Raja Krishna Menon is a movie writer, director, and producer. He has been in the business for a considerable time now and is someone whose work demands a lot of recognition. Starting his career as an advertisement director, later he moved on to feature films. Menon was born in Thrissur, Kerala and brought up in Bangalore. His childhood days were mainly spent in Kerala. He is the son of veteran Malayalam actor T.P. Madhavan. He did his schooling at The Valley School (KFI) and obtained a Bachelor’s of Science degree with a Chemistry major from Christ College, Bangalore. Though his core branch was engineering, he was mainly involved in the creative aspects of college life. He was a debater, quizzer, and writer; winning many college festival competitions in the process. After finishing college, Menon assisted D. Radhakrishnan, an ad film director, and photographer, while still in Bangalore. He moved to Mumbai in 1993 and 1996, he started managing the business for writer/director Sanjeev Khamgaonkar.

After creating a good enough contact base, he set up an ad film firm called R & B Ltd. in 1996. Later on, he got into the business of editing, starting with editing commercials and later creating trailers for Bollywood films. His trailers were not just an edit of the film footage, but he created and shot scenes to be used in the trailers. Raja Hindustani, Army, and Loafer are some of his earliest works. He then moved on to advertising and has the credit of more than 300 advertisements till date. His first venture into feature films was with the film Bas Yun Hi starring Purab Kohli and Nandita Das, which sank without a trace. Thus, he shifted back to advertising from 2003-2008. In 2008, he came back with his second film Barah Aana, starring stalwarts like Naseeruddin Shah and Vijay Raaz. It was a critical success and was selected in international film festivals like Chicago International Film Festival. His most recent movie Airlift, based on the evacuation of one lakh seventy thousand Indians from Kuwait when Iraq invaded the city nation in August 1990, was a critical and commercial success worldwide, which finally let him achieve the fame he demands. He still produces commercials and documentaries for various brands under the banner ‘Bandra West Pictures’. Menon is also an avid traveler, a foodie, and a tennis fan. In his experience as an advertising professional Menon has traveled a lot across the country.

This experience of diversity across the country has let him understand about the mindsets of the people and has instilled a sense of patriotism in him. As he says— “If you go to the interiors people need food and better future for the kids. Problems like religious intolerance are intellectual problems of the free time. When it comes to basic survival, religion and caste don't matter. It comes to a point when you say I don’t care. You could be from Mars; the thing is how we survive.”

Abi Varghese

Aby Varghese is an Indo-American director, script writer, producer, cinematographer and editor. He quit his marketing job to concentrate on films full time. His most famous work is the Akkara Kazhchakal, a Malayali sitcom which has attained cult status over time. Currently, he is based in New Jersey. His production house is known as ‘Infamous Coconut Productions’. An alumnus of New York Film Academy, his debut movie as a director, was Akkara kazhchakal: The Movie and it was released only in the United States. The movie chronicles the lives of Malayali expats in the United States. His second outing as a director was with the movie Monsoon Mangoes, which was a comedy and was in the same vein as his first movie. It narrated the tale of a youngster’s attempt in making a movie in the U.S. He also worked on a comic TV series called ‘Brown Nation’, a satirical comedy that deals with the lives of immigrants from India and Indian Americans living there. He has also worked on various short films in his highly successful career. His family moved to the U.S when he was just four years old and thus he mainly lived an expatriate’s life. The daily experiences there have influenced all his scripts in a huge way. His father, the late Mathew Varghese, used to rent films from the local Indian store every weekend and thus he grew up watching the best of Malayalam cinema – the films of Aravindan, K.G. George, Adoor and the likes. It was when he watched Bharatan’s Amaram, at the age of 13, that he decided that he wanted to become a filmmaker. His favourite genre is comedy and he prefers situational humour in his scripts rather than slapstick humor. He puts the characters in weird situations and just lets the humour unfold. His strength lies in his ability to write satirical pieces which is clearly visible in his scripts. He considers Vijay Raaz as one of the best actors that India has today. Abi Varghese is an intelligent filmmaker who uses comedy to present his views. As he says— “I write a lot and comedy comes naturally to me.”

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Abi Varghese Hindi Actor