Vigathakumaran is the first film of Malayalam Film Industry and was released in 1928. Its producer and director is J.C. Daniel. The film, Celluloid is based on the life story of J.C. Daniel. J.C. Daniel is popularly recognised as the Father of Malayalam cinema.
The second film is Marthanda Varma, which was based on a novel by C.V. Raman PIllai. It was produced by R. Sundar Raj in 1933.
The first talkie of Malayalam films is Balan, which was released in 1938. Its director is S. Nottani. The Screen play and Songs of the film is by the Muthukulam Raghavan Pillai.
After the hit of Balan, the second talkie of Malayalam, Jnambika was released in 1940. Thereafter Prahlada was released in 1941. Then the next film, Nirmala was released in 1948. It was directed by PJ Cheriyan with the concept of including the bgm and songs in Malayalam cinema. Renowned Malayalam poet, G Shankara Kurup wrote the lyrics for songs in this film.
The first major film studio is Udaya. It was established in Alappuzha in 1948.
First superhit of Malayalam Cinema is Jeevitha Nouka (1951). Thikkurishi Sukumaran Nair, a stage actor became the hero of the film. He is considered as first 'superstar' of Malayalam cinema.
In 1954, the film Neelakuyil scripted by novelist Uroob and directed jointly by P. Bhaskaran and Ramu Kariat claim national attention by getting the Presidents silver medal. It is the first authentic Malayalam film.
India's first neorealistic film is Newspaper Boy (1958).
The first colour film is Kandam Becha Coat (1961). After that the era of colour films came to Malayala Cinema.
Chemmeen (1965) movie is based on the story of Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai. Its director is Ramu Kariat. It is the first Malayalam film to win the National Film Award for Best feature film.
The first film of Adoor Gopalakrishnan's is Swayamvaram, released in 1972. It made malayalam film to the global film arena.
M.T. Vasudevan Nair directed his first film Nirmalyam which won the National Film Award for best feature film.
The first malayalam cinemascope film is Thacholi Ambu (1978). It was directed by Navodaya Appachan.
The first 70 mm film in Malayalam is Padayottam (1982).
India's first 3-D film is My Dear Kuttichathan (1984).
The first film made in India with money collected from the public is Amma Ariyan (1986). The film was produced by Odessa. Director is John Abraham. The fund for the film was raised by donations and showing the Charlie Chaplin's film ‘The Kid’.
India's first live action animation hybrid film is ‘O Faaby' (1993).
The world's first film with a single actor in the star cast is The Guard (2001).
The film that has been screened at more international film festivals than any other malayalam film is Mathilukal (1989, Adoor Gopalakrishnan).
The movie that got several international awards than any other movies in Malayalam cinema is Piravi (released in 1987 – directed by Shaji N Karun).
The first Malayalam actress to win the National award is Sharada (1969, Thulabharam).
The evergreen films in the Malayalam film industry including Elipathaayam, Swaham, Nirmalyam, Vanaprastham, Kodiyettam, Marana Simhasanam, Piravi, Chemmeen and Mathilukal were also shown in several international film festivals and had won awards.
Elippathayam released in 1981, directed by Adoor Gopalakrishnan got the prestigious British Film Institute award.
Notable films of 1960's are Odayil Ninnu, Bhargavi Nilayam (1964), Chemmeen (1965), Murappennu (1965) and lruttinte Athmavu (1966).
In 1960s M. Krishnan Nair, Kunchacko and P. Subramaniam were the leading malayalam producers.
Adaminte Makan Abu is the second malayalam movie to be nominated for the Oscar Award in the best Foreign Language Film after Rajiv Anchal's Guru.
The first malayalam actor to win the National Award is P.J. Antony (1974, Nirmalyam).
Famous movies of Director, Aravindan are Kanchana Sita (1977), Thampu (1978), Kummatty (1979), Chidambaram (1985), Oridathu (1986), and Vasthuhara (1990).
The first Woman Editor is Padmaja Rajagopal. The Popular woman editor is Beena Paul.
First Woman Director is Vijayanirmala. The film is Kavitha.
Popular Woman Producer is Menaka. She produced highest number of films as woman producer.
The woman lyricist who did all the songs in a film is Sasikala Menon.
The first recipient of J.C. Daniel Award is T.E. Vasudevan (1992).
International Film Festival of Kerala shortly termed as IFFK is a film festival held yearly in the capital city, Thiruvananthapuram. This film festival was begun in 1996 and is conducted by the Kerala State Chalachitra Academy.
First in Malayalam Cinema
Movie – Vigathakumaran (1928)
Sound Movie – Balan (1938)
Colour Movie – Kandam Becha Coat (1961)
Cinemascope – Thacholi Ambu (1978)
70 M.M. Movie – Padayottam (1982)
Box Office Hit Movie – Jeevitha Nauka
Neo Realistic Movie – Newspaper Boy
Dolby Stereo – Kalapani
D.T.S. Stereo – Millennium Stars
Digital Cinema – Moonamathoral
First Kerala State Film Awards
Film – Kumarasambavam
Director – A. Vincent
Actor – Sathyan
Actress – Sheela
Supporting Actor – Kottarakkara Sreedharan Nair
Supporting Actress – Adoor Bhavani
Lyrist – Vayalar Rama Varma
Male play back singer - K.J. Yesudas
Female play back singer - P. Leela
National Award for Best Actor in Malayalam Cinema
P.J. Antony - Nirmalyam (1973)
Gopi - Kodiyettam (1977)
Balan K. Nair - Oppol (1980)
Premji - Piravi (1988)
Mammotty - Mathilukal, Oru Vadakkan Veeragatha (1989)
Mohanlal - Bharatham (1991)
Mammotty - Ponthanmada, Vidheyan (1993)
Suresh Gopi - Kaliyattam (1997)
Balachandra Menon - Samantharangal (1997)
Mammotty - Dr. Ambedkar (1998)
Mohanlal - Vanaprastham (1999)
Murali - Neythukaran (2001)
Salim Kumar - Adaminte Makan Abu (2010)
Suraj Venjaramoodu - Perariyathavar (2013)
National Award for Best Actress in Malayalam Cinema
Sarada - Thulabharam (1968)
Sarada - Swayamvaram (1972)
Monisha - Nakhakshathangal (1986)
Shobhana - Manichithrathazhu (1993)
Shobhana - Mithru (My Friend) (2001)
Meera Jasmin - Patam Onnu Oru Vilapam (2003)
Surabhi Lakshmi - Minnaminungu, the Firefly (2016)