Veteran movie director Hariharan on Tuesday bagged the prestigious JC Daniel Award, the Kerala government’s highest honour, for his “outstanding contribution to Malayalam cinema’ during the past five decades. Hariharan played an imperative role in shaping Malayalam cinema. The award comprises a purse of Rs 5 lakh, a citation, and a sculpture. Hariharan was chosen by a panel of experts, chaired by renowned writer M T Vasudevan Nair and comprising of director Harikumar, actor Madhubala, Chalachitra Akademy Chairman and filmmaker Kamal, and Culture Department Secretary Rani George. An active presence in the world of cinema for the last five decades, Hariharan has made historic contributions to the Malayalam cinema, observed the jury. Hariharan has more than 50 movies to his credit.
A native of Pallippuram in Kozhikode, Hariharan, who initially trained with cinematographer U Rajagopal in Madras, later assisted directors M Krishnan Nair, AB Raj, and JD Thottan for seven years. In 1972 he directed the movie ‘Ladies Hostel’. Later he came up with some of the evergreen movies in Malayalam. His ventures helped many actors, including superstar Mammootty and Jayan in the malayalam film industry raise to stardom. Many of his movies has a significant place in Malayalam cinema. His collaborations with MT Vasudevan Nair has often resulted in artistic gems. Hariharan is also known for his prowess in telling period dramas with excellence. The film ‘Oru Vadakkan Veeragadha’, directed in 1988 won four national awards and six state awards. The 1992 movie Sargam won a national award and three state awards including the award for Best director. Similarly, his film ‘Parinayam’ in 1995 got four national awards including the honour for the socially relevant movies. In 2009 his movie ‘Kerala Varma Pazhassiraja’ won four national awards and eight state awards including the award for best director.