Department of Cultural Affairs, Government of Kerala


Vigathakumaran (The Lost Child) is the first Malayalam feature film which was released in 1928. This silent movie was written, produced and directed by JC Daniel who is regarded as the father of Malayalam filmdom.

The hero is Chandrakumar, son of a rich man in Thiruvananthapuram, who was kidnapped to Ceylon, as Sri Lanka was known then. He starts working in a tea plantation there and eventually goes on to become its superintendent. Later, one of his relatives happens to visit Ceylon and both become friends. Afterwards, during a visit to Thiruvananthapuram, Chandrakumar discovers, or regains, his true identity.

Daniel was born to a Christian family at Agastheeswaram Taluk in the erstwhile Travancore kingdom on 26 February 1900. He was an expert in Kalarippayattu, Kerala's own martial art. He was a trained dentist by profession.

Daniel travelled to Chennai with a burning desire to learn the basics of film making, but was even denied entry to major studios. Later, he went to Mumbai where he could nurture his passion for movies.
Vigathakumaran was shot in Kerala and Daniel funded the project by selling his ancestral property. Being a new medium, the content of the film was criticised by orthodox and conservative people. The movie incurred heavy loss at box office. The print of the film is no more available.

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