This is perhaps the golden era for the Malayalam film industry with 17 films entering the final screening process for the 67th National Film Awards in various categories. Grapevine has it that 17 Malayalam films including Marakkar Arabikadalinte Simham, Jallikattu, Virus, Kumbalangi Nights, Moothon, Sameer, Vasanthi, and Ishq, have been shortlisted for the final rounds.
Marakkar Arabikadalinte Simham, which was censored in 2019, has Mohanlal playing the lead role with Priyadarshan directing it. It is a star-studded film that also has Suniel Shetty, Arjun Sarja, Siddique, Prabhu Deva, Sudeep, Prabhu, Madhu, Manju Warrier, Paresh Rawal, Keerthy Suresh, Kalyani Priyadarshan, Pranav Mohanlal, Suhasini Maniratnam, Nedumudi Venu, Ashok Selvan, and others in pivotal roles. The film’s technical crew includes cinematographer Tirru and editor MS Ayyappan Nair. Ronnie Raphael is composing the music for songs in Marakkar while the background score is being done by Rahul Raj, Ankit Suri, and Lyell Evans Roeder. Sabu Cyril was signed up to take care of the art department.
Jallikattu is based on the short story Maoist penned by S Hareesh. The film is directed by Lijo Jose Pellissery with Anthony Varghese playing the lead role. The film was bankrolled by Thomas Panicker under his banner. S Hareesh, in association with R Jayakumar, has penned the screenplay for this venture. The technical crew of this film comprises Girish Gangadharan for cinematography and Deepu Joseph for editing. Vinayakan and Sabumon Abdusamad are also part of the star cast. It premiered at the 44th Toronto International Film Festival and has been selected as an official entry at the BFI London Film Festival and Busan.
Virus, directed by Aashiq Abu, had a notable line-up of stars including Asif Ali, Parvathy, Rima Kallingal, Soubin Shahir, Dileesh Pothan, Rahman, Indrans, Remya Nambeesan, Madonna Sebastian, Sharafudheen, Sreenath Bhasi, Revathy, Joju George, Senthil Krishna, Basil Joseph, Sudeesh and Vettukili Prakash. The scripting for Virus was done by Mushin Parari, Suhas and Sharfu. National Award-winning cinematographer Rajeev Ravi cranked the camera for this venture with Sushin Shyam composing the tunes and editor Saiju Sreedharan taking charge at the editing table. Aashiq Abu and Rima Kallingal bankrolled Virus under the banner OPM.
Kumbalangi Nights, directed by Madhu Narayanan, was scripted by Syam Pushkaran. Shane Nigam shared the screen space with Fahadh Faasil in this flick. Fahadh is the main villain and plays a deranged man in this movie. The others in the star cast also include Sreenath Bhasi, Soubin Shahir, and Ramesh Thilak. The film was bankrolled jointly by Dileesh Pothan, Syam Pushkaran and Nazriya Nazim under the banners Fahadh Faasil and Friends Working Class Hero. Sushin Shyam had composed the tunes for this flick with Shyju Khalid cranking the camera and Saiju Sreedharan editing it.
Moothon, starring Nivin Pauly in the lead was released in Malayalam and Hindi. Moothon was a film about a 14-year-old younger sibling going out in search of his long-lost older brother. The film has three Bollywood actors – Shashank Arora, Shobitha Dhulipala, and Harish Khanna – in important roles. The National Award-winning cinematographer and Geetu Mohandas’ husband Rajeev Ravi cranked the camera for Moothon. Handling the editing department of Moothon was Ajithkumar while Govind Vasantha was in charge of the music department. The movie was funded jointly by Bollywood filmmaker Anand L Rai’s production house Colour Yellow Productions and Jar Pictures with Eros International presenting it.
Ishq, which hit the marquee in 2019, turned out to be one of the biggest hits in Mollywood. This film starred Shane Nigam and Ann Sheetal in the lead roles, with Shine Tom Chacko and Leona Lishoy in supporting roles. A complete romantic thriller, it was written by Ratheesh Ravi and directed by Anuraj Manohar. Ishq was produced by Mukesh R Mehta, A V Anoop, and C V Sarathi under the banner AVA Productions.
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