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A pioneer in film distribution

Koshy was born in an affluent family at Vallamkulam, near Thiruvalla.   | Photo Credit: By special arrangement

If there is a guideline and a proper framework for distribution of Malayalam films it is through the pioneering efforts of K.V. Koshy.

During the early years there was no system in place for distribution of movies. People, who bought films from Bombay, rented a projector and screened these films in the temporary sheds that functioned as theatres. Koshy changed this system completely.

He floated a new venture called Filmco (Film Distribution Company). Producers entrusted their films to this company and got a certain percentage of the money collected from the theatres. This percentage was fixed beforehand. The company also got a share of the revenue. It was responsible for distributing the film to the various theatres in the State. Filmco engaged representatives who took the films to the theatres.

When Koshy started this company there were only around 20 theatres in the whole of Travancore, Kochi and Malabar. The first Malayalam talkie, Balan was distributed by Filmco.

Koshy was born in an affluent family at Vallamkulam, near Thiruvalla. He graduated in Law and practised as a lawyer in Kottayam for two years. He joined Travancore National & Quilon Bank as its Cochin branch manager. While working here Koshy became associated with people in the film world. This generated an interest in Koshy which turned his attention to this emerging field of activity.

Filmco began functioning from Ernakulam after the liquidation of the bank. Koshy went on to publish a film magazine titled ‘Cinema’.

At a point in time the circulation of Cinema touched a healthy 7,000 copies. Scarcity of newsprint and a rift with authorities resulted in its shut down.

Later, Koshy joined hands with Kunchacko and formed K& K Productions. The first film they produced was Nalla Thanka. The success of this film buoyed them to produce two more films, Jeevithanauka and Vishappinte Vili.

Difference of opinion during the shoot of Vishappinte Vili between Koshy and Kunchacko flared up resulting in a rift between the two. As a result of the fall out Koshy formed Filmco Productions and Kunchacko began his own production house called Excel Productions. Though K & K Productions did not last long, they laid a firm foundation for the Malayalam film industry.

The first film produced by Koshy for Filmco was Puthradharmam, which was shot at Merryland Studio. But this film failed at the box office. He produced another film Athmarpanam, which was successful. Koshy bid adieu to film making and focussed on his film distribution business.

After Atmarpanam, he was involved in the production of three films, Jnanasundari, Nair Pidicha Pulival and Satyabhama made by his friend T.E. Vasudevan, before retiring due to health reasons. He was the founder president of the Kerala Film Chamber. He died on June 19, 1969.



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Printable version | May 3, 2021 9:25:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/a-pioneer-in-film-distribution/article5879376.ece

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