Malayalam scriptwriter and filmmaker Ranjith took charge as chairman of the Kerala State Chalachithra Academy on Friday, January 7. He is replacing the outgoing chairman, filmmaker Kamal, who has completed his term. The Kerala government order announcing Ranjith as the new chairman came out on January 6.
In his new role as the Chalachithra Academy chairman, Ranjith will also be the director of the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK). He took charge on Friday at the Academy office in KINFRA Park in Thiruvananthapuram. Vice chairperson Bina Paul, treasurer R Srilal, deputy directors NP Sajeesh and H Shaji, welcomed him. Ranjith is the ninth chairman of the Academy which was formed in 1998.
Ranjith began as a scriptwriter in the late 1980s working with the likes of director Kamal and Viji Thampy. Many notable films came out during this time, including Mohanlalâ€™s Orkapurathu and a bunch of Jayaram films like Witness, Nanma Niranjavan Srinivasan, Pookkalam Varavayi and so on. In the 1990s, he wrote scripts for a number of popular films like Devasuram, Aaram Thampuran, Maya Mayooram and Summer in Bethlehem which established him as a successful writer.
He turned director with Ravanaprabhu, sequel to Devasuram. As a director, Ranjith made a number of films which were either commercial successes (Valiyettan, Nandanam) or critically acclaimed (Kaiyoppu, Pranchiyettan and the Saint). Two films starring Prithviraj -- Thirakkatha and Indian Rupee - brought him national awards for best feature film in Malayalam. Spirit starring Mohanlal won Ranjith the Best Film award on Social Issues. He also won a number of state awards for his films, such as Paleri Manijyam, Indian Rupee and Njaan.
Ranjith also became a producer towards the end of the 1990s and would sometimes appear as an actor. His performance in Ayyappanum Koshiyum as the cruel unethical father of Prithviraj won him praise. He also played father to Prithviraj in Koode, in another notable performance.
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