Department of Cultural Affairs, Government of Kerala


Malayalam cinema is a force to reckon with in the domain of Indian cinema. Though our cinema industry caters to the population of a small geographical area, it produces an average of 70 films a year and boasts of internationally acclaimed directors, script writers, technicians as well as actors of superior calibre.

Over the years, outstanding directors like Adoor Gopalakrishnan, G. Aravindan, M. T. Vasudevan Nair and Shaji N. Karun won acclaim for their films at various international film festivals, taking Malayalam cinema to new heights. It has been among the frontrunners at the annual national film awards for many decades now.

Though the industry had to overcome a few challenges in the beginning, it has been a saga of success, right from the production of its first film, Vigathakumaran. In its history, the story of Malayalam cinema’s rise can be divided into four stages:

  • The decades of teething troubles (1928 – 1950)
  • The love affair between Malayalam literature and cinema (1950 – 1970)
  • The age of a new sensibility (1970 – 1980)
  • The golden age of Malayalam cinema (1980 – 1990)
  • And the period of larger-than-life heroes (From 1990)

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