The actor-director had earlier achieved a state award for best actor in 2008 for his character in 'Thalapaavu'. He along with his long time friend Siddhique (Bodyguard) had made films in the '90s under the title of Siddhique-Lal. Malayalam film 'Ustad Hotel' shared the best film with wholesome entertainment honour with Bollywood movie 'Vicky Donor'. Its scriptwriter Anjali Menon won the best dialogue award for the movie. Menon, who entered the industry as the director of critically acclaimed 'Manjadikuru', says she was reminded of late actor Thilakan, who posthumously received a special mention for his work in 'Ustad Hotel'. "When the awards were announced, I was reminded of Thilakan. I got this award mainly because of the support I got from Thilakan sir and Anwar Rasheed (director)," she said.
Menon feels it was a late recognition for Thilakan, who died last year. The scriptwriter, who was born and brought up in Dubai, had a problem in writing Malayalam language but she learnt the language in order to write the script. "Actually I feel very happy that I got recognition for the script. I think being local is universal now." Music director Biji Bal, who was recognised for the best background score on 'Kaliachan', said he had attempted something different this time. "I tried the Carnatic music in this movie as the story focused on 'Kathakali'. I am very happy that my change of pattern in music was recognised by the jury." 'Spirit' bagged the best feature film for national integration and actress Kalpana was named the best supporting actress for her role in 'Thanichala Njan'.