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Appachan (Navodaya)

Born6th February, 1924
Died23rd April, 2012
Native PlaceAlappuzha
CareerProduction (12), Direction (4)
First MovieKadathanaattu Maakkam (1978)
Last MovieMy Dear Kuttichaathan (Digital) (2011)

Producer and Director Maliyampurakkal Chacko Punnoose, popularly known as Navodaya Appachan was born on February 6, 1924 at Pulinkunnam in Alappuzha district.

When he founded the first film studio in Kerala, along with older brother Kunchacko in 1946, Appachan claimed his place in the history of Malayalam cinema.

With three giant leaps, Appachan gave a mighty boost to the technological aspect of Malayalam cinema. The first cinemascope movie in India (Thacholi Ambu), the first 70mm film in India (Padayottam) and the first 3D movie in India (My Dear Kuttichathan) were three major achievements that came from the Navodaya stables under the helm of Appachan. What is remarkable is the fact that the three movies happened over a period of just seven years. My Dear Kuttichathan is considered to be the first 3D movie in Asia and Malayalam cinema is yet to see another 70 mm movie after Padayottam.

Manjil Virinja pookkal is another testimony to Appachan’s daring approach to film making. The movie made with a clutch of new comers on and off the screen went on to become a record breaking hit, in the process, introducing Director Fazil, Music Director Jerry Amaldev, and debutant actors Poornima Jayaram and Shankar along with every Malayalai’s pride – Mohanlal.

Appachan played a significant role in introducing the Hollywood studio culture to Malayalam cinema. After his brother Kunchacko’s death, Appachan who was a partner in Udaya Studio went solo with Navodaya, which he established in Kakkanad in Ernakulam district in 1976.

Appachan who always encouraged new directors, introduced Raghunath Paleri in Onnu Muthal Poojyam Vare, Jijo in Padayottam and Rajeev Kumar in Chanakyan.

Although not very active in the field of cinema after Chanakyan, Appachan made history once again by starting ‘Kishkinta’, India’s first water theme park, in Chennai. His adaptation of the Bible for television got tangled in several issues and never really took off, despite having a few episodes telecast on national TV.

‘Navodayam’, Appachan's autobiographical account, which was published in an annual issue of Malayala Manorama is the story of the intermediate period of Malayalam cinema. Appachan was a producer who wanted the newest technological facilities for his movies and also a keen observer of the changes in world cinema. The camera used to shoot Manjil Virinja Pookkal was purchased abroad.

Appachan who served as the President of the Kerala Film Chamber of Commerce went on to serve as the President of the South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce in 1990-91. He received the prestigious JC Daniel Award in 2010.

Appachan died on April 23, 2012; he is survived by his wife, two sons and two daughters.

Details Courtesy : and Wikipedia

Prepared by: Remitha Satheesh


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