Malayalam Film Producer Appachan Passes Away
Well-known Malayalam film-maker, Navodaya Appachan, who is credited with producing the first 3-D movie in India, My Dear Kuttichathan, died here today.

Appachan (87) was admitted to a private hospital on April 17 following old-age illness, hospital sources said. He developed some uneasiness early today and was moved to the intensive care unit and died in the evening, sources said. He was also under treatment for cancer for the past 10 years.

He is survived by wife, two sons and two daughters.

Appachan as a producer and director took bold steps and made several experiments in Malayalam cinema by producing the first 3-D cinema and Cinemascope several years ago.

The Kerala government honoured him this year by conferring the J C Daniel award for his outstanding contribution to Malayalam cinema.

My Dear Kuttichathan, released in 1984, was later made in Hindi as Chota Chetan.He was the founder of the Navodaya Studio and also KISHKINTA, claimed to be India's first amusement park, in Chennai.

The first cinemascope film, Prem Nazir-starrer Thacholiambu, and first 70-mm film Padayottom, were also his contributions to the film world.

His involvement with the film industry began with his brother Kunchako at Udaya Studio in Alappuzha, his birth place.

Appachan was also instrumental in launching several actors in Malayalam cinema, particularly superstar Mohanlal, who received rave reviews for his role as villain in the 1980 blockbuster Manjil Virinja Pookkal.The film was Mohanlal's first release and from then on it was a steady climb to superstardom for the popular actor.
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