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Rajiv Anchal (Malayalam: രാജീവ് അഞ്ചൽ) (born 20 December 1956, Kerala, India is a film director, screenwriter, and sculptor. Anchal is a maker of Malayalam language cinema. His best known film is Guru (1997), which is a symbolic and a metaphorical movie about the blind faith of humankind. In 1997, Guru was India's official submission for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Anchal's first English language film was Beyond The Soul (2003).
Personal life and education
Anchal was born on 20 December 1956 in Alencherry, Yeroor Panchayath, Anchal, Kollam District, Kerala State. At a young age, he developed an interest in sculpture. He was educated at the Yeroor Government High School. He received a diploma from St. John's College. Anchal then enrolled at the Trivandrum College of Fine Arts.
In 1977, Anchal won a state award for sculpture from the Kerala Lalitha Kala Academy. Anchal has contributed to the statuary of Kerala state. One such sculpture is Sakambhari, 40 foot work at Alleppey. Anchal contributed to temple wall murals in Kerala state. He also contributed to the construction of the Parnashala lotus at the Santhigiri Ashram and the large Jatayu bird sculpture in Jatayupara, Chadayamangalam, Kerala.
In 1980, Rajiv Anchal entered the Malayalam film industry as an art director and production designer under the direction of Lenin Rajendran during the making of Chillu. In 1985, Anchal made his directorial debut on an unreleased film, Enikkum enikkum idaykku. Ammaanamkili (1986) also failed to run in theatres. In 1993, Anchal's career was established with the popular Kerala release, Butterflies a romantic comedy thriller which featured Mohanlal and Aishwarya. Kashmeeram (1994), starring Suresh Gopi, Ratheesh and Priya Raman followed. It was dubbed in Telugu and released in New Delhi.
Anchal's best known movie, Guru was released in 1997. Guru is a fantasy movie about a utopia. It uses symbols of terrorism and world evils. Anchal reused Hollywood film sets to make a fantasy world. Mohanlal played the lead role. Nedumudi Venu, Srinivasan, Suresh Gopi, Sithara, Kaveri and Sreelakshmi played supporting roles. Despite its popularity and presentation to the Oscars, it was not financially successful.
- Butterflies (1993)
- Kashmeeram (1994)
- Guru (1997)
- Rushy Vamsam (1999)
- Pilots (2000) (also as writer)
- Beyond the Soul (2002) (also as writer and producer)
- Nothing But Life (2004) (also as writer)
- Paattinte Palazhy (2010)
- 1986, Ammaanamkili, children's film award.
- 1990, Njan Gandharvan, Kerala state film award for art direction.
- 1994, Kashmeeram, film critics' award for best director.
- 1997, Guru India's official entry to the Oscars in the category of Best Foreign Film. This required it to be edited to ninety minutes length.
- 2003, Beyond the Soul New York International Independent Film and Video Festival awards for best director, best screenplay and the grand jury prize for best feature film.
Anchal is a life member of the International Film and Television Club of Asian Academy of Film & Television.
- Varma V. Kerala nature park modelled on mythical bird Jatayu to take flight next year The India Express news website 17 December 2015. Accessed 4 July 2016.
- George M. Meera Jasmine was the only choice for Paattinte Palazhy Rediff movies website. 23 August 2010. Accessed 4 July 2016.