Rima Kallingal

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Rima Kallingal
Rima Kallingal.jpg
Rima Kallingal at IFFK 2016
Born (1984-01-18) 18 January 1984 (age 36)
Alma materChrist University
OccupationActress, television anchor, dancer,producer
Years active2009–present
Spouse(s)Aashiq Abu (2013–present)

Rima Kallingal is an Indian film actress, who predominantly appears in Malayalam cinema. After being named First Runner-up in the Miss Kerala 2008 contest, she went on to pursue a career in acting. She made her acting debut in the 2009 film Ritu and later appeared in Neelathaamara (2009) and continues to work in Malayalam films. She is one of the founding members of Women in Cinema Collective (WCC), the organization for women workers in the Malayalam film industry.[1]


Born in 1984 Thrissur, Rima Kallingal began practising dancing when she was three years old.[2] A dancer by profession, she has been a part of a dance company called Nritarutya and has had performances on national and international stages. She studied in Stanes Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School, Coonoor up to Fifth grade.[3] She completed her schooling from Chinmaya Vidyalaya, Thrissur, graduating in 2001. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Christ University, Bengaluru.[4][5] She is also skilled in Taekwondo (Korean martial art), Chao (Manipuri martial art) and Kalari.[2]

She was a semi-finalist of the Asianet reality show Vodafone Thakadhimi. She moved to Bengaluru to pursue a modelling career and later participated in the Miss Kerala beauty pageant, in which be she became the first runner-up, losing to Shree Thulasi in a tie-breaker.[6]

She was spotted by director Lal Jose on a magazine cover, who cast her for a goat herder role in a Tamil film Mazhai Varappoguthu.[7] The project didn't materialise, but she was offered the lead female character of Varsha by director Shyamaprasad for Ritu, which eventually marked her acting debut.[6] She was 25 when she acted in the film.[4]

In 2012, she acted in the film 22 Female Kottayam which became a big success,[4] commercially as well as critically.[8][9] She received praises[10] and won many awards for her portrayal of Tessa.[11] She also won the Kerala State Government award for Best Actress. After 22 Female Kottayam she told that she had made some mistakes in her career and stated "Yes, I have done a few films I never should have, but I am determined not to repeat those mistakes".[8]

In 2013, Rima turned television anchor with the Mazhavil Manorama show "Midukki".[12][13] Following which the Kerala Film Chamber imposed a ban on her which was revoked later.[14]

In 2014 she set up her own Dance institute Mamangam in Kochi, Kerala.

Personal life[edit]

Rima married director Aashiq Abu on 1 November 2013, in a simple ceremony held in Kakkanad Registration office, Kochi. As part of the occasion, they donated Rs 1 million towards the welfare of poor cancer patients at the General Hospital, Ernakulam, and Rs 25,000 to meet a day's expense of the dietary kitchen at the hospital.[15][16][17][18]


On Kerala Piravi day, Kochi Music Foundation organised the musical event 'Karuna' at Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium at Kadavanthra in Kochi promising that the proceedings from the event will be donated to the Chief Minister's Disaster Relief Fund (CMDRF) to help flood victims. The organisers of this fest included filmmaker Aashiq Abu, singer Shahabaz Aman, and music director Bijibal. However, an RTI document shared by state Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha secretary Sandeep G Varier on Facebook last week revealed that the Chief Minister's office was yet to receive the funds, sparking a controversy. Other members of the Kochi Music Foundation also included Aashiq Abu’s wife and actress Rima Kallingal, writer Syam Pushkaran and singer Sithara (Singer). They were widely critisied in social media.

Following the controversy, Ernakulam MP Hibi Eden, through a Facebook post, demanded that Aashiq Abu should make it public whether he has made payment to the government. Following this, Aahsiq Abu posted the image of the cheque for an amount of Rs 6.22 lakh to the Principal Secretary (Finance), CMDRF.The date of the cheque is 14.02.2020. It clearly shows that Rs 6.22 lakh was handed over to CMDRF only after the issue has become a controversy.[19]


  • All films are in Malayalam, unless otherwise noted.
Year Film Role Notes
2009 Ritu Varsha John Debut film
Kerala Cafe Segment : Mrityunjayam
Neelathaamara Shaarath Ammini
2010 Happy Husbands Diana
Best of Luck Diya
2011 City of God Surya Prabha
Ko Herself Tamil film
Special appearance
Shankaranum Mohananum Jyotsna Mathew
Yuvan Yuvathi Nisha Tamil film
Sevenes Aravindan's sister
Doubles Cameo appearance
Indian Rupee Beena
2012 Orkut Oru Ormakoot Crystal Falth Ritz
Unnam Jennifer
Nidra Ashwathy
22 Female Kottayam Tessa Kurissuparambil Abraham
Husbands in Goa Tina
Ayalum Njanum Thammil Diya
Bavuttiyude Namathil Noorjahan
2013 Kammath & Kammath Mahalakshmi
Natholi Oru Cheriya Meenalla Annie
August Club Savithri
Zachariayude Garbhinikal Fathima
Escape from Uganda Shikha Samuel
Ezhu Sundara Rathrikal Sini Alex
2015 Chirakodinja Kinavukal Sumathi
Rani Padmini Rani
2017 Kaadu Pookkunna Neram
Clint Chinnamma
2018 Aabhaasam
2019 Virus Nurse Akhila also producer
2020 Sunny Side Upar Dr.Kavya Menon Hindi Film
Hagar TBA Filming


  • Arabian Jewellers
  • Parthas
  • A Geeripai Jewellery
  • UNICEF India
  • Geepas Customer Care


Year Program Role Channel Notes
2013 Midukki Host Mazhavil Manorama reality show
2009 Vodafone Thakadhimi contestant Asianet Dance reality show


Year Ceremony Film Result
2010 Asianet Film Award for Best Actress Ritu Nominated
Vanitha Film Awards for Best New Face Ritu, Kerala Cafe, Neelathaamara Won
2012 Asianet Film Award for Best Actress City of God Nominated
Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Malayalam Nominated
Vanitha Film Award for Best Actress Nominated
Ritz Icon Awards Won
Asianet Film Award for Best Actress Indian Rupee Nominated
Kerala Film Critics Association Awards for Best Actress Won
2013 Kerala State Film Award for Best Actress 22 Female Kottayam, Nidra Won
Asiavision Movie Award for Best Actress Won
Asianet Film Award for Best Actress 22 Female Kottayam Nominated
Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Malayalam Won
Vanitha Film Award for Best Actress Won
2nd South Indian International Movie Award for Best Actress (Critics) Won
Indian Movie Awards in Qatar for Best Actress Won
Southspin Fashion Awards Won
2014 Asianet Film Award for Best Actress Escape from Uganda, Ezhu Sundara Rathrikal Nominated
3rd South Indian International Movie Awards for Best Actress August Club Nominated
2018 JCF Awards-Best Actress Kaadu Pookkunna Neram Won
2020 Vanitha Film Awards - Socially Responsible Character Virus Won


  1. ^ "Kerala's Women in Cinema Collective registers as society, to fight for gender parity". The News Minute. 2 November 2017. Retrieved 14 January 2018.
  2. ^ a b Keerthy Ramachandran DC (20 October 2011). "Rima Kallingal: A bold and new face | Deccan Chronicle". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on 19 October 2011. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
  3. ^ "You've got to react girl! - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 18 January 2020.
  4. ^ a b c "Playing by their own rules | Society". Times Crest. 20 July 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
  5. ^ "Manorama Online | Picture Gallery | Campus | Rima Kallingal". Manoramanews.com. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
  6. ^ a b "Rima Kallingal strikes a pose". www.sify.com/.
  7. ^ "Exclusive: Lal Jose's Tamil debut". rediff.com. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
  8. ^ a b P.K. Ajith Kumar (7 May 2012). "22 Female Kottayam's success has Rima on cloud nine". Chennai, India: The Hindu. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
  9. ^ Shiba Kurian, TNN 17 August 2012, 02.10PM IST (17 August 2012). "A proud moment for '22 Female Kottayam' crew – Times of India". Articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 1 December 2013.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  10. ^ "'I feel totally excited about 22 Female Kottayam' – Rediff.com Movies". Rediff.com. 17 April 2012. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
  11. ^ "Kochi Times Film Awards '13- The Times of India Photogallery". Photogallery.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
  12. ^ Sajini Sahadevan (8 November 2012). "Quest for the smartest woman". Chennai, India: The Hindu. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
  13. ^ "And now, Rima is banned – Malayalam Movie News". Indiaglitz.com. 16 March 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
  14. ^ "KFC lifts ban on Rima". filmibeat.com. 25 April 2013. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  15. ^ "News18.com: CNN-News18 Breaking News India, Latest News Headlines, Live News Updates". News18. Retrieved 18 January 2020.
  16. ^ "Rima Kallingal marries director Aashiq Abu". www.deccanherald.com. 1 November 2013.
  17. ^ "Pictures: Aashiq Abu-Rima Kallingal Enter Wedlock". www.filmibeat.com. 4 November 2013. Retrieved 18 January 2020.
  18. ^ "Rima Kallingal and Aashiq Abu tie the knot – The Times of India". The Times of India.
  19. ^ "Kochi Music Foundation controversy intensifies as more fingers point right at Aashiq Abu and team". The New Indian Express.

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