J.C Daniel is the Indian film maker who is considered as the father of Malayalam cinema.He shined as a producer,director,photographer,writer,editor and actor. Vighathakumaran(the lost child) which was the first Malayalam movie in the Malayalam movie industry.Produced and directed by J.C Daniel.”The person behind the Malayalam Cinema”.
Daniel was born on 28th November 1900 in a Tamil Christian Nadar family in Agasteeswaram Taluk. He educated from Maharajas College ,Thiruvanathapuram .He was expert in Kalaripayattu.At the age of 15 he published an English book named Indian Art of Fencing and Sword Play .His parents are Dr N .J Daniel and Njanambal .His wife is Janet and they have five children.It was published in 1915.He was the actor,photographer,editor and writer for movie Vighathakumaran. Travancore National Pictures is the studio that was build up by him .This was the first studio in this film industry.He obtained funds for this purpose,by selling a piece of land on the amount of Rs 400.000.P.K Rosie was the actress of this film.He made the skeleton and the body of that film.He did all woks of that film.This movie doesn’t contain the dialogue or sound.It was a mute film.By doing this film he pointed out the social significance. At that time there were Indian film that was created on the basis of the Puranas. The people are not much bothered about cinema.
Films of social themes were rare at that time. .The exhibition of the cinema Vighathakumaran held at Trivandrum, the Capitol Theater on 7 November 1928.The movie was also screened in Alleppey at the Star Theater ,Quilon,Trichur, Tellichery and Nagercoil. The audience received this movie with excitement Daniel finally started producing his dream works by creating movies.He wished to popularize Kalaripayattu threw cinema.He learned the techniques of film-making and acquired the necessary equipment s from Madras and Bombay.This movie doesn’t became a commercial success.Daniel had to go throw painful way to fullfill his dream projects .He became indebted.In order to pay all the debts he sold all the equipment s and close down the studio.Again he went on to making movie on the basis of the martial arts, a documentary named Adithadi murai. After the completion of this film he became poor.He left Trivandum,He sold his wife’s property and take a BDS degree from Bombay, rest of his life he lived as a dentist at Madurai. He was suffering from poverty and spend his life in Agasteeswaram. At his old age he applied for pension ,but the government rejected that request.
The film journalist Chelangatt Gopalakrishnan worked much hard for Daniel to obtaining recognization of the Kerala government that he as a Keralite. At last it became success.Government recognized him as a Keralite and the first movie maker in Malayalam film industry.In 1992 government of Kerala ,Department of Cultural Affairs instituted J.C Daniel award in the honour of him.The most famous film director Kamal made a biopic on Daniel named Celluloid .This film is based on the novel Nashta Nayika written by Vinu and the left by the life of Daniel. Prithviraj and Mamtha mohandas play the important role in this film.This film got seven Kerala State Awards for different categories.It is chosen as the best film in that year.