Born in Kottayam, Kerala to a middle-class family, Jayaraj (full name: JayrajRajasekharan Nair) is an Indian filmmaker who specializes in making Malayali films. He has a degree in Bachelors in Technology in Electronics and Communication. He attended the International Kerala Film Festival in Thiruvananthapuram, watching numerous world classics, which immensely inclined him towards directing films. Post Thiruvananthapuram, he has a meeting with one of the directors, Bharathan, who was his sister’s neighbor in Madras, Tamil Nadu.
The director was well impressed with him, so much that he appointed Jayaraj as his assistant director. Henceforth, from “Chilambu”, Jayraj went on to successfully become Bharathan’s assistant director in six more movies, some of which were judgmentally praised such as, “OruMinnaminunginteNurunguvettam”, and “
”. In the year 1988, he debuted with his own movie called, “Vidyarambham.” Some of the other films produced by him which were preoccupied with commercialism are namely, “Johnnie Walker”, “
”, “Arabia”, “Akasha Kottayile Sultan”, and much more.
One of the most critically appraised movies by Jayaraj has to “Paithrukam”; it was also criticized by the media and the audience for its conformist religious attitude. Another blockbuster in his filmmaking career was “Desadanam”, in the year 1997. This movie categorized him under the list of no-nonsense filmmakers. A movie which was the adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Othello” won him a “National Film Award for Best Direction”, which was titled, “Kaliyattam” (1997).
His movie, “Shantham” received the “National Film Award for Best Feature Film”. The movie, “Bheebhatsa” was a part of the nine-film series project, which was titled, “
”. It was a Hindi film. Jayaraj is a successful filmmaker, both commercially and non-commercially. Meanwhile, his wife is an award winning costume designer and an actress as well. Some of his movies have also been a huge part of international awards, namely, “Karunam” (Golden Peacock Award), “Shantham” (Best Cinematography in Festival de 3 Continents), “Desadanam” and “Daivanamathil” (Best Film Award in Spain).
Another Version of Jayaraj:
Jayaraj Rajasekharan Nair is a renowned Indian filmmaker who is known for both mainstream and art cinema. His films are more innovative and freely creative than anything generally seen in the Malayalam cinema, evoking a range of responses from antipathy to delight. That is one reason many of his movies were screened in the international film festivals and won many awards even.
Jayaraj is known for his amateurish attempt in filmmaking. A benchmark of this development came in the year 1996 when his films were exhibited in international film festivals. In 1996, ‘Desadanam’ had a special mention at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in the competition section. In the year 2000, his film ‘Shantham’ fetched best cinematography award in Festival De 3 Continents, France. He repeated the same magic with ‘Karunam' (2009) which fetched him Golden Peacock Award, Berlin International Festival award and with ‘Daivanamathil’ (2005), he received the best film award in Spain, Madrid International Film Festival. His awards have assured about the general taste of his filmmaking and international people admired its production standards too. It was with its tenth film (Desadanam) that he came to be known as a serious filmmaker.
In 1997, Jayaraj made ‘Kaliyattam’, which is a landmark film in his career. It won him the best director award in National film festival, and even
received the best actor award at the national level. In 2005, he made ‘Makalkku’, featuring actress Shobhana as a mentally deranged beggar. Suresh Gopi played the role of Dr.Warrier in this film. Jayaraj then made a film ‘Daivanamathil ‘ in 2005 which threw light on the Babri Masjid demolition in December 1992 and its repercussions on Kerala Muslims. His latest film ‘Ottaal’ (2015) wrote a new chapter in Malayalam film industry. The film bagged four awards at the 20th international film festival held in Kerala. It also won audience poll award and won a coveted Suvarna Chakoram (Golden Crow Pheasant Award) for the Best Feature Film, which carried a cash prize of Rs 15 lakhs.
Jayaraj’s films no doubt benefits from a discernible narrative. His dynamic work won him not only Kerala state recognition but even national and international recognition. He was born on 4 August 1960 in Kottayam, Kerala. He is married to Sabitha Jayaraj and has two children Dhanu Jayaraj and Keshav Jayaraj.