G. Aravindan: The Malayalam Film Maker

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Published on: 21 August 2018

V.K. Cherian

V.K. Cherian is the author of 'India’s Film Society Movement: The Journey and its Impact', published by Sage in 2017. He is a senior media professional and film society activist.

Govindan Aravindan (January 21, 1935 – March 15, 1991), popularly known as G. Aravindan, was a film director, screenwriter, musician, cartoonist and painter from Kerala. He was one of the pioneers of Parallel or Art-house cinema in Malayalam and is considered as one of the greatest filmmakers in India, even though he never acquired any formal film education, unlike his peers John Abraham and Adoor Gopalkrishnan. He is still remembered for his 11 feature films and several documentaries that transformed the trajectory of Malayalam cinema. His unorthodox way of filmmaking and radical experimentations with storytelling and cinematic forms made him one of the most significant film makers of his time. Before venturing into the film field, he was an established cartoonist and had also worked with Malayalam theatre. He also occasionally directed music for other filmmakers. In 1990, he was awarded a Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award given by the Government of India.