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Veteran movie director Hariharan bagged the prestigious JC Daniel Award, the Kerala government’s highest honour, for his outstanding contribution to Malayalam cinema. The honour was announced by Cultural Affairs Minister of the state, A K Balan on November 3.

An expert panel, chaired by renowned writer M T Vasudevan Nair and with director Harikumar, actor Madhubala , Chalachitra Akademy Chairman Kamal and Culture Department Secretary Rani George as members, selected Hariharan for his contributions to Malayalam cinema during past five decades.

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Hariharan’s ‘Oru Vadakkan Veeragadha’, released in 1988 bagged four national award and six state awards.

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The iconic director, helmed around 50 movies, including critically acclaimed Sargam, Parinayam, Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja, Sharapancharam, Panchagni, Nakhakshathangal, Amrutham Gamaya among others.

The annual honour, named after JC Daniel, who made the first silent movie in Malayalam, comprises a purse of Rs 5 lakh, a citation and a plaque.

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Last year, veteran actor Sheela bagged the award. Iconic director Adoor Gopalakrishnan and veteran lyricist Sreekumaran Thampi were the recipients of the honour in the previous years.