Best Filmmakers in Malayalam – 2018


Here is the list of 5 film makers in Malayalam who got us super-excited last year, with their cinematic accomplishments. Clearly headed for much bigger things, these film makers are a mixed lot – established craftsmen to novices that hold a bundle of flair within. These aren’t strict rankings of course and neither are these film makers to be viewed in a chronological order of diminishing importance. Rather, this is a comprehensive roll of five directors who shone plenty of their talents around and had us all impressed in 2018.


Here is the list of 5 film makers in Malayalam who got us super-excited last year, with their cinematic accomplishments. Clearly headed for much bigger things, these film makers are a mixed lot – established craftsmen to novices that hold a bundle of flair within. These aren’t strict rankings of course and neither are these film makers to be viewed in a chronological order of diminishing importance. Rather, this is a comprehensive roll of five directors who shone plenty of their talents around and had us all impressed in 2018.

Zakariya Mohammed

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Easily my most favourite film of the year, ‘Sudani from Nigeria’ had at its helm a young film maker who established sans any further doubt the kind of wonders that an impeccable script could do to a film. This was also the surprise winner of the year, and there is no getaway from the sentiments that it outlines or the bountiful of laughter that continue to reverberate across, from its poignancy and pathos and from its joyous celebration of the miracle called life. This is also why I have got my eyes all eagerly fixed on what Zakariya is coming up with next.

Read the Sudani from Nigeria Review!

Lijo Jose Pellissery

Here is a man who has by now earned for himself the reputation of being a screen magician, and the year was no different for Lijo Jose Pellissery. An exquisite celebration of life and death, ‘Ee Ma Yau’ went on to wow audiences, despite the icy hands that it laid on them. Real, surreal and ethereal by turns, Lijo Jose Pellissery’s film is a luminous cinematic accomplishment that simply snatches your breath away. ‘Ee.Ma.Yau’ laughs at death on its face, and with a heedless abandon that throws caution and prudence to the winds, emerges as one of the most intense cinematic experiences in recent times.

Read the Ee Ma Yau Review!

Prajesh Sen

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It doesn’t really rain biographies in Malayalam, and the few times they have been attempted, the results have been far from satisfactory. But film maker Prajesh Sen’s biopic is one that we could be proud of, and it would be remembered not just as a mere chronicle of events that made up the life of one of the greatest footballers in the country, but as a profoundly detailed depiction of a man who was overcome by the torment that followed the elation of his heydays. The dramatic liberties that the film maker could have taken in a biopic as this are so estimably masked, that it’s almost impossible to delineate the real from the imaginary, and commendably so.

Read the Captain Review!

Amal Neerad

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The technical wizard of Malayalam cinema has moved far beyond the visual finesse that his initial films were associated with, and has emerged as a film maker who has honed his cinematic sensibilities to perfection over the years. Despite all the talk on how ‘Varathan’ seems like a straight thematic lift off the Hollywood film ‘Stray Dogs’ and its jaded remake, it has to be acknowledged that Neerad’s film, unlike the original film, is tension-fraught, and remarkably implants the tale in a social milieu where pacifism is often mistaken for a failing, and aggression is frequently identified as an indicator of mettle.

Read the Varathan Review!

M Padmakumar

Joseph-Malayalam-Movie-Review-Veeyen

In what could easily be stated as the mother of all comebacks, M Padmakumar reinvented and re-established himself as a film maker of repute with his ‘Joseph’ that turned the box office tables over. The director reworked every trope that one would relate to a film that falls in the genre and came up with a cinematic triumph that was lauded wide across. After a noteworthy ‘Jalam’ that hit the screens a few years back, it has indeed taken a while for the director to find his footing yet again, but aren’t we glad that he finally has!

Read the Joseph Review!

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