Navodaya Appachan

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Navodaya Appachan
Born Maliampurackal Chacko Punnoose
(1924-02-06)6 February 1924[1]
Pulinkunnoo, Alappuzha district, Kerala, India
Died 23 April 2012(2012-04-23) (aged 88)
Kochi, India
Nationality Indian
Occupation Producer, Direction
Relatives Jijo (son)
Kunchacko (brother)
Kunchacko Boban (grandnephew)
Awards J. C. Daniel Award (2010)

Maliampurackal Chacko Punnoose, known as Navodaya Appachan (06 February 1925 – 23 April 2012) was an Indian film producer, director, and entrepreneur. He is best known for his work in Malayalam cinema, especially as the founder of Navodaya Studio.

Appachan was born at Maliampurackal Family Pulinkunnoo and was an alumnus of St. Xavier's College, Palayamkottai. He was married and had two sons and two daughters. He died on 23 April 2012 at Kochi, aged 94.[2]

Movies he produced include Manjil Virinja Pookkal and My Dear Kuttichathan. The latter was the first 3D movie made in India and released as Chota Chetan in Hindi. He is the founder of Navodaya Studio. He created of Bible Ki Kahaniyan on Doordarshan. He first became involved in the film industry with his brother, Kunchacko, at Udaya Studio. The first cinemascope film in Malayalam was directed by him, and the Malayalam Padayottam which was the first indigenously shot 70mm movie in South India, was produced by him. He founded Kishkinta, India's first theme park, in Chennai. He was given the 2011 J. C. Daniel Award for contributions to Malayalam cinema.[3]

As far as the verdict on Kadathanadan Ambadi, the film was originally produced by Sajan Vargheese for Saj Productions. He was the head of Saj financial group and when the company faced loss, the respected Kerala High Court ordered to release the film and pay back the amount to depositors from the film's collections. The Court ordered Navodaya productions to take care of the release and give report to the Court, showing faith in Navodaya Appachan.

3D visionary[edit]

Appachan was the visionary behind India's first 3D movie, My Dear Kuttichathan . His Padayottam , which was inspired by Alexander Dumas's The Count of Monte Cristo , was South India's first 70-mm movie. Directed by his son Jijo, the movie broke all box-office records and ran to full houses for several months. Appachan had also directed Thacholi Ambu , the first cinemascope movie in Malayalam (his other directorial works include Kadathanattu Makkam and Mamankam ).

An expert in reading the pulse of the movie buffs, Appachan had the courage to take risks when the Malayalam film industry was hesitant to experiment with new themes and technology. Sharing his experience of making Padayottam (1982), Appachan had said that the project was met with scepticism of many people. But it turned out to be a success.

Besides introducing state-of-the-art technology in Malayalam, Appachan also enjoyed the credit of moulding the careers of some of the best talent in the Malayalam film industry. The popular names include the directors Fazil (director), Sibi Malayil, Priyadarsan, T.K. Rajeevkumar and Jijo; the music directors Jerry Amaldev and Mohan Sithara; and the actors Mohanlal, Sankar, Poornima ( Manjil Virinja Pookkal ) and Baby Shalini ( Ente Mamattukkuttiyammakku ).


Appachan died on 23 April 2012 in Kochi. The end came in a hospital around 6.40 p.m. Doctors at the hospital, where he was admitted on April 18, said the death occurred from age-related illnesses.[4]

Notable Filmography[edit]

Year Title Director Producer Notes
1978 Thacholi Ambu Yes Yes
1978 Kadathanaattu Maakkam Yes Yes
1979 Maamaankam Yes Yes
1980 Manjil Virinja Pookkal Yes Debut of Mohanlal and debut of Jerry Amaldev as music director in films
1980 Theekkadal Yes Yes
1982 Padayottam Yes First 70 mm film in India
1983 Ente Mamattikkuttiyammakku Yes
1984 My Dear Kuttichathan Yes India's first 3-D film.
1986 Poovinu Puthiya Poonthennal Yes
1986 Onnu Muthal Poojaym Vare Yes Debut of Raghunath Paleri as director and debut of Geetu Mohandas
1989 Chanakyan Yes Debut of T.K. Rajeevkumar as director
1993 Bible ki Kahaaniyaan ( For TV ) Yes Television series
2003 Magic Magic 3D Yes



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