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Melli IraniBack

SICA’S FIRST MEMBER, THE LEGENDARY MELLI IRANI

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Melli Irani is a veteran cinematographer predominantly worked in Malayalam films. He had also worked in Tamil and Telugu movies. He has served in Kerala state award committee for the selection of best film and best cameramen.

He is the son of acclaimed cinematographer Adi Irani, hails from Iran and later settled in India.

Born on 5th august 1932 at Bombay, Melli Irani developed his interest towards still photography at a very young age. Later, while assisting his uncle Din Shah Irani learnt audiography. In the meantime his passion towards cinematography forced him to work under the master cinematographer Marcus Bartley. Melli Irani also continued to work under cinematographer M.A.Rahman who was popular for special effects cinematography.

After becoming a Cinematographer himself, Melli Irani on a unfortunate day met with an accident. He was hospitalized with serious injuries and his life was saved by none other than the legendary actor Chevaliar Shivaji Ganesan.

This was the period he stayed away from film making and started looking after his ‘Irani Tea shop’. But life had other ideas when he met the famous Malayalam film producer Majilas M.O.Joseph who urged him to come back to the film Industry.

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From that point of life there is no looking back for Melli Irani. He again started his career with Malayalam film Gnana Sundari and went on to become one of the most sought after cinematographer of that time and also won the prestigious Kerala government state award for best cinematography in the year 1971.

As  cinematographer his Malayalam film ‘Vazhve Mayam’ (1970) directed by K.S.Sethumadhavan had a long lasting impact on Malayalam cinema and it was screened as part of the Sathyan retrospective at the 17th International Film Festival of Kerala held at Trivandrum. He worked together with K.S.Sethumadhavan and T. Hariharan for many feature films.

As a cinematographer, he had great admiration towards veteran actors Srividhya ,Sheela.,Sathyan Kottarakara  and Mammooty.

His Malayalm Flimography

Viyarppinte Vila-1962

Sathyabhaama-1963

Sthaanaarthi Saramma-1966

Naadan Pennu-1967

Ollathumathi-1967

Bhaaryamaar Sookshikkuka-1968

Thokkukal Kadha Parayunnu-1968

Yakshi-1968

Adimakal-1969

Kadalppaalam-1969

Vaazhve Mayam-1970

Kalpana-1970

Ammayenna Sthree-1970

Aranaazhikaneram-1970

Line Bus-1971

Oru Penninte Kadha-1971

Karakaanaakkadal-1971

Inquilab Sindabad-1971

Anubhavangal Paalichakal-1971

Devi-1972

Ananthashayanam-1972

Punarjanmam-1972

Panitheeraatha Veedu-1973

Chukku-1973

Bhoomidevi Pushpiniyaayi-1974

Alibabayum 41 kallanmaarum-1975

Kottaaram Vilkkaanundu- 1975

Panchami-1976

Ajayanum Vijayanum-1976

Vanadevatha-1976

Sneham- 1977

Aazhi Alayaazhi-1978

Sikharangal1979

Sarapanjaram- 1979

Idavazhiyile Poocha Mindappoocha-1979

Laava- 1980

Muthuchippikal-1980

Valarthumrigangal- 1981

Poochasanyaasi-1981

Theekkali- 1981

Sreemaan Sreemathi-1981

Ente Mohangal Poovaninju-1982

Ankuram-1982

Keni-1982

Aattuvanchi Ulanjappol- 1984

Vellam – 1985 and many more films.

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His Tamil feature films credit as cinematographer includes ‘Mangayar Ullam Mangaatha Selvam’, Engal Selvi , Sarasa B.A and in Telugu Swarna Manjari, Samajam and Vikramaaditya.

At 85 years, Shri. Melli Irani is the most vibrant personality but always maintained a low profile and was against publicity.

SICA celebrates its first member’s life and achievements. This living legend will always be our guiding force.

CJ Rajkumar

Author/ Cinematographer

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