Jump to content


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jayarajan Rajasekharan Nair

(1960-05-31) 31 May 1960 (age 64)
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
  • Producer
Years active1990–present

Jayarajan Rajasekharan Nair, professionally credited as Jayaraj (born 31 May 1960), is an Indian filmmaker, who predominantly works in the Malayalam film industry.

He has won many awards, including Crystal Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival, the Golden Peacock award at the IFFI, and the FIPRESCI Award from the International Federation of Film Critics. He is also a seven-time recipient of the National Film Award and several Kerala State Film Awards. His films include Paithrukam (1993), Desadanam (1996), Kaliyattam (1997), 4 The People (2004), Vellapokkathil (2007), Ottaal (2015), Veeram (2016) and Bhayanakam (2018).

Early life[edit]

During his stay at Thiruvananthapuram, he attended film festivals including the International Film Festival of Kerala and watched many world classics.[1] Kurosawa's Rashomon and DeSica's Bicycle Thieves were among them, and they influenced him immensely.[2]


Bharathan was impressed by Jayaraj and made him his assistant director for Chilambu(1986). Jayaraj then went on to be the assistant to Bharathan in six more films including the critically acclaimed Oru Minnaminunginte Nurunguvettam (1987) and Vaishali (1988). Jayaraj debuted as director with Vidyarambham (1990). His early career mainly produced commercially oriented films like Aakasha Kottayile Sultan (1991), Johnnie Walker (1992), High Way (1995), Thumboli Kadappuram (1995) and Arabia (1995).[citation needed]

Notable in his early career were Kudumbasametham (1992), Paithrukam (1993) and Sopanam (1993). Desadanam (1997) was followed by Kaliyattam (1997) which was an adaptation of Shakespeare's Othello. It won him the National Film Award for Best Direction.

In 1999 Jayaraj started his nine-film series project Navarasa with Karunam, followed by Shantham (2001). Shantham won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film. The third in the Navarasa series was Bheebhatsa, a Hindi film followed by Adbutham and Veeram. In 2018, the sixth film in the series Bhayanakam was released and had won awards for Best Direction, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Cinematography at the 2017 National Film Awards. On 10 June 2019, Tovino Thomas officially announced and shared the poster of Roudram 2018, the seventh film in the series. While sharing the poster on Facebook Tovino wrote, "The movie is based on real-life incidents that occurred in central Travancore, during the devastating floods that Kerala survived. Roudram 2018 portrays the tempestuous ferocity of nature, and the utter helplessness of humankind before that might."[citation needed]

Of late he has been doing commercial and art films and is successful in both genres. While Thilakkam (2003) and 4 The People (2004) were huge commercial successes Kannaki (2002), Makalkku (2005), Daivanamathil (2005) and Ottaal (2015) were critically acclaimed. Ottaal made history, becoming the first ever Malayalam movie to have swept all the top awards in the 20-year history of the International Film Festival of Kerala. The film was one of four Malayalam films selected to be a part of the Indian Panorama at the International Film Festival of India in Goa in November 2015.[citation needed]


In an earnest effort towards conserving nature and strengthening people's welfare, Jayaraj founded the Jayaraj Foundation in 2010 and officially launched it on 6 June 2014. World Organisation of Hope's (WOH) ambitious programme SMART (Sports, Music, Art and Recreation Therapy (Yoga and Meditation)) and Birds Club International are the two projects initiated by the foundation.[citation needed][3]

World Organisation of Hope (WOH) is an organisation aimed at building children's awareness of their rights and to protect them. The programme SMART [Sports, Music, Art and Recreation Therapy (Yoga and Meditation)] is an offshoot of WOH. It supports children and adolescents in their own struggle to secure and defend their dreams.[citation needed]

Birds Club International (BCI) aims at creating miniature rain forests in schools and colleges, to make a better environment both for birds and humans. It plans to bring together the future generation and integrating more of society towards nature conservation activities. Several units of BCI have been started in many schools and colleges in Kerala, with the help of the Government of Kerala, to achieve this.[citation needed]


International awards
Year Film Award (s)
2015 Ottaal Crystal Bear, Suvarna Chakoram, FIPRESCI award, NETPAC award, Rajatha Chakoram
2005 Daivanamathil Best Film Award in Spain, Madrid International Film Festival
2000 Karunam Golden Peacock Award, International Film Festival of India- Awards from Federation of International Film Societies, Berlin International Film Fest, Special Mention in Kerala International Film Festival.
2001 Shantham Best Cinematography in Festival De 3 Continents, France
1996 Desadanam Special Mention at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in competition section.
National Film Awards
Jayaraj being felicitated at IFFI (2015)
Kerala State Film Awards
Filmfare Awards South
V. Shantharam Awards
John Abraham Awards
Asianet Film Awards
  • 2002: Asianet Film Award for Best Director for Kannaki
Ramu Karyatt Awards
P. Padmarajan Awards


Year Title Notes Ref(s)
2024 Highway -2 Announced
Manorathangal Anthology series
Segment:"Swargam Thurakkuna Samayam"
2023 Oru Perumgaliyattam Shooting Started (Releasing on Rootsvideo OTT Platform)
2021 Backpackers
2020 Haasyam Part 8, Navarasa series.
2019 Roudram 2018 Part 7, Navarasa series. Also writer
2017 Bhayanakam Part 6, Navarasa series. Also writer
2016 Veeram Part 5, Navarasa series. Also writer.

Released also in Hindi & English

2015 Ottaal [4]
2013 Camel Safari [5]
2012 Pakarnnattam [6]
2011 Naayika [7]
2011 The Train Writer credits [8]
2009 Loudspeaker Writer and producer credits
2008 Gulmohar
2008 Vellapokkathil [9]
2008 Of The People Writer and producer credits
2008 Sila Nerangalil Tamil film
2007 Anandabhairavi
2006 Aanachandam
2006 Adbutham Part 4, Navarasa series

Released on Rootsvideo OTT Platform in 2021 April 14

2006 Ashwaroodan
2005 Daivanamathil
2005 By the People
2005 Makalkku
2004 Yuvasena (Telugu)
2004 Rain Rain Come Again
2004 4 the People
2003 Thilakkam
2002 Kannaki
2002 Bhibatsa Part 3, Navarasa series

Hindi Language

2000 Millennium Stars
2000 Karunam Part 2, Navarasa series.

Also producer

2000 Shantham Part 1, Navarasa series
1998 Sneham
1998 Thalolam
1997 Kaliyattam
1997 Desadanam Also Producer
1995 Arabia
1995 High Way
1995 Thumboli Kadappuram
1993 Paithrukam
1993 Sopanam
1992 Johnnie Walker
1992 Kudumbasametham
1991 Aakasha Kottayile Sultan Story credits
1990 Vidhyarambham


  1. ^ "cinemaofmalayalam.net: Profile". Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 4 December 2007.
  2. ^ "Jayaraj: A director's profile". Rediff.com movies. 20 December 2005. Retrieved 14 August 2014.
  3. ^ "Birds Club International".
  4. ^ "'Ottal' is more than an environmental film: Jayaraj". Manorama Online.
  5. ^ "Love in the sands of Pushkar". The New Indian Express. Archived from the original on 6 September 2013.
  6. ^ P.K.Ajith Kumar (14 January 2011). "Lambs to the sacrifice". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 8 November 2012.
  7. ^ "Another new film on Shrividhya". The Indian Express. 21 January 2011.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ "Jayaraj ropes in Mammootty for Track With Rahman". Oneindia.in. Archived from the original on 9 July 2012. Retrieved 5 July 2010.
  9. ^ Staff Reporter (3 December 2018). "Films on hope and rebuilding". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 24 December 2019.
  10. ^ "Bibhatsa". The Times of India. 16 September 2004. Retrieved 24 December 2019.

External links[edit]