K. S. Sethumadhavan

K. S. Sethumadhavan (born 1931) is an Indian film director and screenwriter working in Malayalam cinema. He has also directed films in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.[1] Since the early 1960s he has directed over 60 movies. He has directed many landmark films in the Malayalam film history such as Odeyil Ninnu, Yakshi, Kadalpalam, Achanum Bappayum, Ara Nazhika Neram, Panitheeratha Veedu, Anubhavangal Palichakal, Punarjanmam and Oppol.[citation needed] He has won numerous awards including ten National Film Awards and nine Kerala State Film Awards including Four for Best Direction.

K. S. Sethumadhavan
K. Subrahmanyam Sethumadhavan

1931 (age 89–90)
OccupationFilm director, screenwriter
Years active1960–1995
ChildrenSonukumar, Uma, Santosh Sethumadhavan
AwardsDirector of Best Film
1991 – Marupakkam (Tamil)


K. S. Sethumadhavan was born to Subrahmanyam and Lakshmi in Palakkad, Kerala, British India in 1931. He has three sisters and one brother. His childhood was spent in Palakkad and in North Arcot, Tamil Nadu. He completed his degree in biology from Government Victoria College, Palakkad. He debuted in the film industry as the Assistant Director to K. Ramnath. He later assisted directors L. V. Prasad, A. S. A. Swamy, Sunder Rao and Nandakarni.

He debuted as an independent film director with Veeravijaya, a Singhalese film in 1960.[2] His first Malayalam film was Jnanasundari, produced by T. E. Vasudevan under the banner of Associates Pictures based on a short story by Muttathu Varkey. He then went on to direct over 60 films including noted films Odayil Ninnu, Daaham, Sthanarthi Saramma, Koottukudumbam, Vazhve Mayam, Ara Nazhika Neram, Anubhavangal Palichakal, Karakanakkadal, Achanum Bappayum, Punarjanmam, Chattakkari, Oppol and Marupakkam. His only Kannada film was Manini.

His film Achanum Bappayum won the Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration, a part of 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.[3]

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,[2] and was awarded the J. C. Daniel Award for the year 2009, honouring his achievements and contribution to Malayalam Cinema. In 2011, he was honoured with the Chalachitra Ratnam Award by the Kerala Film Critics Association.[4]

His son Santosh Sethumadhavan is also a filmmaker who remade the cult classic Chattakkari (1974 film) in 2012 but failed to create any impact.


Filmfare Awards South
  • 1972 – Filmfare Best Director Award (Malayalam) : Punarjanmam
  • 1973 – Filmfare Best Director Award (Malayalam) : Pani Theeratha Veedu
  • 1974 – Filmfare Best Director Award (Malayalam) : Chattakari
  • 1980 – Filmfare Best Director Award (Malayalam) : Oppol
Kerala State Film Awards
Nandi Awards
National Film Awards

Selected filmographyEdit


  1. ^ Rediff – Interview
  2. ^ a b Weblokam – Profile Archived 21 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Baskaran, Sundararaj Theodore (2013). The Eye of the Serpent: An Introduction To Tamil Cinema. Westland. pp. 164–. ISBN 978-93-83260-74-4.
  4. ^ "Critics award: 'Gaddama' adjudged best film". Indian Express. 26 February 2011. Retrieved 13 May 2014.

External linksEdit