Moutathu Gopalakrishnan Unnithan
3 July 1941
|Alma mater||Film and Television Institute of India|
|Occupation||Film director, screenwriter, producer|
|Years active||1965 – present|
|Spouse(s)||Sunanda (–2015; her death)|
|Awards|| Padma Vibhushan (2006)|
Padma Shri (1984) Dadasaheb Phalke Award (2004)
Adoor Gopalakrishnan is an Indian film director, script writer, and producer and is regarded as one of the most notable filmmakers in India. With the release of his first feature film Swayamvaram (1972), Gopalakrishnan pioneered the new wave in Malayalam cinema during the 1970s.In a career spanning over five decades, Gopalakrishnan has made only 12 feature films to date. His films are made in the Malayalam language and often depict the society and culture of his native state Kerala. Nearly all of his films premiered at Venice, Cannes and Toronto International Film Festival. Along with Satyajit Ray and Mrinal Sen, Gopalakrishnan is one of the most recognized Indian film directors in world cinema.
For his films, Gopalakrishnan has won the National Film Award 16 times, next only to Ray and Sen. He also won the Kerala State Film Awards 17 times. He was awarded the State honours Padma Shri in 1984 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2006. He received the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2004 for his valuable contributions to Indian cinema. mm prints of the eleven feature films and several documentaries made by Gopalakrishnan.The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee have established an archive and research center, the Adoor Gopalakrishnan Film Archive and Research Center, at their Peck School of Arts where research students will have access to 35
Gopalakrishnan was born on 3 July 1941 in the village of Mannadi ( Medayil Bungalow ) near Adoor, present day Kerala, he was the son of Madhavan Unnithan and Mouttathu Gauri Kunjamma. He started his artistic life as an actor in amateur plays when he was 8. Later he shifted his base to writing and direction and wrote and directed a few plays. After securing a degree in Economics, Political Science and Public Administration in 1961 from the Gandhigram Rural Institute,he worked as a Government officer near Dindigul in Tamil Nadu . In 1962, he left his job to study screenwriting and direction from the Film and Television Institute of India Pune. He completed his course from there with a scholarship from the Government of India. With his classmates and friends, Gopalakrishnan established Chithralekha Film Society and Chalachithra Sahakarana Sangham; the organization was the first film society in Kerala and it aimed at production, distribution and exhibition of films in the co-operative sector.
Gopalakrishnan has scripted and directed eleven feature films and about thirty short films and documentaries. Notable amongst the non-feature films are those on Kerala's performing arts.
Gopalakrishnan's debut film, the national award-winning Swayamvaram (1972) was a milestone in Malayalam film history. The film was exhibited widely in various international film festivals including those held in Moscow, Melbourne, London and Paris. The films that followed namely Kodiyettam, Elippathayam, Mukhamukham, Anantaram, Mathilukal , Vidheyan and Kathapurushan lived up to the reputation of his first film and were well received by critics at various film festivals and fetched him many awards. However, Mukhamukham was criticized in Kerala while Vidheyan was at the centre of a debate due to the differences in opinion between the writer of story of the film Sakhariya and Gopalakrishnan.
Gopalakrishnan's later films are Nizhalkuthu , narrating the experiences of an executioner who comes to know that one of his subjects was innocent, and Naalu Pennungal , a film adaptation of four short stories by Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai.
All his films have won national and international awards (National award for best film twice, best director five times, and best script two times. His films have also won his actors and technicians several national awards). Gopalakrishnan's third feature, Elippathayam won him the coveted British Film Institute Award for 'the most original and imaginative film' of 1982. The International Film Critics Prize (FIPRESCI) has gone to him six times successively for Mukhamukham, Anantharam, Mathilukal, Vidheyan, Kathapurushan and Nizhalkkuthu. Winner of several international awards like the UNICEF film prize (Venice), OCIC film prize (Amiens), INTERFILM Prize (Mannheim) etc., his films have been shown in Cannes, Venice, Berlin, Toronto, London, Rotterdam and every important festival around the world.
In consideration of his contribution to Indian cinema, the nation honoured him with the title of Padma Shri(India's fourth highest civilian award) in 1984 and Padma Vibhushan(India's second highest civilian award) in 2006.
Gopalakrishnan is settled in Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) in Kerala. His daughter Aswathi Dorje is an IPS officer (part of the Assam cadre, 2000 batch), currently acting as Deputy Commissioners of Police in Mumbai since June 2010.
Apart from nine feature films, he has over 30 short films and documentaries to his credit. The Helsinki Film Festival was the first film festival to have a retrospective of his films. He has headed the jury at the National Film Awards and many international film festivals.
Apart from his films, Gopalakrishnan's major contribution towards introducing a new cinema culture in Kerala was the constitution of the first Film Society in Kerala, "Chitralekha Film Society". He also took active part in the constitution of "Chitralekha," Kerala's first Film Co-operative Society for film production. These movements triggered a fresh wave of films, called "art films," by directors like G Aravindan, PA Becker, KG George, Pavithran, and Raveendran. At a time this movement was so strong that even popular cinema synthesised with art cinema to create a new genre of films. Bharat Gopi starred as hero 4 times in his ventures.
Gopalakrishnan has been known as a director who completely dictates every fine detail of his films. On the performance of actors in his movies, he stated that - "It is not the artist's job to do the detailing. I do not want different interpretations of roles that may clash with each other. It has to be absolutely unified." He normally does not encourage his crew to read the script or even the stories. The actors are told at the time of shooting about the role and the scenes before conducting several rehearsals. According to Gopalakrishnan "[i]n movies, the actor is not performing to the audience like the stage actor. Here they are acting for me. I am the audience and I will decide whether it is correct or not, enough or not."
Some of the awards Gopalakrishnan has won for his films include:
National Film Awards (Detailed):
Kerala State Film Awards (Detailed):
Best Screen Play
Best Documentary Film
Best Short Film
Best Book on Cinema
A retrospective of his films was conducted in
Gopalakrishnan also worked in several respected posts in the film fraternity. He was a member of Sivaramakarath committee formed by the Government of India for framing a national film policy. He was a national film award committee member in 1974. He was a member of jury in Venice, Singapore, Hawaii and Delhi international film festivals. He was the chairman of International Film Festival of Kerala in 1999. He headed the National Film Development Corporation of India in the years 1980–1983. He was the director of Pune Film and Television Institute of India. In the years 1975–1977, he was a member of the advisory board for National Film Archive of India, Pune.
|1965||A Great Day||20 mins||Short fiction|
|1966||A Day at Kovalam||30 mins||Documentary|
|1967||The Myth||50 Seconds||Short fiction||Merit Certificate, Expo 67, Montreal|
|1968||Danger at Your Door-step||20 mins||Documentary|
|1968||And Man created||8 mins||Documentary|
|1968||Manntharikal (Grains of Sand)||20 mins||Documentary|
|1969||Towards National STD||20 mins||Documentary|
|1969||A Mission of Love||30 mins||Documentary|
|1966||Your Food||60 mins||Documentary|
|1970||Pratisandhi (The Impasse)||55 mins||Docu-drama|
|1971||Romance of Rubber||30 mins||Documentary|
|1972||Swayamvaram (One's Own Choice)||125 mins||Feature film||National Awards for Best Film, Best Director, Best Actress and Best Cinematographer. Entered into the 8th Moscow International Film Festival.|
|1973||Kilimanooril Oru Dasalakshadhipati (A Millionaire is Born)||20 mins||Documentary|
|1974||Guru Chengannur||17 mins||Documentary|
|1975||Past in Perspective||20 mins||Documentary|
|1977||Kodiyettam (Ascent)||128 mins||Feature film||National Awards for Best Feature Film in Malayalam and Best Actor|
|1978||Four Shorts on Family Planning||16 mins||Documentary|
|1980||Chola Heritage||20 mins||Documentary|
|1981||Elippathayam (The Rat Trap)||121 mins||Feature film|| Sutherland Trophy at 1982 London Film Festival |
National Awards for Best Feature Film in Malayalam and Best Audiography
|1984||Mukhamukham (Face to Face)||107 mins||Feature film||FIPRESCI Prize, New Delhi, National Awards for Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Audiography|
|1985||Eau/Ganga (Ganges-Water)||140 mins||Documentary||Grand Prize, Cinema du reel, Paris|
|1987||Anantaram (Monologue)||125 mins||Feature film||FIPRESCI Prize, Karlovy Vary. National awards for best director, best screenplay, and best audiography|
|1990||Mathilukal (The Walls)||117 mins||Feature film||FIPRESCI prize, Venice, UNICEF Film Prize, Venice, OCIC Prize, Amiens. National Award for best director, best actor, best regional film and best audiography|
|1993||Vidheyan (The Servile)||112 mins||Feature film||Feature FIPRESCI and Special Jury Prize, Singapore. Interfilm Jury Prize, Mannheim. Netpac prize, Rotterdam. National Award for best actor and best regional film|
|1995||Kathapurushan (The Man of the Story)||107 mins||Feature film||FIPRESCI Prize, National award for the best film|
|1995||Kalamandalam Gopi||43 mins||Documentary|
|2002||Nizhalkuthu (Shadow Kill)||90 mins||Feature film||FIPRESCI, Mumbai. National award for best regional film|
|2005||Kalamandalam Ramankutty Nair||73 mins||Documentary|
|2007||Dance of the Enchantress||72 mins||Documentary|
|2007||Naalu Pennungal (Four Women)||105 mins||Feature film||National Award for best director|
|2008||Oru Pennum Randaanum (A Climate for Crime)||115 mins||Feature film||Kerala State award for best director 2009|
|2016||Pinneyum (Once Again)||Feature film|
Malayalam cinema is the Indian film industry based in the southern state of Kerala, dedicated to the production of motion pictures in the Malayalam language. It is also known by the sobriquet Mollywood in various print and online media. Malayalam film industry is the fourth biggest 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. Marana Simhasanam garnered the coveted Caméra d'Or for that year.
Gopynathan Velayudhan Nair, popularly known by the stage names Bharat Gopy, Kodiyettem Gopy, was an Indian film actor, producer and director. He was one of the first actors to be associated with the New Wave cinema movement in Kerala during the 1970s.
Swayamvaram is a 1972 Indian Malayalam-language drama film co-written and directed by Adoor Gopalakrishnan, starring Madhu and Sharada in the lead roles. Notable smaller roles were played by Thikkurisi Sukumaran Nair, Adoor Bhavani, K. P. A. C. Lalitha, and Bharath Gopi. The film depicts the life of a couple—Vishwam (Madhu) and Sita (Sharada)—who have married against their parents' wishes and want to start a new life at a new place. The title is an allusion to the ancient Indian practice of a girl of marriageable age choosing a husband from among a list of suitors.
Naalu Pennungal is a 2007 Malayalam film produced and directed by Adoor Gopalakrishnan based on four short stories written by Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai. The film stars Padmapriya, Geethu Mohandas, Manju Pillai, and Nandita Das in the major roles, and KPAC Lalitha, Mukesh, Manoj K. Jayan, Sona Nair, Sreejith Ravi, Ravi Vallathol, Nandulal, Remya Nabeeshan, P. Sreekumar, M. R. Gopakumar, and Kavya Madhavan in supporting roles.
Kodiyettam is a 1978 Indian feature film production written and directed by Adoor Gopalakrishnan. It is in Malayalam. The film notably does not feature any kind of background music and in the director's cut some scenes are missing.
Oru Pennum Randaanum is a 2008 Malayalam feature film written and directed by Adoor Gopalakrishnan.
Mankada Ravi Varma was an Indian cinematographer and director who worked in Malayalam cinema. He is exclusively known for his association with renowned film-maker Adoor Gopalakrishnan. He has associated with other major directors such as G. Aravindan and P. N. Menon. He has also directed two films. He has won two National Film Awards and seven Kerala State Film Awards in various categories.
Mathilukal (transl. Walls) is a 1989 Indian Malayalam-language film written, directed and produced by Adoor Gopalakrishnan based on the autobiographical novel of the same name by Vaikom Muhammad Basheer. The film focusses on the prison life of Vaikom Muhammad Basheer and the love between him and Narayany, a female inmate of the prison, who remains unseen throughout the film. Mammootty plays the role of Vaikom Muhammad Basheer while K. P. A. C. Lalitha gives voice to Narayani. The film was screened at the Venice Film Festival, it won four awards at the National Film Awards in 1990.
Ravi Vallathol was an Indian actor, mainly noted for his acting in many famous serials, including the first serial in Malayalam.
Mathar Ramakrishnan Gopakumar is an Indian film, television and theatre actor from Kerala. He began his acting career through Malayalam stage plays and later in tele-films and television serials and into films. In his career spanning over four decades, Gopakumar has acted in a wide variety of roles and has worked in both art house and mainstream films.
Narayanan Lakshmi Balakrishnan, commonly known as N. L. Balakrishnan, was an Indian film still photographer and actor who worked in Malayalam cinema. He worked as a still photographer in about 170 films and has associated with great directors including G. Aravindan, John Abraham, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, P. Padmarajan, Bharathan and K. G. George. He was an actor, with 180 credits to his name, and has also worked as a photo journalist with Kerala Kaumudi.
Narayanan Nair Harikumar is a sound editor, designer and mixing engineer, known for his works in Malayalam films. He has won two National Film Awards and nine Kerala State Film Awards for audiography. He has worked for many Adoor Gopalakrishnan movies like Anantaram, Mathilukal, Nizhalkuthu, Naalu Pennungal, Oru Pennum Randaanum etc. He worked as Chief Sound Engineer and Studio Manager at Kerala State Film Development Corporation's Chithranjali Studio and later as the Chief Audio Engineer at Aries Vismayas Max.
M. J. Radhakrishnan was an Indian cinematographer working mainly in Malayalam films. He got National film award 2018 as best cinematographer for his work on Malayalam movie 'Oolu'. He won Kerala State Award for Best Cinematography 7 times, equal with Mankada Ravi Varma. Earlier he worked as a still photographer and then as an associate to cinematographer turned director Shaji N. Karun. His important works included Deshadanam (1996), Karunam (1999) Naalu Pennungal (2007).Veettilekkulla Vazhi (2010) and Akasathinte Niram His films were screened at several prominent film festivals around the world including Cannes, Shanghai, Cairo, Montreal, Telluride, Jeonju, Toronto, Chicago, Rhode Island and Rotterdam. One of his works, Marana Simhasanam, won Caméra d'Or in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival. Another film Veyilmarangal won Golden Goblet award for Outstanding Artistic achievement at Shanghai International Film Festival 2019. He worked on over 117 feature films and several documentaries and worked with some of the prominent Indian filmmakers including Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Murali Nair, Shaji N. Karun, TV Chandran, Dr. Biju, Jayaraj and Renjith. He mostly worked on arthouse films and was known for his natural lighting styles. In a career spanning more than two decades, he worked with a number of young film makers, mostly in their maiden ventures..Film Kalamandalam Hyderali 2019, directed by Kiran G.nath was his last completed work as director of photography.
K. Ravindranathan Nair , a.k.a. Achani Ravi or General Pictures Ravi, is an Indian film producer of Malayalam films, industrialist and philanthropist, known for a number of critically acclaimed movies he has produced such as Kanchana Sita, Thampu, Kummatty, Esthappan, Pokkuveyil, Elippathayam, Manju, Mukhamukham, Anantaram and Vidheyan. Nair is credited with fostering the art film movement in Malayalam cinema during the period from the seventies till the nineties. A multiple recipient of National and State film awards, Nair was awarded the J. C. Daniel Award by the Government of Kerala, in 2008, for his contributions to Malayalam cinema.
Mohan Kupleri (Malayalam: മോഹൻ കുപ്ലേരി) is an Indian film director in Malayalam cinema, Television Serials and Advertising Films. He made his debut cinema with Grihaprevesam (1992). His films include Nandini Oppol (1994), Kaathil Oru Kinnaram (1996), Dravidan (1998), Kattathoru Penpoovu (1998), Savithriyude Aranjanam (2002), Payum Puli (2007), Evadaina Sare (2007), Grihanathan (2012) and upcoming film Chandragiri.
Rajasekharan Parameswaran, also known as Marthandam Rajasekharan, is an Indian art director and self-taught painter from Tamil Nadu. He holds two Guinness World Records. The first one, from 2008, is for the world's largest easel painting. The easel is 56.5' tall and 31' wide and holds a 25' tall and 50' wide portrait of Elamkulam Namboodiripad. In 2010, the painting was also included in the Limca Book of Records. His second Guinness World Record is for the largest Burr puzzle, with each piece of the puzzle measuring 24' x 2' x 2', unveiled on 27 December 2017 at The Ravis Hotels and Resorts, Kollam, Kerala. This is the second successful attempt at setting this record.
S. B. Satheesan is a national award-winning Indian costume designer or fashion designer working predominantly in Malayalam films.
T. Krishnanunni is one of the most reputed sound designers in India. He has received multiple National Film Awards and Kerala State Film Awards. He has worked with almost all the eminent film makers in Kerala, including Adoor Gopalakrishnan, G. Aravindan and Shaji N. Karun.
Images/Reflections is a documentary film on Adoor Gopalakrishnan directed by Girish Kasaravalli. The documentary was first screened in April 2015 in Bangalore.
B. Ajithkumar is an Indian film editor and director. He has won the National Award for Best Editing in 2007 for Naalu Pennungal as well as the Kerala State Film Award for Best Editor in 2002, 2013 for Annayum Rasoolum, and 2017 . Ajithkumar graduated from Film and Television Institute of India, Pune. After graduating, he started his career as film editor. His debut directorial film was Eeda, which depicts the violent political atmosphere of Kannur.
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