Malayalam Cinema

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Balan (1938)

The first silent Malayalam film was ‘Vigathakumaran’ (1928) produced by J.C. Daniel, while the first Malayalam talkie film was S. Nottani’s ‘Balan’ (1938). Film production in Malayalam progressed at a slow pace until 1950, with only one film each being produced in the years 1940, 1941, 1948 and 1949. The 1950s saw the production of several Malayalam films with social themes like Jeevitha Nauka (1951) and Neela Kuyil (1954). The film ‘Newspaper Boy’ (1955) was another important milestone as it paved the way for serious films in Malayalam. From the early 1960s, Malayalam filmmakers began making films based on popular novels and dramas. Literary works of renowned writers like Thakazhi, P. Kesava Dev, S.L. Puram, Muttathu Varkey, Thoppil Bhasi and Vaikom Muhammad Basheer began to be adapted in Malayalam films. In 1966, the Malayalam film ‘Chemmeen’, based on Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai’s famous novel of the same name, received the President’s Gold Medal for the best film. Adoor Gopalakrishnan, G.Aravindan, M.T. Vasudevan Nair Padmarajan, Shaji N. Karun, K.R. Mohanan, Lenin Rajendran, John Abraham, I.V. Sasi and others are some of the most renowned directors of Malayalam cinema.


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