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He left his home to become the first filmmaker of South India. He faced obstacles at every corner. He lied and schemed his way to learn filmmaking. He sold his land and set up his production house with the money.

Ten years later, his dreams came true. He made the first Malayalam film. He stood proudly in front of Capitol Theatre and saw his dreams become a nightmare. Higher-class people pelted stones at the screen just because a low-caste woman had acted in the movie. The film didn’t make money.

Vigathakumaran was released in 1928. JC Daniel died penniless in 1975.

Note: This is the real life story of JC Daniel, now heralded as the father of the Malayalam Film Industry. You can read more about him here, and his only movie here. 

Written for the picture prompt provided by Ted Strutz for the weekly Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wisoff – Fields. 


  1. Path breaking people are not appreciated in their lifetime. Most of them are ahead in their thought process of the society anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. An inspiring and sad tale. JC Daniel was a courageous man before his time, who spoke through his art against gender and caste discrimination. A real hero! His passion for his people to have film in their own language is admirable as well. So sad he didn’t get to witness the end result. Unfortunately, that is often the case. Sincerely enjoyed your story and learning more of JC Daniel.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank heavens things are changing, due to the early work of pioneers. I am interested to know more about this man and will follow the links you provided – thanks.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. What a burden class is for the world… This is such an interesting and moving story. What a shame that no copy of that film has survived. It sounds like a great silent movie.

    Liked by 2 people

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