Malayalam film industry comes together for platinum jubliee

Thiruvananthapuram, July 27 (IANS) It's celebration and jubilation time in the Malayalam film industry, an integral part of the 100-year-old Indian film industry, which is gearing up for the platinum jubilee of its talkies later this year. Stalwarts like Mohanlal and Adoor Gopalakrishan are especially proud of the occasion.

Director S. Nottani's "Balan" was the first Malayalam talkie that came out in 1938. The industry with a glorious past is credited with India's first 3D film "My Dear Kuttichathan" (1984).

Superstar Mohanlal pointed out that the film fraternity should be proud of what they have been able to achieve, adding: "We should see that we celebrate as we are into our platinum jubilee."

Lauding the decision, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said that the need of the hour is for the fraternity to stand united.

"Cinema is the entertainment option for the common man and for that we are committed to doing anything. But today, there are issues that plague the industry on account of differences of opinion prevailing amongst you. Please settle that," said Chandy.

One of the largest film producing nations in the world, India churns out about 1,000 films a year. Ace producer G. Suresh Kumar points out that Malayalam films have more than 10 percent share in the total output.

Taking pride at being a part of the industry, Suresh Kumar said: "Priyadarshan, Mohanlal and I first entered the industry 35 years ago and we are extremely delighted about it."

"The biggest change that has taken place is that the industry has entered the digital era. Our industry has seized all the opportunities to move ahead," added the producer of "Rathinirvedam".

Satisfied with the growth of the filmdom, multiple National Award winner Gopalakrishnan, known for films like "Swayamvaram" and "Naalu Pennungal" said: "We should certainly celebrate our platinum jubilee because through our films, we have showcased our heritage and culture to the world and this has been accepted by all."

Well-known director Shaji N. Karun hailed the industry for contributing to the betterment of art and culture.

On the other hand, thespian actor Madhu said that even though Malayalam films began in Madras (now Chennai), the industry has now got a strong foothold here. He felt that a tribute should be paid to all those who made it possible.

"I wish to take this opportunity to see that we remind many of our fellow brethren who made this all possible, but they are now not with us. When we celebrate, we should certainly remember them and their contributions for laying the foundations of our industry," Madhu added.

Yesteryears actress Suhasini shared her brief interaction with legendary Bengali filmmaker Satyajit Ray, who told her: "It's only people from Kerala who make sensible films."

With grandeur comes rigour. If the industry celebrated success and growth, it also has to deal with tiffs among various bodies of lightboys, actors, exhibitors, producers, and distributors.

But burying the hatchet for the time being, the the film industry is working together to make the occasion memorable.

(Sanu George can be contacted at sanu.g@ians.in)

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