Anjali Menon

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Anjali Menon
അജ്ഞലി മേനോൻ
അജ്ഞലി മേനോൻ.jpg
Menon during press meet
Born (1979-12-20) 20 December 1979 (age 41)
Alma materLondon Film School
  • Film director
  • screenwriter
Years active2006–present
Spouse(s)Vinod Menon

Anjali Menon is an Indian film director and screenwriter who predominantly works in the Malayalam film industry.[1] She made her directorial debut with the film Manjadikuru.[2] She won the National Film Award for Best Screenplay (Dialogues) for Ustad Hotel at the 60th National Film Awards.[3][4] She was one of the founding members of the Women in Cinema Collective (WCC), an organization that focuses on gender equality in the Malayalam film industry.[5][6]

Personal life[edit]

Anjali was born to T. Madhavan Nair and Sarada Nair.[7] She grew up in The United Arab Emirates and was educated at Our Own English High School, Fujairah, and then at Presentation High School, Kozhikode. She graduated from Providence Women's College, Kozhikode, and then studied Communication Studies at Pune University, during when she made documentaries.[8][9] She studied filmmaking at London Film School, graduating in 2003. film.[10][11] She lives in Mumbai with her husband and son.[12]


Menon at a Press conference by Directors, along with Ashim Paul, Nandan Saxena & Kavita Bhal, at the 43rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI-2012), in Panaji, Goa on 24 November 2012.

Anjali's graduation film Black Nor White,[13] produced by Asif Kapadia and featuring Rez Kempton and Archie Panjabi, was premiered at the Palm Springs International Film Festival and won the BFI award for Best Short film.[8][14] She made her feature debut with Manjadikuru (2008), a coming of age drama set in 1979. It won the FIPRESCI award for the Best Malayalam film and Best Indian Debut.[1] She also received Kerala State Film Award for Best Screenplay for the movie.[15] However, her first release was Kerala Cafe (2009), an anthology film for which she contributed the segment 'Happy Journey', centered around gender politics. She then wrote the story, screenplay and dialogues of the critically and commercially acclaimed Ustad Hotel (2012), directed by Anwar Rasheed.[16] She received the National Film Award for Best Screenplay - Dialogues for the film, which also won the National Awards for Most Popular Film.[17] The film also won the Kerala State Film Award for Best Screenplay and Filmfare Award for Best Director – Malayalam.[18][19] She then directed Bangalore Days (2014), revolving around the life of three Malayali cousins in Bengaluru, which became a huge commercial success.[8] Her next film was the commercially and critically acclaimed Koode (2018), which showcased issues of caste, migration and child sexual harassment as it dealt with themes of loss and solace.

Anjali's movies have depicted themes of the migrant experience and cross cultural interactions.[8] Her film company Little Films India is based in Mumbai and Kochi.[8]

Anjali was one of the founders of the Women in Cinema Collective (WCC), an organization of women in Malayalam cinema, formed at the wake of the sexual assault of a prominent actress.[20]

Anjali has also written short stories, including 'Tea and Toast' which was published in the Malayala Manorama Onam Special, and as part of the collection Monsoon Feast. She blogs about her filmmaking experiences at


Year Title Director Screenwriter Notes
2000 Black Nor White Yes Yes Short film
2009 Kerala Cafe Yes Yes Happy Journey segment [21]
2012 Manjadikuru Yes Yes [22]
2012 Ustad Hotel No Yes [23]
2014 Bangalore Days Yes Yes [24]
2018 Koode Yes Yes [25]


Award Year Film
Hassankutty Award for Best Debut Director[26][27] 2008 Manjadikuru
FIPRESCI Prize for Best Malayalam Film[28][29] 2008 Manjadikuru
60th National Film Awards for Best Dialogues[30] 2012 Ustad Hotel
Kerala State Film Award for Best Screenplay[31] 2012 Ustad Hotel
Asianet Film Awards - Best Screenplay[32] 2013 Ustad Hotel
Kerala State Film Award for Best Screenplay (Original) 2014 Bangalore Days
Filmfare Awards South - Best Director[33] 2015 Bangalore Days
Asianet Film Awards - Best Director and Best Popular Film[34] 2015 Bangalore Days
Vanitha Film Awards - Best Director and Best Popular Film[35] 2015 Bangalore Days
SIIMA Film Awards - Best Director and Best Film[36] 2015 Bangalore Days


  1. ^ a b Aravind, Indulekha (14 July 2018). "What makes 'Bangalore Days' director Anjali Menon a rarity in Indian cinema". The Economic Times. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  2. ^ 23 Jun, Arun Janardhanan | TNN | Updated; 2012; Ist, 2:28. "'Manjadikuru' girl lives a sad life off the screen too". The Times of India. Retrieved 31 July 2019.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ "Nat Film Awards ceremony to be held on May 3 every year: Soni". Business Standard. New Delhi. Press Trust of India. 3 May 2012. Archived from the original on 3 September 2020. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
  4. ^ "60th National Film Awards Announced" (PDF) (Press release). Press Information Bureau (PIB), India. Archived (PDF) from the original on 17 April 2013. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
  5. ^ Praveen, S. r (25 June 2018). "Women in Cinema Collective condemns AMMA's decision to reinstate actor Dileep". The Hindu.
  6. ^ "Parvathy Menon, Manju Warrier, Bhavana and others form Women in Cinema Collective". The Indian Express. The Indian Express. 4 June 2017. Retrieved 27 December 2017.
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b c d e "About AM". Anjali Menon. 26 November 2011. Retrieved 22 May 2020.
  9. ^ "Cut to Anjali". The Hindu. 12 September 2009. Retrieved 17 December 2009.
  10. ^ Lucky Red Seeds and Profile NFDC
  11. ^ "Anjali Menon's First Feature Wins Awards". London Film School News. 28 May 2009. Archived from the original on 19 June 2009. Retrieved 17 December 2009.
  12. ^ Dutta, Nandita. "How Anjali Menon went from successful writer to director of one of Malayalam cinema's biggest hits". Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  13. ^ "British Council Film: Black Nor White". Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  14. ^ "Black Nor White website". Archived from the original on 26 June 2015. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
  15. ^ Staff Reporter (2 March 2013). "Row over film unfounded, says Anjali Menon". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  16. ^ Nagarajan, Saraswathy (21 March 2013). "Savouring the success". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  17. ^ "60th National Film Awards: List of some winners". The Economic Times. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  18. ^ "Scene change". The Week. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  19. ^ "Winners of 62nd Britannia Filmfare Awards South". Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  20. ^ thomas, elizabeth (28 April 2019). "Celebrating sisterhood". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 21 December 2020.
  21. ^ "Review: Kerala Cafe". Sify.
  22. ^ "Seeds of a success story". The Hindu. 26 December 2008.
  23. ^ Nagarajan, Saraswathy (21 June 2012). "Beachside hotel". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 27 July 2012. Retrieved 29 May 2016.
  24. ^ "Anjali Menon's movie is Bangalore Days". The Times of India. 24 January 2014.
  25. ^ "Anjali Menon's movie is Koode". The Times of India.
  26. ^ ":: IFFK 2008". Archived from the original on 17 February 2015. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  27. ^ "Parque Via wins best film award". The Hindu. 20 December 2008. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  28. ^ "Awards - Festival Awards 2008". Fipresci. Archived from the original on 8 October 2014. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  29. ^ "Festival Reports - Kerala 2008 - "Lucky Red Seeds"". Fipresci. Archived from the original on 16 October 2013. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  30. ^ ":: National Film Award 2012" (PDF). India Government. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
  31. ^ "Kerala State Awards 2014: The complete list". OnManorama. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  32. ^ Retrieved 31 July 2019. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  33. ^ "Filmfare Awards South". Archived from the original on 29 January 2016.
  34. ^ "Asianet Film Awards".
  35. ^ "Vanitha Film Awards 2015".
  36. ^ "SIIMA awards 2015".

External links[edit]