10 Cinematographers Who Turned Into Popular Malayalam Film Directors

10 Cinematographers Who Turned Into Popular Malayalam Film Directors

12 Mar 19 @ 11:59 AM

The filmmaker is a storyteller while the cinematographer is the one who captures the director's vision and presents it to the audience. Basically, no project can go on floors or get completed unless the cameraman and the director are there and are in good rapport. And the cinematographer is the one who best knows what a director envisions. This is the main reason that we see a lot of cameramen change their track and become independent directors. The number of such people isn't low in Malayalam film industry as well. Here, we will be talking about 10 such famous Mollywood cinematographers who turned into successful and popular directors in Malayalam films. See below, to find out who are they.

[NB: We have only included cinematographers in Malayalam movies who have made a successful career as Mollywood film directors. Cameramen who are gearing up for their debut movies or didn’t shine as a director are excluded.]

  1. Sujith Vaassudev

    Sujith made his debut with Chekavar a 2010 Malayalam film. His notable works include Drishyam, 7th Day, Memories, Ayaal, Anarkali and Lucifer. He won the 2013 Kerala State Film Award for Best Cinematography for the films Ayaal and Memories. In 2016, Sujith debuted as a director through the film James & Alice starring Prithviraj Sukumaran and Vedhika. He is also the director of Autorsha starring Anusree which released in 2018.

    Sujith Vaassudev
    Sujith Vaassudev
    Sujith Vaassudevv
  2. Shamdat Sainudeen

    Shamdat Sainudeen is an Indian cinematographer from Kerala. He has shot many films in Malayalam, Telugu, and Tamil, including Premayanamaha, The Tiger, Kerala Cafe, Marykkundoru Kunjaadu, and Uttama Villain. His directorial debut Street Lights starring Mammootty released on 26 January 2018.

    Shamdat Sainudeen
    Shamdat Sainudeen
    Shamdat Sainudeen
  3. Shyju Khalid

    Shyju Khalid is an Indian cinematographer, film director, and producer who works in Malayalam films. He debuted as the cinematographer for Traffic in 2011. His notable works are 22 Female Kottayam, Idukki Gold, Maheshinte Prathikaaram, Traffic , 5 Sundarikal, Sudani From Nigeria, Ee.Ma.Yau  and Kumbalangi Nights. Khalid directed a segment in the anthology film 5 Sundarikal in 2013.

    Shyju Khalid
    Shyju Khalid
    Shyju Khalid
  4. Shaji N Karun

    Shaji N Karun is a world renowned Malayalam filmmaker. He debuted as a director in 1988 with Piravi. The movie went on to be one of the most awarded Malayalam films in the national and international film festival circles. But, this master craftsman started his career as a cinematographer. His first recognized work as a cameraman was Kanchana Sita of 1977. In his career, till date, he has cranked the camera for 17 films, out which one is in Bollywood (1986 movie Ek Chadar Maili Si). His latest work is Olu starring Esther Anil.

    Shaji N Karun
    Shaji N Karun
    Shaji N Karun
  5. Santosh Sivan

    One of the most celebrated Indian cinematographers, Santosh Sivan, is the winner of 11 National Film Awards out of which four are for Best Cinematography. Santosh Sivan was also the first South-Pacific region cinematographer to be awarded a membership of the prestigious American Society of Cinematographers. He started his career as a cinematographer in 1986 with the Malayalam movie Nidhiyude Katha. His first directorial venture was a short film titled Story of Tiblu in 1988. His directorial debut in Malayalam was 2005 mystical horror thriller Anandabhadram. His directorial film Urumi starring Prithviraj won him huge appreciation. He current directorial venture is Jack N Jill.

    Santosh Sivan
    Santosh Sivan
    Santosh Sivan
  6. Rajeev Ravi

    Rajeev Ravi is one of those film personalities who proved their caliber as both director and cinematographer. He started his journey as an independent cameraman with the Bollywood movie Chandni Bar in 2001. And he carved a niche space for himself among the cinematographers in India and has so far done camera work for 26 projects, including Hindi and Malayalam. He marked his debut as a director with Annayum Rasoolum in 2013 and has three films under his directorial belt, all in Malayalam and all becoming critically acclaimed. The next directorials of Rajeev were Kammattipaadama and Njan Steve Lopez both fetching him huge credits. He has begun his work for Nivin Pauly starrer Thuramukham.

    Rajeev Ravi
    Rajeev Ravi
    Rajeev Ravi
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  8. Venu

    Venu is one of the founding members of Indian Society of Cinematographers (ISC). He also won the National Film Award for Best Cinematography, thrice. After graduating in cinematography from FTII, Venu started his career as a cameraman in 1983 with the movie Prem Nazirine Kanmanilla. His debut as a director came in 1998 with Manju Warrier starrer Daya. His second directorial venture came only in 2014 (Mammootty starrer Munnariyippu). In total, Venu has been the cameraman for over 50 films, in Malayalam, Tamil, and Hindi. Venu's 2018 film Carbon starring Fahadh Faasil was well appreciated for brilliant film making and visuals.

    Venu
    Venu
    Venu
  9. Amal Neerad

    Amal Neerad is among the new generation directors who created his own style of storytelling and presentation on the big screen. Debuting as a director with the Mammootty movie Big B in 2007, Amal, within no time, rose to become one of the most popular directors in Malayalam. But his start in the film world was as the cinematographer of 2004 Mammootty movie Black. Later he also worked in Bollywood, particularly with RGV. Amal Neerad is also the first batch student of the prestigious Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute (SRFTI). CIA - Comrade In America is his latest directorial venture. Amal Neerad's directorials Iyobinte Pustakam and Varathan, both starring Fahadh Faasil were superhits.

    Amal Neerad
    Amal Neerad
    Amal Neerad
  10. Sameer Thahir

    Sameer Thahir is another cameraman who has his own signature touch in the frames that he captures. It won't be wrong to say that his visuals speak for themselves. He started his journey as a cinematographer with Amal Neerad's Big B (2007). His camera work in the movie was praised from all corners of the industry. Sameer made his directorial debut in 2011 with the acclaimed movie Chappa Kurish. So far, he has directed 4 while moved the camera for 5 films, all of them in Malayalam.

    Sameer Thahir
    Sameer Thahir
    Sameer Thahir
  11. Jibu Jacob

    Jibu Jacob started his filmy journey as an assistant cameraman. In 2002, he turned into independent cinematographer with AK Sajan directed Prithviraj starrer Stop Violence. 22 movies and 12 years later, in 2014, Jibu Jacob made his directorial debut with the Biju Menon starrer political satire Vellimoonga. The movie went on to be a sleeper hit and Jibu became a sought after director, overnight. His second movie was Mohanlal starrer Munthirivallikal Thalikkumbol, which became the first blockbuster of 2017.

    Jibu Jacob
    Jibu Jacob
    Jibu Jacob