The doyen of Malayalam cinema, Navodaya Appachan passed away at 6:40pm yesterday at the Lakeshore Hospital, Ernakulam. He was 88 years old.
Maliampurakkal Chacko Punnoose, more commonly known as Appachan, was the most renowned and revered producer in Mollywood. Founder of the legendary Navodaya Studios, Appachan who hailed form Alappuzha is known for producing and directing the Vadakkan epics, including Kadathanattu Makkam (1978), and Thacholi Ambu (1978).
A man of innovations, he was the maker of the first CinemaScope movie Thacholi Ambu, the first 70 mm film Padayottam (1982), and the first 3D film My Dear Kuttichathan (1984) in Malayalam. He experimented with all new technologies of the time, taking epic scale films and its actors from studio sets to real sunlight. Appachan was also the producer of the mega-serial Bible Ki Kahaniyaan (1993) on Doordarshan. He was instrumental in introducing a whole new generation of film personalities into Mollywood including Fazil, Mohanlal, Shankar, Purnima Jayaram, Shalini, Mohan Sithara and Jerry Amaldev.
Appachan's body will be kept at Ernakulam town hall today from 11am and the funeral ceremony will be held at Chennai on Wednesday.