M.R.Rajan graduated from the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune. He also holds a degree in Philosophy from the Sree Kerala Varma College, Trichur. His diploma film, Dooram, was screened at the Oberhausen Film Festival in 1988 and was selected in the competition section of the first edition of MIFF.
He has made several films on the history, tradition and future of the performance arts of Kerala. Chhaaya (Shadows) (1991) looks at shadow puppetry and the visual continuity of Kerala imagery through the ages. Chenkallillil oru Sankeerthanam (Psalm in Laterite Stone), made in 1991 was a video on the sculptures of Shilpi Rajan. Continuing his work with performance artists embedded in a long tradition of practice, he made Pakarnnaattam in 1995. The film explores sounds and images of the ancient form of Sanskrit theatre Koodiyattam through one of its most important exponents – Ammannur Madhava Chakyar.
In 1999, he won the National Film Award for Best Biographical Documentary among several other awards for Nottam (Gaze), a film on the veteran Kathakali performer Sri Kizhpadam Kumaran Nair.
Rajan made another portrait of a performance artist in the film Minukku (Incandescence) made in 2006. The film reframed visually the veteran Kathakali performer and specialist in female roles, Kottakkal Sivaraman. Kalamandalam Ramankuttinair and Kalamandalam Gopi were the other performers featured in this film along with the actor Nedumudi Venu. The film won the Best Documentary film award from the Indian Documentary Producer’s Association (IDPA). His most recent film, Cinemayude Kalpadukal (Foot Prints of Cinema), is a long video that traces the spirit of the Malayalam film industry in the sixties and seventies through conversations with the veteran film producer Shobana Parameswaran Nair. Rajan has also made films on the actor Premji, the social reformer and writer M.R.Bhattathiripad.Share it on