7 of 10 movies being either made or distributed by these ‘like-minded people’

Sourpusses may call it a coterie or caucus. But for the leading lights of Mollywood, it goes by the sobriquet ‘friendship groups’.

Whatever that might be, they are ruling the roost in the industry with seven out of 10 movies hitting the cinemas being either made or distributed by these ‘like-minded people’.

Mohanlal is seen mostly in movies produced by Antony Perumbavur and released by Maxlab Entertainments, their own distribution house. One of the biggest ever blockbuster Drishyam was the latest from this stable.

The ‘friendship’ doesn’t stop there, with the satellite rights of many of the actor’s movies going to a particular television channel headed by someone who also happens to be among the partners of Maxlab Entertainments.

Mammootty is no different. The veteran actor is most comfortable working with his close knit group, including Anto Joseph, a production controller-turned-producer. The actor also owns Playhouse, a distribution company. The group had a new entrant recently when Mammootty’s personal make-up man George turned producer with the Lal Jose movie Emmanuel . Not to mention, the movie had Mamootty in the lead.

Dileep, who turned into production and distribution early in his acting career, is surrounded by a group made up of his brother Anoop and scriptwriters duo Udayakrishna-Sibi K. Thomas.

Not to be left behind, the young crop of actors are also forming their own friendship groups. Actor Prithviraj has teamed up with ace cinematographer Santosh Sivan to form August Cinemas, which is into production and distribution.

Whether the movies emerging from these friendships can claim novelty or not, they are indeed thinking out-of-box to firm their grip over the industry by acquiring distribution rights of even films made by those outside their group.

John Paul is back

Passion for films is what keeps the likes of John Paul kicking. Their incredible skills to narrate stories on screen reflect in the movies they associate themselves with. Movies buffs need no other reason to feel elated on the return of acclaimed screenwriter after a long sabbatical.

On his return, John Paul will be teaming up with the new crop of filmmakers. The Prithviraj-starrer Valuthavashathe Kallan to be directed by Aashiq Abu. Tamil-Malayalam author Jeyamohan pens the script for the movie in which Prithviraj will play the role of a priest.

“I am creative co-ordinator of the movie that will hit the floors by year-end. It’s too early to talk about it,” says John Paul, one of the most respected scenarists in Mollywood. And like all his cinematic endeavours in his long and chequered career, it was the “sheer excitement” over the story that triggered his decision to don a whole new role.

G. Krishnakumar