joseph, and its raft of technicians and producers, gathered to celebrate the mammoth success of their film at the Sharjah Expo. Thousands of Malayalam movie fans thronged the Expo to catch a glimpse of the celebratory event.

"The in-depth analysis, insightful commentary, and captivating writing style set her article apart, making it a standout piece in the field of film journalism. This piece, published in an international newspaper of great repute like Gulf News, guided other communities in the region to this Malayalam movie '2018'. They played a pivotal role in the movie’s success in this region," said Asiavision, the organisers of the event, before presenting the award to the journalist.

Actor Kunchacko Boban, who played a crucial character in the Kerala floods saga '2018' and is one of Malayalam cinema’s most prominent actors, presented the award to Radhakrishnan.

An audio-visual presentation of the article published in Gulf News was also splashed before the award presentation on a giant screen.

"Her words on '2018' published in Gulf News amplified the reach of this film far and wide, indicating the power of international publications that continue to support good movies," they said in Malayalam.

'2018', whose box-office collections have surpassed a whopping Rs 2 billion (Dh89.1 million) worldwide, continues to do robust business in the UAE cinemas, even after a month of its theatrical release.

Inspired by the true events that unfolded in Kerala when devastating floods rocked the state in 2018, the film was a stirring account of how its people proved to be resilient even in the face of such an enormous tragedy.