marked the entry of short story writer and novelist,
M.T. Vasudevan Nair (affectionately called MT
in Kerala) whose writings by nature had a visual
orientation. MT was exposed to cinema when he
began scripting. Films based on his screenplays
had a visual quality unmatched in the rest of
the Malayalam films of the time.
collaborated with cameraman-turned director,
A.Vincent in making 'Murappennu' (Cousin/fiancee)
in 1965. Though still theatrical and melodramatic,
'Murappennu' had the advantage of being shot
extensively on location and had a strong visual
quality. When actors were placed in real locations
like river banks, matriarchal family-abodes,
gravel paths and paddy fields, they came out
with an acting style freed from the theatricality
inherent in studio-filming.
ultimate in collaborative work happened in
'Chemmeen' (Prawn) in 1966 which won the President's
gold medal for the first time for a South
Indian film. Based on Thakazhy Sivasankara
Pillai's well-known novel of the same name,
the film had screenplay by S.L.Puram, camera
work by Marcus Bartely, editing by Hrishikesh
Mukherji and music by Salil Chaudhury, all
established names in the Indian film industry.
All these contributed immensely to the overall
technical quality of the film. Its high caliber
publicity greatly aided by the gold medal
secured before its commercial release and
its technical flourish made a great impact
on the audience. Its director, Ramu Kariat
who had a few memorable films to his credit,
got national attention with this effort.
major landmark in Malayalam cinema was to
come in the next year with 'Iruttinde Atmavu'
(Soul of Darkness, 1967). With a screenplay
by MT, P.Bhaskaran could make one of the best
films of his career and also provide Malayalam
cinema with a new direction; that of the low
budget film. This happened strangely after
the success of Chemmeen, the big budget multi
star-cast film that got technical assistance
from an all -India crew!
also witnessed the first Malayalam film of
a graduate of the film Institute, Pune: P.M.Abdul
Aseez's 'Aval' (She). Two years later, another
graduate, John Sankaramangalam made 'Janmabhoomi'
(Home land) with financial support from the
Film Finance Corporation. Shot in Wayanad
on the Western Ghats, a pristine location
for film making, the film won a Presidential
award for its theme of religious co-existence.
the end of the sixties, the traditional Malayalam
cinema had produced a number of good works,
most of them based on reputed literary works
by authors like Vaikom Muhammed Basheer, Parappurath,
K.T.Muhammed, Thakazhy, Malayattoor Ramakrishnan,
P.Kesava Dev and Thoppil Bhasi. The films
include Odayil Ninnu, Yakshi, Kadalpalam and
Ara Nazhika Neram (all directed by K.S. Sethumadhavan):
Mudiyanaya Puthran and Chemmeen (by Ramu Kariat):
Iruttinde Atmavu (by P.Bhaskaran): and Bhargavi
Nilayam, Thulabharam, Asuravithu and Nagarame
Nandi (all by A. Vincent).