Salim Kumar (right) accepts the award for best actor. Image Credit: Arshad Ali/Gulf News

Malayalam action epic Urumi, about warring clans in northern Kerala around the 16th century, dominated the Asiavision Movie Awards at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Friday. The film won a total of seven awards including best actress for Genelia D'Souza, best director for Santosh Sivan and best anti-hero for Jagathy.

The annual awards night honouring the best in the Kerala film industry also saw legendary actor Mammootty collect the Millennium Star Award, a nod to his impressive performances in films released from 2000 to 2011. The winners were chosen by an online poll.

The surprise of the night came when the best actor trophy went to an unlikely candidate — Salim Kumar — for his impressive performance as a poor perfume seller in Adaminte Makan Abu. Until appearing in this film, which is India's official submission to the Oscars in Best Foreign Film category, Kumar mainly played a comic sidekick.

Apart from crowd favourite Mammootty, Lifetime Achievement Award recipient K.J. Yesudas, who has sung more than 50,000 songs in several Indian languages including Malayalam, Hindi and Tamil, ensured there was not a dry eye in the house. He sang the first four lines of his debut song from the 1961 film Kaalpadukal after collecting the award.

Though it's largely a Malayalam movie awards night to honour South Indian actors, stars known primarily for their Bollywood work such as Anupam Kher, Jayaprada and D'Souza proved that cinema knows no boundaries. While D'Souza proved her mettle as a warrior princess in Urumi, Jayaprada and Kher won awards for Pranayam — a tale about the accidental reunion of an estranged couple.

The thriller Traffic and the unconventional romance Salt n' Pepper were also among the night's big winners, walking off with five and three awards respectively.

The winners include:

  • Millennium star: Mammootty (Various films during 2000 - 2011)
  • Life time achievement award: K.J. Yesudas
  • Man of the year: Santhosh Sivan (Urumi, Indian Rupee and Makaramanju)
  • Best actor: Salim Kumar [Adaminte Makan Abu]
  • Best actress: Genelia D'souza [Urumi]
  • Second best actor: Anoop Menon [Traffic, Cocktail]
  • Second best actress: Swetha Menon [Salt n' Pepper]
  • Character actor: Thilakan [Indian Rupee]
  • Best movie: Urumi
  • Outstanding Indian movie: Adaminte Makan Abu [directed by : Salim Ahamed]
  • Best director: Santhosh Sivan [Urumi]
  • Best screenplay: Sanjay-Bobby [Traffic]
  • Best Supporting Actress: Samvrita Sunil