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Malayalam
Malayalam
cinema

No. of screens 1100 single-screens in Kerala
Kerala
state of India[1]

Main distributors Aashirvad Cinemas Maxlab Cinemas and Entertainments Mulakuppadam Films LJ Films Galaxy Films Revathy Kalamandhir Merryland Studio Navodaya Studio Graand Production August Cinema Sree Gokulam Films

Produced feature films (2016)[2]

Total 134

Gross box office (2016)[3]

National films India: ₹9 billion (US$140 million)

Indian cinema

Assamese Bengali (Tollywood) Bhojpuri Badaga Beary Bihari Chhattisgarhi Dogri Gujarati (Gollywood/Dhollywood) Haryanvi Hindi
Hindi
(Bollywood) Jharkhandi Kashmiri Kannada (Sandalwood) Konkani Kosli Kutchi Malayalam
Malayalam
(Mollywood) Marathi Meitei Odia Punjabi Rajasthani Sanskrit Santali Tamil (Kollywood) Telugu (Tollywood) Tulu (Coastalwood)

Malayalam
Malayalam
cinema is the Indian film industry based in the southern state of Kerala, dedicated to the production of motion pictures in the Malayalam
Malayalam
language. It is also known by the sobriquet Mollywood in various print and online media (a portmanteau of Malayalam
Malayalam
and Hollywood).[4] It is the fourth largest film industry in India. The films produced here are known for their cinematography and story-driven realistic plots. Works such as Marana Simhasanam and Vanaprastham were screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival.[5][6] Marana Simhasanam garnered the coveted Caméra d'Or ("Golden Camera") for that year.[7][8][9] In 1982, Elippathayam
Elippathayam
won the Sutherland Trophy at the London Film Festival, and Most Original Imaginative Film of 1982 by the British Film Institute. Rajiv Anchal's Guru (1997) and Salim Ahamed's Adaminte Makan Abu (2011) were Malayalam
Malayalam
films sent by India
India
as its official entries for the Best Foreign Language Film category at the Academy Awards. Adoor Gopalakrishnan
Adoor Gopalakrishnan
has won the International Film Critics Prize (FIPRESCI) for his works such as Mukhamukham (1984), Anantaram (1987), Mathilukal
Mathilukal
(1989), Vidheyan (1993), Kathapurushan
Kathapurushan
(1995), and Nizhalkkuthu
Nizhalkkuthu
(2002).[10] Other films which achieved global acclaim include Chemmeen
Chemmeen
(1965), which received a Certificate of Merit at the Chicago International Film Festival, and a Gold Medal at the Cannes Film Festival
Cannes Film Festival
for Best Cinematography.[11] Piravi
Piravi
(1989) won at least 31 international honours, including the Caméra d'Or – Mention Spéciale at the 1989 Cannes Film Festival, and was screened at the Un Certain Regard.[6][12] Swaham
Swaham
(1994) won the Bronze Rosa Camuna at the Bergamo Film Meeting in Italy.[6][7][8][9] The first 3D film
3D film
produced in India, My Dear Kuttichathan
My Dear Kuttichathan
(1984), was made in Malayalam.[13] The first CinemaScope
CinemaScope
film produced in Malayalam
Malayalam
was Thacholi Ambu (1978).[14] During the early 1920s the Malayalam
Malayalam
film industry was based in Trivandrum, although the film industry started to develop and flourish only by the late 1940s. Later the industry shifted to Chennai (formerly Madras), which then was the capital of the South Indian film industry. By the late 1980s, the Malayalam
Malayalam
film industry returned and established itself in Kerala[15] with the majority of locations, studios, production and post-production facilities being located in Kochi
Kochi
and Trivandrum. Several media sources[16][17][18] describe Kochi as the hub of the film industry, while some other media sources[19] state Trivandrum
Trivandrum
as the centre.

Contents

1 History of Malayalam
Malayalam
cinema

1.1 Origins 1928 1.2 1950s 1.3 1960s 1.4 1970s 1.5 1980s 1.6 1990s 1.7 2000s 1.8 2010s

2 Pioneering film-making techniques 3 Notable personalities

3.1 Directors

4 Film music 5 Landmark films 6 Kerala
Kerala
State Film Awards 7 International Film Festival of Kerala 8 Film studios 9 Organisations 10 See also 11 References 12 External links

History of Malayalam
Malayalam
cinema[edit] Active Malayalam
Malayalam
film production did not take place until the second half of the 20th century: there were only two silent films, and three Malayalam-language films before 1947.[20][21] With support from the Kerala
Kerala
state government production climbed from around 6 a year in the 1950s, to 30 a year in the 1960s, 40 a year in the 1970s, to 127 films in 1980.[20] Origins 1928[edit] The first cinema hall in Kerala, with a manually operated film projector, was opened in Thrissur
Thrissur
by Jose Kattookkaran
Jose Kattookkaran
in 1907. In 1913, the first permanent theatre in Kerala
Kerala
was established in Thrissur
Thrissur
town by Kattookkaran and was called the Jose Electrical Bioscope, now Jos Theatre.[22][23][24] The first film made in Malayalam
Malayalam
was Vigathakumaran. Production started in 1928, and it was released in Trivandrum
Trivandrum
Capitol Theatre on 23 October 1930. It was produced and directed by J. C. Daniel, a businessman with no prior film experience, who is credited as the father of Malayalam
Malayalam
cinema.[25] Daniel founded the first film studio, The Travancore
Travancore
National Pictures Limited, in Kerala.[25] A second film, Marthanda Varma, based on a novel by C. V. Raman Pillai, was produced by R. Sundar Raj in 1933. However, after only being shown for four days, the film prints were confiscated due to a legal battle over copyright.[25] The first talkie in Malayalam
Malayalam
was Balan,[26] released in 1938. It was directed by S. Nottani
S. Nottani
with a screenplay and songs written by Muthukulam Raghavan Pillai. It was produced at Chennai
Chennai
(then Madras) in the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu. Balan was followed by Gnanambika in 1940, which was directed by S. Notani. Then came Prahlada in 1941, directed by K. Subramoniam of Madras
Madras
and featuring Guru Gopinath and Thankamani Gopinath. Until 1947 Malayalam
Malayalam
films were made by Tamil producers. Artist P. J. Cherian[27] was the first Malayali
Malayali
producer to venture into this field and the trend then changed. He produced Nirmala in 1948 with Joseph Cherian and Baby Joseph his son and daughter-in-law in the lead roles as hero and heroine. He also cast many other family members in other roles, breaking the taboo that noble family people do not take up acting. Thus Nirmala became the first film produced by a Malayali, setting many firsts for introducing play-back singing, cinema with a social theme where the entire family could sit together and watch it. Artist P.J. Cherian was the first cinema producer to explore the possibility of music and songs in cinema, and thus became the pioneer to introduce play-back singing in cinema. The lyrics of the film penned by the legendary Malayalam
Malayalam
poet G. Sankara Kurup
G. Sankara Kurup
became so popular that song-dance sequences became essential ingredients of Malayalam
Malayalam
cinema. Vellinakshatram (1949) was the first movie to be made in Kerala
Kerala
and it took shape at the Udaya Studios at Alleppey. 1950s[edit] Malayalam
Malayalam
cinema has always taken its themes from relevant social issues and has been interwoven with material from literature, drama, and politics since its inception. One such film, Jeevitha Nouka (1951), was a musical drama which spoke about the problems in a joint family. In 1954, the film Neelakuyil
Neelakuyil
captured national interest by winning the President's silver medal.[28] It was scripted by the well-known Malayalam
Malayalam
novelist Uroob, and directed by P. Bhaskaran and Ramu Kariat. Newspaper Boy (1955)[29] contained elements of Italian neorealism. This film is notable as the product of a group of amateur college filmmakers. It told the story of a printing press employee and his family being stricken with extreme poverty.[30] The music took a turn away from the trend of copying Tamil and Hindi song. The poets Tirunainaarkurichy Madhavan Nair – Thirunaiyarkurichy, P. Bhaskaran, O.N.V. Kurup, and V.R. Varma rose up in this period as film lyricists. Brother Lakshmanan, Dakshinamurthy, K. Raghavan, G. Devarajan, M.S. Baburaj, and Pukhenthey Velappan Nair started a distinct style of Malayalam
Malayalam
music. Kamukara Purushotaman, Mehboob, Kozhikode Abdul Kader, AM Raja, P.B. Sreenivas, K. P. Udayabhanu, Santha P. Nair, P. Leela, S. Janaki, P Susheela, B. Vasantha, Renuka, and Jikki
Jikki
were the most prominent singers of the 50s. The drama artist and school teacher Muthukulam Raghavan Pillai lent many of his skills to cinema in this period. 1960s[edit] Ramu Kariat, one of the directors of Neelakkuyil
Neelakkuyil
(along with P. Bhaskaran), went on to become a successful director in the 1960s and 1970s. P. Bhaskaran directed many acclaimed and hit films in the 1960s and 70s. The cameraman of Neelakkuyil, A. Vincent, also became a noted director of the 1960s and 1970s. Notable films of this decade include Odayil Ninnu, Bhargavi Nilayam (1964), Chemmeen
Chemmeen
(1965), Murappennu (1965) and Iruttinte Athmavu
Iruttinte Athmavu
(1966). Malayalam
Malayalam
cinema's first colour film was Kandam Bacha Coat (1961). Chemmeen
Chemmeen
(1965), directed by Ramu Kariat and based on a novel of the same name by Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai, went on to become immensely popular, and became the first South Indian film to win the National Film Award for Best Feature Film. Most of the films of the 60s were animated by the nationalist and socialist projects, and centred on issues relating to caste and class exploitation, the fight against obscurantist beliefs, the degeneration of the feudal class, and the break-up of the joint-family system.[31] In the 1960s M. Krishnan Nair, Kunchacko and P. Subramaniam were the leading Malayali
Malayali
producers. Thikkurusi Sukumaran
Sukumaran
Nair, Prem Nazir, Sathyan, Madhu, Adoor Bhasi, Bahadur, S.P. Pillai, K.P. Ummer, Kottarakara Sreedharan Nair, Raghavan, G.K. Pillai, Muthukulam, Joseprakash, Paravur Bharatan, Muthayya, Shankaradi, Govindankutty, K.R. Vijaya, Padmini, Ragini, Sharada, Sheela, Ambika, Jayabharathi, Arumula Ponnamma, Kavyior Ponamma, Lalitha, Pankajavalli, Adoor Bhavani, Prema, Meena and Sadahna were among the more popular actors active in this period. During the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, Kunchacko made significant contributions to Malayalam
Malayalam
cinema, both as a producer and as director of some notable movies. He started Udaya Studios in Alleppey (Alappuzha) in 1947, reducing the travel to Madras
Madras
(Chennai) for film crew and actors. This boosted Malayalam
Malayalam
film production in Kerala.[citation needed] Many directors sprang up in this period. P.N. Menon made Rosy and later Chemparanthi. G. Aravindan and Adoor Gopalakrishnan
Adoor Gopalakrishnan
also started work in 1960s and became famous later. 1970s[edit]

Adoor Gopalakrishnan
Adoor Gopalakrishnan
is one of the pioneers of Indian parallel cinema.

The 70s saw the emergence of a new wave of cinema in Malayalam. The growth of the film society movement in Kerala
Kerala
introduced the works of the French and Italian New Wave directors to the discerning Malayali film enthusiasts. Adoor Gopalakrishnan's first film, Swayamvaram (1972), brought Malayalam
Malayalam
cinema to the international film arena. In 1973 M. T. Vasudevan Nair, who was by then recognised as an important author in Malayalam, directed his first film, Nirmalyam, which won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film. G. Aravindan followed Adoor's lead with his Uttarayanam
Uttarayanam
in 1974. K. P. Kumaran's Adhithi (1974) was another film which was acclaimed by the critics. Cinematographers who won the National Award for their work on Malayalam
Malayalam
films in the 1970s were Mankada Ravi Varma for Swayamvaram (1972), P. S. Nivas for Mohiniyattam
Mohiniyattam
(1977), and Shaji N. Karun
Shaji N. Karun
for Thampu
Thampu
(1979). John Abraham, K. R. Mohanan, K. G. George, and G. S. Panikkar were products of the Pune Film Institute
Pune Film Institute
who made significant contributions.[citation needed] During the late 1970s, some young artists started seeing Malayalam cinema as a medium of expression and thought of it as a tool to revitalise society. A noted director, Aravindan, was famous in Kerala as a cartoonist before he started making films. His important movies include Kanchana Sita
Kanchana Sita
(1977), Thampu
Thampu
(1978), Kummatty
Kummatty
(1979), Chidambaram (1985), Oridathu (1986), and Vasthuhara (1990). The 1970s also saw the emergence of the notable director P. G. Viswambharan with his debut film Ozhukinethire and mythical film Sathyavan Savithri, which was well accepted. Also, commercial cinema in this period saw several worker-class themed films which mostly had M. G. Soman
M. G. Soman
and Sukumaran
Sukumaran
in the lead followed by the emergence of a new genre of pure action-themed films, in a movement led by action star Jayan
Jayan
who is usually considered the first genuine commercial superstar of Malayalam
Malayalam
cinema. However, this was short-lived, and almost ended with Jayan's untimely death while performing a stunt in Kolilakkam
Kolilakkam
(1980). Further information: List of Malayalam
Malayalam
films of the 1970s 1980s[edit]

Padayottam, released in 1982, was the first 70mm film
70mm film
in India.

The Malayalam
Malayalam
cinema of this period was characterised by detailed screenplays dealing with everyday life with a lucid narration of plot intermingling with humour and melancholy. This was aided by the cinematography and lighting. The films had warm background music. In 1981 Fazil directed Manjil Virinja Pookal. Adoor Gopalakrishnan made Elippathayam
Elippathayam
in 1981. This movie won the British Film Institute award.[citation needed] K. G. George
K. G. George
released films including Yavanika
Yavanika
and Adaminte Vaariyellu. This was the period during which script writer M. T. Vasudevan Nair
Nair
started teaming up with director Hariharan to produce works like Panchagni, Nakhakshathangal, Aranyakam and Oru Vadakkan Veeragatha. John Abraham's films such as Amma Ariyaan addressed people's issues and raised the finance directly from people. The decade also saw a significant number of movies with female characters becoming important or even central. The period had movies with humour from directors like Priyadarshan, Sathyan Anthikkad, Kamal and Siddique-Lal. Piravi
Piravi
(1989) by Shaji N. Karun was the first Malayalam
Malayalam
film to win the Caméra d'Or-Mention at the Cannes Film Festival.[6] It was the period during which Mohanlal and Mammootty rose up. Mohanlal went on to win 5 National Award including 2 Best Actor, 2 special jury award and an award for Best Film(producer). Mammootty won 3 National Award for Best Actor. Mohanlal has the record of having 13 nominations for The Best Actor. Further information: List of Malayalam
Malayalam
films of the 1980s 1990s[edit] Some examples are Mathilukal
Mathilukal
(1990) directed by Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Kattu Kuthira (1990) directed by P. G. Viswambharan, Amaram
Amaram
(1991) directed by Bharathan, Ulladakkam
Ulladakkam
(1992) directed by Kamal, Kilukkam (1991) directed by Priyadarshan, Kamaladalam (1992) by Sibi Malayil, Vidheyan (1993) by Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Devaasuram
Devaasuram
(1993) by I. V. Sasi, Manichithrathazhu
Manichithrathazhu
(1993) by Fazil, Ponthan Mada (1993) by T. V. Chandran, Spadikam
Spadikam
(1995) by Bhadran, Commissioner(1994) The King (1995) by Shaji Kailas, Hitler (1996) by Siddique and Desadanam
Desadanam
(1997) by Jayaraaj. Swaham
Swaham
(1994), directed by Shaji N. Karun, was the first Malayalam film entry for the competition in the Cannes International Film Festival, where it was a nominee for the Palme d'Or. Murali Nair's Marana Simhasanam later won the Caméra d'Or at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival.[5] Guru (1997), directed by Rajiv Anchal, was chosen as India's official entry to the Oscars
India's official entry to the Oscars
to be considered for nomination in the Best Foreign Film category for that year, making it the first film in Malayalam
Malayalam
to be chosen for Oscar nomination.[citation needed] Further information: List of Malayalam
Malayalam
films of the 1990s 2000s[edit] The millennium started with a blockbuster hit "(Narasimham)". In 2001 came the world's first film with only one actor in the cast, The Guard. Slapstick comedy was the predominant theme of the films of this era. C.I.D. Moosa
C.I.D. Moosa
(2003) by Johny Antony, Meesa Madhavan (2002) by Lal Jose and Kunjikoonan (2002) directed by Sasi Shanker are examples. Sequels to a number of successful films were made. Some movies were examples of exemplary film making, such as Meghamalhar, Madhuranombarakaattu, Nandanam, Perumazhakkalam, and Kazhcha. In 2008, Malayalam
Malayalam
movie artists came together in the multistar film Twenty:20 to raise funds for the AMMA.[32] Further information: List of Malayalam
Malayalam
films of the 2000s 2010s[edit] After several years of quality deterioration, Malayalam
Malayalam
films saw the signs of massive resurgence after 2010[33] with the release of several experimental films (known as New Wave or New Generation films),[34] mostly from new directors. New Wave is characterised by fresh and unusual themes and new narrative techniques.[33][35] These films differ from conventional themes of the past two decades (1990s and 2000s) and have introduced several new trends to the Malayalam industry.[36] While the new generation's formats and styles are deeply influenced by global and Indian trends, their themes are firmly rooted in Malayali
Malayali
life and mindscapes.[37] The new generation also helped the Malayalam
Malayalam
film industry regain its past glory.[38] Salim Ahamed's Adaminte Makan Abu
Adaminte Makan Abu
was chosen as India's official entry to the Academy Awards
Academy Awards
to be considered for nomination in the Best Foreign Film category in 2011. Christian Brothers (2011) was released worldwide with a total of 310 prints on 18 March; it went to 154 centres in Kerala, 90 centres outside Kerala
Kerala
and 80 centres overseas, making it the widest release for a Malayalam
Malayalam
film at that time. This record was later broken by Peruchazhi
Peruchazhi
(2014), which released in 500 screens worldwide on 29 August.[39] Drishyam
Drishyam
(2013) became the first Malayalam
Malayalam
film to cross the 500 million mark at the box office. The film was critically acclaimed and was remade in four languages.[40] Later, in 2016, Pulimurugan
Pulimurugan
became the first Malayalam
Malayalam
film to cross the 1 billion mark at the box office. Pioneering film-making techniques[edit]

Jalachhayam, released in 2010, was the world first feature film shot entirely on a smart phone in India.

Newspaper Boy (1955), a neorealistic film, drew inspiration from Italian neorealism.[14][41] Padayottam (1982) was India's first indigenously produced 70 mm film,[42] while My Dear Kuttichathan (1984) was India's first 3D film.[13] O' Faby
O' Faby
(1993) was India's first live-action/animation hybrid film.[43] Amma Ariyan (1986) was the first film made in India
India
with money collected from the public. It was produced by Odessa Collective, founded by the director John Abraham and friends. The money was raised by collecting donations and screening Charlie Chaplin's film The Kid.[44] Moonnamathoral (2006) was the first Indian film to be shot and distributed in digital format.[45] Jalachhayam
Jalachhayam
(2010) was the world first feature film shot entirely on a cell phone camera[46] and it was also an experimental film directed by Sathish Kalathil
Sathish Kalathil
who is the director of Veena Vaadanam, the first documentary film in India
India
shot with the same movie capture medium. Villain (2017) is the first Indian film to be shot entirely in 8K resolution.[47] Notable personalities[edit] Directors[edit] Malayalam
Malayalam
cinema's directors have included J. C. Daniel, the director and producer of the first Malayalam
Malayalam
film, Vigathakumaran
Vigathakumaran
(1928). Unlike other Indian films at that time, most of which were based on the puranas, he chose to base his film on a social theme.[48] Though it failed commercially, he paved the way for the Malayalam
Malayalam
film industry and is widely considered the "father of Malayalam
Malayalam
cinema". Until the 1950s, Malayalam
Malayalam
film didn't see many talented film directors. The milestone film Neelakkuyil
Neelakkuyil
(1954), directed by Ramu Karyat and P. Bhaskaran, shed a lot of limelight over its directors.[41] Ramu Karyat went on to become a celebrated director in the 1960s and 1970s. P. Bhaskaran directed a few acclaimed films in the 1960s. The cameraman of Neelakkuyil, A. Vincent, also became a noted director of the 1960s and 1970s.[49] Another noted director of the 1950s was P. Ramadas, the director of the neorealistic film Newspaper Boy (1955). In the 1970s, the Malayalam
Malayalam
film industry saw the rise of film societies. It triggered a new genre of films known as "parallel cinema". The main driving forces of the movement, who gave priority to serious cinema, were Adoor Gopalakrishnan
Adoor Gopalakrishnan
and G. Aravindan. People like John Abraham and P. A. Backer gave a new dimension to Malayalam cinema through their political themes. The late 1970s witnessed the emergence of another stream of Malayalam
Malayalam
films, known as "middle-stream cinema", which seamlessly integrated the seriousness of the parallel cinema and the popularity of the mainstream cinema. Most of the films belonging to this stream were directed by PN Menon, I. V. Sasi, P. G. Viswambharan, K. G. George, Bharathan
Bharathan
and Padmarajan.[50] In the 1980s and early 1990s, a new array of directors joined the stalwarts who had already made a mark in the industry. This period saw the narrowing of the gap between the different streams of the industry.[41] Directors like K. G. George, Priyadarshan, I. V. Sasi, John Abraham, Fazil, Joshy, Bhadran, P. G. Viswambharan, Kamal, Sibi Malayil, Hariharan, Sathyan Anthikkad, K. Madhu
K. Madhu
and Siddique-Lal contributed significantly . There were also extraordinary screenwriters like M. T. Vasudevan Nair, T. Damodaran, A. K. Lohithadas and Sreenivasan, whose contributions were also commendable.[citation needed] The 2000s saw a decline in the quality of Malayalam
Malayalam
films. Many directors who had excelled in the Golden Age struggled as many of their films continuously failed critically and commercially. As a result, the gap between parallel cinema (now known as art cinema) and mainstream cinema (now known as commercial cinema) widened. The 2000s also saw a commercial film formula being created in line with Tamil and Bollywood
Bollywood
films. Directors like Shaji Kailas, Rafi Mecartin and Anwar Rasheed directed blockbusters which had few artistic merits to boast of. Despite the overall decline, some directors stood apart and made quality cinema. Shaji N. Karun, Lenin Rajendran, Shyama Prasad and Jayaraj made films that won laurels. Notable directors who debuted in this time include Blessy, Lal Jose, R. Sharath, Ranjith, Roshan Andrews, Amal Neerad, Aashiq Abu, Vineeth Sreenivasan
Vineeth Sreenivasan
and Lijo Jose Pellissery.[citation needed] Out of the 40 National Film Awards for Best Director given away till 2007, Malayalam
Malayalam
directors have received 12. The directors who have won include Adoor Gopalakrishnan
Adoor Gopalakrishnan
(1973, 1985, 1988, 1990, 2007), G. Aravindan (1978, 1979, 1987), Shaji N. Karun
Shaji N. Karun
(1989), T. V. Chandran (1994), Jayaraj (1998) and Rajivnath (1999). There are several recipients of the Special
Special
Jury Award as well: Mankada Ravi Varma (1984), John Abraham (1987), Shaji N. Karun
Shaji N. Karun
(1995) and Pradeep Nair (2005).[51][52] Film music[edit] Film music, which refers to playback singing in the context of Indian music, forms the most important canon of popular music in India. The film music of Kerala
Kerala
in particular is the most popular form of music in the state.[53] Before Malayalam
Malayalam
cinema and Malayalam
Malayalam
film music developed, the Keralites eagerly followed Tamil and Hindi
Hindi
film songs, and that habit has stayed with them until now. The history of Malayalam
Malayalam
film songs begins with the 1948 film Nirmala which was produced by artist P.J. Cherian who introduced play-back singing for the first time in the film. The film's music composer was P. S. Divakar, and the songs were sung by P. Leela, T. K. Govinda Rao, Vasudeva Kurup, C. K. Raghavan, Sarojini Menon and Vimala B. Varma, who is credited as the first playback singer of Malayalam
Malayalam
cinema.[54] The main trend in the early years was to use the tune of hit Hindi
Hindi
or Tamil songs in Malayalam
Malayalam
songs. This trend changed in the early 1950s with the arrival of a number of poets and musicians to the Malayalam music scene. By the middle of 1950s, the Malayalam
Malayalam
film music industry started finding its own identity. This reformation was led by the music directors Brother Laxmanan, G. Devarajan, V. Dakshinamurthy, M.S. Babu Raj and K. Raghavan
K. Raghavan
along with the lyricists Vayalar
Vayalar
Rama Varma, P. Bhaskaran, O. N. V. Kurup
O. N. V. Kurup
and Sreekumaran Thampi.[55] Major playback singers of that time were Kamukara Purushothaman, K. P. Udayabhanu, A. M. Raja, P. Leela, Santha P. Nair, P. Susheela, P. Madhuri and S. Janaki. Despite that, these singers got high popularity throughout Kerala
Kerala
and were part of the Golden age of Malayalam
Malayalam
music (1960 to 1970). In the later years many non-Malayalis like Manna Dey, Talat Mahmood, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Hemalata and S. P. Balasubrahmanyam sang for Malayalam
Malayalam
films. This trend was also found among composers to an extent, with film composers from other languages including Naushad Ali, Usha Khanna, M. B. Sreenivasan, Bombay Ravi, Shyam, Bappi Lahiri, Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Salil Chowdhury, Ilaiyaraaja, Vishal Bhardwaj
Vishal Bhardwaj
and A. R. Rahman
A. R. Rahman
scoring music for Malayalam films.[55] This can be attributed to the fact that film music in South India
India
had a parallel growth pattern with many instances of cross-industry contributions.[citation needed]. The late 1950s through mid-1970s can be considered as the golden period of Malayalam
Malayalam
film music in its own identity. Along with the leading music directors, the likes of M. B. Sreenivasan, M. K. Arjunan, Pukezhenty Vellappan Nair, M. S. Viswanathan, A. T. Ummer, R. K. Shekhar, Salil Choudhury
Salil Choudhury
and lyricists like Thirunainar Kurichi Madhavan Nair, Mankombu Gopalakrishnan and Bharanikkavu Sivakumar, numerous everlasting and super hit songs were delivered to the music lovers. The soft melodious music and high quality lyrics were the highlights of these songs. K. J. Yesudas, who debuted in 1961, virtually revolutionised the Malayalam
Malayalam
film music industry and became the most popular Malayalam singer ever along with K.S. Chitra. The trio of Vayalar, G. Devarajan and Yesudas
Yesudas
also made unforgettable songs like the earlier trio of Kamukara, Tirunainaarkurichy and Brother Laxmanan. Yesudas
Yesudas
became equally popular with classical music audience and people who patronised film music.[56] He along with P. Jayachandran
P. Jayachandran
gave a major face-lift to Malayalam
Malayalam
playback singing in the 1960s and 1970s. K. S. Chithra debuted in 1979, and by the mid-eighties, she became the most sought after female singer in South India. By the late 1970s, the trends in music started changing and more rhythm oriented songs with a western touch came with the dominance of music directors like Shyam, K. J. Joy, and Jerry Amaldev. The lyricists were forced to write lyrics according to the tune in these days and were often criticised for quality issues. However, from 1979 to 1980, the revolutionary music director Raveendran along with Johnson
Johnson
and M. G. Radhakrishnan led the second reformation of Malayalam
Malayalam
film music by creating melodious and classical oriented music with the soul of the culture of Kerala. Lyricists like Poovachal Khader, Kavalam Narayana Panicker
Kavalam Narayana Panicker
and Bichu Thirumala
Bichu Thirumala
in 1980s and Kaithapram Damodaran Namboothiri, Gireesh Puthenchery
Gireesh Puthenchery
in 1990s were part of this musical success. Contributions from Kannur Rajan, Bombay Ravi, S. P. Venkatesh, Mohan Sithara, Ouseppachan, Sharath, Vidyadharan, Raghukumar and Vidyasagar were also notable in this period. K. J. Yesudas
K. J. Yesudas
and K. S. Chitra
K. S. Chitra
and singers like M. G. Sreekumar, G. Venugopal
G. Venugopal
Unnimenon
Unnimenon
and Sujatha Mohan
Sujatha Mohan
were also active then. A notable aspect in the later years was the extensive of classical carnatic music in many film songs of the 1980s and 1990s. Classical carnatic music was heavily used in films like Chithram (1988), His Highness Abdullah
His Highness Abdullah
(1990), Bharatham (1991), Sargam (1992) and Sopanam (1993).[citation needed] At present, the major players in the scene are young composers like Rahul Raj, Prashant Pillai, Shaan Rahman, Bijibal, Gopi Sundar, Alphonse, Rajesh Murugesan, lyricists Rafeeq Ahmed, Vayalar
Vayalar
Sarath and Anil Panachooran, and singers Vineeth Sreenivasan, Vijay Yesudas, Shweta Mohan, Manjari and Jyotsna Radhakrishnan, along with stalwarts in the field. Young composers like Rahul Raj and Prashant Pillai
Prashant Pillai
are not only known for their catchy tunes, but also for bringing in a lot of electronics, digital sound and a variety of genres in Malayalam
Malayalam
film scores and songs.[57] The National Award-winning music composers of Malayalam
Malayalam
cinema are Johnson
Johnson
(1994, 1995), Bombay Ravi
Bombay Ravi
(1995), Ouseppachan (2008), Ilaiyaraaja
Ilaiyaraaja
(2010), Issac Thomas Kottukapally (2011),[Bijibal] (2012) and M. Jayachandran (2016). Until 2009, the 1995 National Award that Johnson
Johnson
received for the film score of Sukrutham (1994) was the only instance in the history of the award in which the awardee composed the film soundtrack rather than its songs. He shared that award with Bombay Ravi, who received the award for composing songs for the same film. In 2010 and 2011, the awards given to film scores were won by Malayalam
Malayalam
films: Pazhassi Raja (2010; score: Ilaiyaraaja) and Adaminte Makan Abu (2011; score: Issak Thomas Kottakapally). Ravindran also received a Special
Special
Jury Award in 1992 for composing songs for the film Bharatham. The lyricists who have won the National Award are Vayalar Ramavarma (1973), O. N. V. Kurup
O. N. V. Kurup
(1989) and Yusuf Ali Kechery (2001). The male singers who have received the National Award are K. J. Yesudas
Yesudas
(1973, 1974, 1988, 1992, 1994), P. Jayachandran
P. Jayachandran
(1986) and M. G. Sreekumar (1991, 2000). Yesudas
Yesudas
has won two more National Awards for singing in Hindi
Hindi
(1977) and Telugu (1983) films, which makes him the person who has won the most National Film Awards for Best Male Playback Singer, with seven. The female singers who have won the award are S. Janaki
S. Janaki
(1981) and K. S. Chithra
K. S. Chithra
(1987, 1989). Chitra had also won the award for Tamil (1986, 1997, 2005) and Hindi
Hindi
(1998) film songs, which makes her the person with the most National Film Awards for Best Female Playback Singer, with six.[citation needed] Landmark films[edit]

Year Title Director Notes Ref.

1928 Vigathakumaran J. C. Daniel First Malayalam
Malayalam
feature film. [58]

1933 Marthandavarma P. V. Rao First copyright case in Indian film industry as well as literature publishing of Kerala. [59]

1938 Balan S. Nottani First talkie in Malayalam. [60]

1948 Nirmala P. V. Krishna Iyer Introduced playback singing in Malayalam
Malayalam
cinema. [61]

1954 Neelakkuyil P. Bhaskaran Ramu Karyat Considered[who?]the first mature film in Malayalam. The film excelled in direction, screenplay, acting and music. [41]

1955 Newspaper Boy P. Ramdas First neo realistic movie in Malayalam. [62].

1961 Kandam Bacha Coat T. R. Sundaram First colour film. [63]

1964 Bhargavi Nilayam A. Vincent First horror film. [64]

1965 Chemmeen Ramu Karyat First Malayalam
Malayalam
as well as South Indian film to win the National Film Award for Best Feature Film, and the first film to participate in an international film festival. [65]

1965 Murappennu A. Vincent First film to shoot outdoors. [66]

1966 Iruttinte Athmavu P. Bhaskaran First serious attempt at sensitive storytelling. Considered to be the masterpiece work of P. Bhaskaran and Prem Nazir.[clarification needed] [66]

1967 Chithramela T. S. Muthiah First anthology film. [67]

1972 Swayamvaram Adoor Gopalakrishnan Pinoeered "new-wave cinema movement" in Malayalam. First Malayalam film to win the National Film Award for Best Direction. [68]

1974 Kanchana Sita G. Aravindan Pinoeered independent filmmaking in South India.[clarification needed] [69]

1978 Thacholi Ambu Navodaya Appachan First CinemaScope
CinemaScope
film in Malayalam. [70]

1982 Padayottam Jijo First 70mm film
70mm film
in South India. [71]

1984 My Dear Kuttichathan Jijo First 3D film
3D film
in India. [13]

1986 Amma Ariyan John Abraham First Malayalam
Malayalam
film produced by collecting fund from public. The only South Indian film to feature in British Film Institute's Top 10 Indian Films list. [72][73]

1993 O' Faby K. Sreekuttan India's first live-action/animation hybrid film. [74].

1994 Swaham Shaji N.Karun First Malayalam
Malayalam
film to compete for the Palme d'Or
Palme d'Or
of the Cannes Film Festival. [75]

1997 Guru Rajiv Anchal First Malayalam
Malayalam
film to be submitted as India's official entry to the Oscars to be considered for nomination in the Best Foreign Language Film category in 1997. [76]

2005 Athbhutha Dweepu Vinayan The film was given an entry into the Guinness Book of Records
Guinness Book of Records
for casting the most number of dwarves in a single film, and its lead actor Ajaykumar was given an entry for being the shortest actor to play the lead in the history of cinema. [77]

2006 Moonnamathoral V. K. Prakash First Malayalam
Malayalam
digital movie, and first high-definition (HD) cinema to be digitally distributed to theatres via satellite. [78]

2009 Pazhassi Raja Hariharan First Malayalam
Malayalam
film to get a home video release in Blu-ray
Blu-ray
format. [79]

2010 Jalachhayam Sathish Kalathil First feature film shot entirely on a Mobile phone camera. [80].

2012 Grandmaster B. Unnikrishnan First Malayalam
Malayalam
film to release with subtitles (English) in outside Kerala, in other than film festival screenings. [81]

2013 Drishyam Jeethu Joseph First Malayalam
Malayalam
film to cross ₹500 million (US$7.7 million) gross collection from theatrical revenue. [40]

2015 Aalroopangal C. V. Premkumar First Malayalam
Malayalam
film to have a release directly on television. [82]

2017 Villain B. Unnikrishnan First Indian film to be shot entirely in 8K resolution. [83].

Kerala
Kerala
State Film Awards[edit] Main article: Kerala
Kerala
State Film Awards The Kerala
Kerala
State Film Awards[84] are given to motion pictures made in the Malayalam
Malayalam
language. The awards have been bestowed by Kerala
Kerala
State Chalachitra Academy[85] since 1998 on behalf of the Department of Cultural Affairs of the Government of Kerala. The awards were started in 1969. The awardees are decided by an independent jury formed by the academy and the Department of Cultural Affairs. The jury usually consists of personalities from the film field. For the awards for literature on cinema a separate jury is formed. The academy annually invites films for the award and the jury analyses the films before deciding the winners. The awards intend to promote films with artistic values and encourage artists and technicians. International Film Festival of Kerala[edit] Main article: International Film Festival of Kerala The International Film Festival of Kerala
Kerala
(IFFK) is held annually in Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala. It was started in 1996 and is organised by Kerala
Kerala
State Chalachitra Academy on behalf of the Department of Cultural Affairs of the State Government. It is held in November/December every year and is acknowledged as one of the leading film festivals in India.[86] Film studios[edit] The Travancore
Travancore
National Pictures[87] was the first film studio in Kerala. It was established by J. C. Daniel
J. C. Daniel
in 1926 in Thiruvananthapuram,[88] which was then a part of Travancore. Producer-director Kunchacko and film distributor K. V. Koshy established Udaya Studios in Alappuzha
Alappuzha
in 1947.[89] The studio influenced the gradual shift of Malayalam
Malayalam
film industry from its original base of Madras, Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
to Kerala. In 1951, P. Subramaniam[90] established Merryland Studio in Nemom, Thiruvananthapuram. The other major studios are Sreekrishna (1952, Kulathoor), Ajantha[91] (1958, Keezhmadu – now extinct), Chithralekha[92] (1965, Aakkulam), Uma Studio[93] (1975, Vellakkadavu), Navodaya[94] (1978, Thrikkakkara) and Chithranjali[94] (1980, Thiruvallam). Organisations[edit] The Association of Malayalam
Malayalam
Movie Artists (AMMA)[95] is an organisation formed by artists of Malayalam
Malayalam
cinema. It aims to act against piracy, to safeguard the interests of member actors and actresses, and to serve as a common forum to raise concerns and address issues. The activities of AMMA include endowments, insurance schemes, and committees on wages and benefits on revision, funds for research, pensions, and education loans for the children of the members. The organisation ventured into film production in 2008 with Twenty:20 to raise funds for its activities.[96] Organizations such as Kerala
Kerala
Film Producers Association, Kerala
Kerala
Film Distributors Association, Kerala
Kerala
Cine Exhibitors Federation and Kerala Film Exhibitors Association have coordinated work stoppages.[97] See also[edit]

Kerala
Kerala
portal Bollywood
Bollywood
portal

List of cinema of the world List of Malayalam
Malayalam
films K. R. Narayanan National Institute of Visual Science and Arts

References[edit]

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Wrap up: Mohanlal's 'Peruchazhi' to Release in 500 Screens". International Business Times. Retrieved 28 August 2014.  ^ a b Rajaneesh Vilakudy (14 December 2014). "Is Drishyam, Malayalam cinema's biggest hit? Jeethu answers". Bangalore Mirror. Retrieved 30 December 2014. ^ a b c d "Cinema History Malayalam
Malayalam
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Malayalam
Cinema. Cinemaofmalayalam.net. Retrieved on 29 July 2013. ^ "Film shot with cell phone camera premiered". Retrieved 7 June 2010.  ^ "Mohanlals Villain shot an released in 8K resolution – Malayalam
Malayalam
Movie News – IndiaGlitz". IndiaGlitz.com. Retrieved 26 October 2017.  ^ Rajmohan. "History of Malayalam
Malayalam
Cinema". Cinemaofmalayalam.net. Archived from the original on 30 July 2014. Retrieved 30 December 2008.  ^ Rajmohan. "History of Malayalam
Malayalam
Cinema". Cinemaofmalayalam.net. Retrieved 30 December 2008.  ^ Rajmohan. "History of Malayalam
Malayalam
Cinema". Cinemaofmalayalam.net. Retrieved 30 December 2008.  ^ "Directorate of Film Festival" (PDF). iffi.nic.in.  ^ "www.oridam.com". Retrieved 22 October 2016.  ^ "Music". Keral.com. Archived from the original on 2 August 2008. Retrieved 2 January 2009.  ^ K. Pradeep (25 April 2008). "Family affair". Chennai, India: The Hindu. Retrieved 2 January 2009.  ^ a b Jason Kaitholil. "Cinema History". AMMA (Malayalamcinema.com). Archived from the original on 23 December 2008. Retrieved 2 January 2009.  ^ "K.J. Yesudas". Chennai
Chennai
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Special
Correspondent (3 March 2013). "'Vigathakumaran' did not face caste hostility: Adoor". The Hindu. Retrieved 8 November 2016.  ^ Vijayakumar, B. (27 January 2013). "Old is Gold: Marthanda Varma, 1931". The Hindu. Retrieved 8 November 2016.  ^ Staff Reporter (28 May 2013). "Celebrating 75th anniversary of Balan, the first Malayalam
Malayalam
talkie". The Hindu. Retrieved 8 November 2016.  ^ "Tribute : Family affair". Chennai, India: Hindu.com. 25 April 2008. Retrieved 30 December 2008.  ^ "Newspaper Boy:' a flashback to the Fifties". The hindu. 20 May 2005.  ^ "Columns : KANDAM BACHA COATU 1961". Chennai, India: Hindu.com. 8 November 2008. Retrieved 30 December 2008.  ^ kikvn (4 September 2006). "MACTA to remake 'Bhargavi Nilayam'". Chennai, India: Hindu.com. Retrieved 30 December 2008.  ^ "'Chemmeen' is 40". Chennai, India: Hindu.com. 16 November 2005. Retrieved 30 December 2008.  ^ a b "Notes". Mtvasudevannair.com. Retrieved 30 December 2008.  ^ B. Vijayakumar. (19 June 2011). "CHITRAMELA 1967". The Hindu. Retrieved 11 July 2011. ^ Rajmohan. "Interview: Adoor". Cinemaofmalayalam.net. Retrieved 30 December 2008.  ^ Jayaram, S. B. (1992). Aravindan and His Films. Trivandrum: Chalachitra. pp. 1–36. OCLC 33983644.  ^ Shivpprasadh, S. (10 May 2012). "He cast a 3-D spell". The Hindu. Retrieved 8 November 2016.  ^ R. Ayyappan (1 January 2000). "Sleaze time, folks". Rediff.com. Retrieved 14 April 2011.  ^ Kumar, P. K. Ajith (24 October 2011). "After Amma Ariyan, a new role". The Hindu. Retrieved 8 November 2016.  ^ "Top 10 Indian Films". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on 15 May 2011.  ^ "Of Faby and his father Interview with Director K. Sreekkuttan". Aiswarya Tanish.  ^ url=http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0111332/news] ^ Rediff On The Net, Movies: An interview with Rajeev Anchal, director of the Oscar-nominated Guru. Rediff.com
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External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Malayalam
Malayalam
cinema.

v t e

National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Malayalam

1954–1960

Neelakuyil
Neelakuyil
(1954) No Award (1955) No Award (1956) Padatha Painkili
Padatha Painkili
(1957) No Award (1958) No Award(1959) No Award (1960)

Certificate of Merit

Snehaseema
Snehaseema
(1954) No Award (1955) No Award (1956) No Award (1957) Nairu Pidicha Pulivalu
Nairu Pidicha Pulivalu
and Randidangazhi (1958) Chathurangam (1959) No Award (1960)

1961–1980

Mudiyanaya Puthran
Mudiyanaya Puthran
(1961) No Award (1962) Ninamaninja Kalpadukal (1963) Aadyakiranangal (1964) Kavyamela
Kavyamela
(1965) Kunjali Marakkar (1966) Anweshichu Kandethiyilla (1967) Adhyapika (1968) Adimakal (1969) Ezhuthatha Katha (1970) Karakanakadal (1971) Panitheeratha Veedu (1972) Gayathri (1973) Uttarayanam
Uttarayanam
(1974) Swapnadanam (1975) Manimuzhakkam (1976) Kodiyettam (1977) Thampu
Thampu
(1978) Peruvazhiyambalam
Peruvazhiyambalam
(1979) Yagam (1980)

Certificate of Merit

Kandam Becha Kottu and Sabarimala Ayyappan
Sabarimala Ayyappan
(1961) Puthiya Akasam Puthiya Bhoomi
Puthiya Akasam Puthiya Bhoomi
and Kalpadukal
Kalpadukal
(1962) Doctor and Kalayum Kaminiyum (1963) Kudumbini (1964) Odayil Ninnu and Murappennu
Murappennu
(1965) Discontinued after 1965

1981–2000

Elippathayam
Elippathayam
(1981) Chappa (1982) Malamukalile Daivam
Malamukalile Daivam
(1983) Mukhamukham (1984) Thinkalaazhcha Nalla Divasam
Thinkalaazhcha Nalla Divasam
(1985) Uppu (1986) Purushartham (1987) Rukmini (1988) Mathilukal
Mathilukal
(1989) Vasthuhara (1990) Kadavu (1991) Swaroopam
Swaroopam
(1992) Vidheyan (1993) Sukrutham (1994) Ormakalundayirikkanam
Ormakalundayirikkanam
(1995) Desadanam
Desadanam
(1996) Mangamma (1997) Agnisakshi (1998) Punaradhivasam (1999) Kochu Kochu Santhoshangal
Kochu Kochu Santhoshangal
(2000)

2001–present

Sayanam (2001) Dany (2001) Nizhalkuthu
Nizhalkuthu
(2002) Saphalam (2003) Akale (2004) Thanmathra
Thanmathra
(2005) Drishtantham (2006) Ore Kadal
Ore Kadal
(2007) Thirakkatha
Thirakkatha
(2008) Kerala
Kerala
Varma Pazhassi Raja (2009) Veettilekkulla Vazhi
Veettilekkulla Vazhi
(2010) Indian Rupee (2011) Celluloid (2012) North 24 Kaatham
North 24 Kaatham
(2013) Ain (2014) Pathemari
Pathemari
(2015) Maheshinte Prathikaaram
Maheshinte Prathikaaram
(2016)

v t e

Malayalam
Malayalam
cinema

Films

Malayalam
Malayalam
films (A–Z) 1928-1959 1960s 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 South Indian silent films

Personnel

Actors Cinematographers Directors Editors Lyricists Music directors Playback singers Producers Screenwriters

Awards and events

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Kerala
Film Critics Association Awards Kerala
Kerala
State Film Awards International Film Festival of Kerala

Miscellaneous

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v t e

Cinema of India

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Other topics

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v t e

Kerala
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topics

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Nelliampathi
Mountains Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve Nilgiri Hills Palakkad Gap Protected areas Vembanad Lake

Demographics Economy Religion

Malayalis Namboothiris Ambalavasis Samanthas Nairs Saint Thomas Christians Kerala
Kerala
Iyers Ezhavas Cochin Jews Jainism in Kerala Pulayar Dravidians Mappilas Adivasis Scheduled Tribes Kerala
Kerala
model Tourism Education

colleges and universities

Culture

Arts Architecture Cuisine Kalarippayattu Literature Sarpam Thullal Triumvirate poets Vallamkali

Dance / Drama
Drama
/ Cinema

Kathakali Kolkali Koodiyattam Mohiniyattam Margamkali Ottamthullal Theyyam Cinema of Kerala

Festivals

Vishu Onam Pooram

Languages

Malayalam Malayalam
Malayalam
calendar Mappila dialect Suriyani Malayalam Judeo-Malayalam Irula language

Music

Chenda
Chenda
(Thayambaka) Kolkali Panchari melam Panchavadyam Sopanam

Organisations/Agencies

NSS SNDP

Tourism

Alappuzha Athirappilly Falls Beaches in Kerala Bekal Kerala
Kerala
Backwaters Kollam Islands of Kollam Kovalam Munnar Estuaries of Paravur Visitor attractions in Thrissur Tourism in Thiruvananthapuram Vallamkali Wa

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