Filmmaker legend KS Sethumadhavan who won 10 national awards, no more

Legendary filmmaker KS Sethumadhavan died on Friday at his residence in Chennai. He was 94.

Sethumadhavan who directed over 60 films in five languages Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, and Oriya in his career, is a recipient of several National and State awards.

It was Sethumadhavan’s ‘Kannum Karalum’ (1962) that first introduced veteran actor Kamal Haasan as a child artist into the Malayalam cinema. Sethumadhavan had made Kamal Haasan a hero too for the first time in the movie, ‘Kanyakumari (1974). Another veteran actor Mammootty also made his first appearance in Sethumadhavan’s Malayalam movie ‘Anubhavangal Palichakal’ (1971).

The filmmaker legend was prolific through the 1960s and 70s, during which he made the finest films like Odayil Ninnu, Bharyamar Sookshikkuka, Kadalpalam, Vazhve Mayam, Ara Nazhika Neram, Achanum Bappayum, Karakanakkadal, Anubhavangal Palichakal, Panitheeratha Veedu, Azhakulla Saleena, Kanyakumari, and Chattakkari.

He won numerous awards including ten national film awards and nine Kerala state film awards including four for best direction. In 2009, he was awarded the J. C. Daniel Award, the Government of Kerala’s highest honor for contributions to the Malayalam cinema. In 2011, he was honored with the Chalachitra Ratnam Award by the Kerala Film Critics Association.

His film Achanum Bappayum won the Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration, a part of the National Film Awards, in 1973. His Tamil film Marupakkam won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in 1991. Thus it became the first Tamil film to win the award, the feat was repeated by Kanchivaram in 2007.

In 1996, his Telugu film Stri won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Telugu. He won the Kerala State Film Award for Best Director 4 times: for films Ara Nazhika Neram (1970), Karakanakkadal (1971), Pani Theeratha Veedu (1972) and Oppol (1980).

He was the jury member for the National Film Awards in 1975 and 1980. In 1982, he was the chairman of the jury for the Kerala State Film Awards.

He was the chairman of the National Film Awards jury in 2002.

Sethumadhava debuted as an independent film director with Veeravijaya, a Sinhalese film in 1960.

His final rites were held at Nungambakkam in the city on Friday evening.

Kamal Haasan took to social media to share his condolences. 

He wrote, “KS Sethumadhavan, who has given timeless classics, is an important name in the new-wave cinema of India. He is one of the frontrunners who set the standard for Malayalam cinema. He will forever be remembered for his artistic achievements. My heartfelt condolences to my Sethu sir, someone who taught me good cinema.”


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