Salim Ahamed

Salim Ahamed is an Indian film director, screen writer and producer. After working for a long time as a travel consultant, he joined as a creative director and script writer in a television channel. His directorial debut, Adaminte Makan Abu (2011), fetched him numerous accolades and was screened at various international film festivals. It was also chosen as India's official entry to be considered for nomination in the Best Foreign Film category for the 84th Academy Awards. Then he made two movies Kunjananthante Kada (2013) and Pathemari (2015) with Mammootty as the lead. The later won the Best Feature Film In Malayalam award at the 63rd National Film Awards. Salim's latest film is And the Oscar Goes To...(2019), which tells about his own experiences with production and marketing of his first film.

Salim Ahamed
Saleem ahmed 1.jpg
Salim Ahamed
T. P. Salim Ahamed

(1971-07-06) 6 July 1971 (age 50)
Mattannur, Kannur, Kerala, India
OccupationFilm director, screenwriter, film producer
Years active2011 – present


Early life and familyEdit

Salim Ahamed was born on 6 July 1971 in Mattannur, Kerala,[1] as the son of Ahamed Kutty and Asya Umma.[2] He graduated in Commerce from Mattannur Pazhassiraja NSS College, and obtained a professional diploma in Travel and Tourism.[1][2] Upon graduating from college, Salim dreamed of joining the film industry but found it hard to break into and ended up a travel consultant.[3] For his passion, he joined the School of Drama in Thrissur, Kerala.[1] He worked as a Creative Director and Script Writer with Surya TV and then worked in films such as Saphalyam as an Assistant Director.[1] His notable works as a television director include Rasikaraja No.1, a comedy programme telecast in Surya TV.[2]

Salim is married to Mafeedha. They have three sons, Allen Zahar Ahamed, Amal Zahar Ahamed And Adam Zahar Ahamed. Salim Ahmed is now settled at Palottupalli, Mattanur.[2]

Adaminte Makan AbuEdit

He made his feature film debut with Adaminte Makan Abu, a story he had entertained in his mind for many years.[4] It was the stories he heard and the people he met during his days as a travel agent that sowed the seeds for Adaminte Makan Abu.[5] The film portrayed the story of a poor attar (a kind of perfume) seller Abu whose only remaining wish in life is the Hajj pilgrimage, which he strives hard to fulfill, and at the verge of the fulfilment, he opts out when he fears that the means is not fully legitimate. Salim himself co-produced the film, and had to spend every rupee raised from what he had saved up over the years working on scripts for television serials and assisting directors to complete the film. The film opened to critical acclaim and fetched numerous honours including four National Film Awards and four Kerala State Film Awards.

The film was screened at various international film festivals: 55th BFI London Film Festival,[6] MAMI Mumbai Film Festival,[7] 8th South Asian International Film Festival (SAIFF),[8] 42nd International Film Festival of India,[9] 5th Indo-German Film Festival,[10] 17th Kolkata Film Festival,[11] 16th International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK),[12] and 23rd Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF),[13] and 8th Dubai International Film Festival.[14]

Other projectsEdit

Salim had written three basic plots during his college days. One was based in a local school in Kerala, one was a thriller, and the third was the story of Abu. He decided to film Adaminte Makan Abu as a number of people liked the story line; he wanted his first film to have a message and to be impressive. It was reported that he had started the pre-production works of the one based in the local school,[4] as well as was planning to bring the story of Travancore king Marthanda Varma on big screen.[15] However, none of the projects materialised.

Salim officially announced his next project in September 2012. The project was titled Kunjananthante Kada and starred Mammootty in the lead role. The film started production in February 2013 and released in theatres in August 2013. Salim then directed the critically acclaimed Pathemari which follows the life of a Gulf migrant from Kerala who migrated when the Kerala Gulf boom was just beginning. The film won several awards including the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Malayalam.


Year Title Cast
2011 Adaminte Makan Abu Salim Kumar, Zarina Wahab
2013 Kunjananthante Kada Mammootty, Nyla Usha, Balachandra Menon
2015 Pathemari Mammootty, Jewel Mary, Sreenivasan
2019 And The Oscar Goes To... Tovino Thomas, Anu Sithara


National Film Awards
Kerala State Film Awards[17][18]
Academy Awards
Asiavision Awards[20]
Filmfare Awards South
Kazan International Festival of Muslim Cinema (Golden Minbar International Film Festival)[22][23]
  • The Best Feature Film Scenario – Adaminte Makan Abu
  • The Prize of the Guild of Film Critics and Film scholars of Russia – Adaminte Makan Abu
International Film Festival of India[24]
  • Special Jury Award for Best Film (Silver Peacock) – Adaminte Makan Abu
International Film Festival of Kerala[25]
  • NETPAC Award for Best Malayalam Film – Adaminte Makan Abu
  • FIPRESCI Award for Best Malayalam Film – Adaminte Makan Abu
  • Hassankutty Award for Best Indian Debut Director – Adaminte Makan Abu
Thikkurissy Foundation Awards (2012)[26]
  • Best Film – Adaminte Makan Abu
  • Best Director – Adaminte Makan Abu
  • Special Award at the Vellinakshatram Film Awards – Adaminte Makan Abu[27]
  • Shihab Thangal Cultural Award[28][29]


  1. ^ a b c d "Director: Salim Ahamed". Kolkata Film Festival. November 2011. Archived from the original on 6 April 2012. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d "മട്ടന്നൂരിന്റെ സലിം ദേശീയ ശ്രദ്ധയില്‍". Mathrubhumi (in Malayalam). 20 May 2011. Archived from the original on 13 August 2014. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
  3. ^ Divya Kumar. (20 June 2011). "Salim's story". The Hindu. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
  4. ^ a b Parvati Jayaraman (11 November 2011). "Pilgrim’s progress". Mint. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
  5. ^ Minu Ittyipe. (5 December 2011). "Kodak Moment". Outlook. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
  6. ^ Cary Rajinder Sawhney (13 October 2011). "Abu, Son of Adam". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on 10 October 2011. Retrieved 9 November 2011.
  7. ^ "Mumbai Film Festival Time Schedule". Mumbai Film Festival. Retrieved 9 November 2011.
  8. ^ "Opening Night". South Asian International Film Festival. 9 November 2011. Retrieved 9 November 2011.
  9. ^ "Urumi, Adaminte Makan Abu in Goa Film Festival". 19 October 2011. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
  10. ^ Pratima Chabbi. (17 November 2011). "2 nations, 1 screen". Bangalore Mirror. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
  11. ^ "Films » Adaminte Makan Abu (Abu, Son of Adam)". Kolkata Film Festival. November 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
  12. ^ "Nine Malayalam films to be screened at IFFK". IBN Live. 19 October 2011. Archived from the original on 12 October 2013. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
  13. ^ "Festival Flight". Indian Express. Retrieved 2 December 2011.
  14. ^ "ദുബൈ രാജ്യാന്തര ചലച്ചിത്രോല്‍സവത്തില്‍ ഇന്ത്യന്‍ സിനിമക്ക് അംഗീകാരം" Archived 29 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine. (in Malayalam). Madhyamam. 28 October 2011. Retrieved 9 November 2011.
  15. ^ Sanjith Sidhardhan (8 November 2011). "Legends to rise again in 2012". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 21 September 2013. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
  16. ^ "Mammootty starrer Pathemari won the Best Malayalam Film Award at the 63rd National Film Awards". Behindwoods. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
  17. ^ "Kerala State Film Awards 2010 Declaration" (PDF) (in Malayalam). Kerala State Chalachitra Academy. 22 May 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 September 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
  18. ^ "Adaminte Makan Abu adjudged best film". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 23 May 2011. Archived from the original on 26 May 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
  19. ^ "63 Countries Vie for 2011 Foreign Language Film Oscar". Retrieved 8 December 2011.
  20. ^ "Asiavision Movie Awards 2011 – Winners". Archived from the original on 25 January 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2012.
  21. ^
  22. ^ Priya Sreekumar. (15 September 2012). "Salim Ahmed bags two awards at international fest". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  23. ^ "The winners of the Eighth Kazan International Muslim Film Festival". Kazan International Festival of Muslim Cinema. 11 September 2012. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  24. ^ T. Ramavarman. (3 December 2011). "Special Jury Award for Adaminte Makan Abu at IFFI". Times of India. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
  25. ^
  26. ^ Press Trust of India (7 January 2012). "'Aadminte Makan Abu chosen best film by Thikkurissy foundation". IBN Live. Retrieved 8 January 2012.
  27. ^ "പ്രാഞ്ചിയേട്ടന് മൂന്ന് അവാർഡ്". Kaumudi Plus (in Malayalam). 17 June 2011. Archived from the original on 19 June 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
  28. ^ "Shihab Thangal Cultural Award For Salim Ahmed". 11 January 2012. Retrieved 12 January 2012.
  29. ^ "Salim Ahamed bags award". Kerala Kaumudi. 12 January 2012. Retrieved 12 January 2012.

External linksEdit