1956, Central Travancore

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1956, Central Travancore
Directed byDon Palathara
Produced byAbhilash S. Kumar
Written byDon Palathara
Screenplay byDon Palathara
  • Assif Yogi
  • Jain Andrews
  • Krishnan Balakrishnan
  • Muraleedharan
  • Kenshin
  • Balu Sreedhar
  • Kani Kusruti
  • Shaun Romy
Music byBasil CJ
CinematographyAlex Joseph
Edited byDon Palathara
Artbeat Studios
Release date
  • 5 October 2020 (2020-10-05) (Moscow)
Running time
95 minutes

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1956, Central Travancore (Malayalam: 1956, മധ്യതിരുവിതാംകൂർ) is a Malayalam period drama film, written, directed and edited by Don Palathara.[1][2][3] The film is Palathara's third feature-length movie, after Savam and Vith. The film was originally titled Kattupothu (Wild Buffalo). The film is shot in black and white, like most of Palathara's films. The film made its international premier at the 42nd Moscow International Film Festival,[4] [5] [6] in 5th October 2020.[7] The film made its Indian premiere at the 25th International Film Festival of Kerala. [8]


Set in 1956, the film takes place against the backdrop of the early migration to Ihad takenukki, before Kerala land reforms h place. The film is set in the high ranges of Central Travancore, a vast landscape then largely uninhabited by humans. The main protagonists of the story are two brothers, Kora and Onan, from Kottayam, Kerala. They set out with a group of men to hunt gaur. Complications arise, as the men have different personalities but are united by a common purpose. The film then progresses through the stories of this diverse group of men.[9]


  • Assif Yogi as Kora
  • Jain Andrews as Onan
  • Krishnan Balakrishnan as Karadikkela
  • Kani Kusruti as Kela's wife
  • Shaun Romy as Apparition
  • Balu Sreedhar as Babu
  • Kenshin (credited as Aamir) as Thommi
  • Muraleedharan Raveendran as Devassya
  • Pradeep Kumar as Thoma
  • Reju Pillai as Vijayan
  • Sameen Salim as Sojan
  • Kurian George as Outhakkutty
  • Joseph Chilamban as Avira
  • Sherin Catherine as Performer
  • Jicky Paul as Performer
  • Jojo George as Doctor
  • Byju Netto as Police sub inspector

Film festivals[edit]

In 2019, the film launched at the Busan International Film Festival in South Korea, and was also shown at the Film Bazaar Viewing Room Recommendations section, at the International Film Festival of India, held in Goa.[10] 1956, Central Travancore will also premier at the Moscow International Film Festival in October 2020, in the non-competitive section. It is one of two Malayalam language films to be screened at the festival, the other being Biryani, directed by Sajin Babu. The festival was postponed from April in the same year due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the pandemic travel restrictions, the cast and crew will not be present at the festival, but there will a virtual interaction with the director after the screening. In an introduction to the film, Kirill Razlagov, the programming director of the festival, remarks that the film is evocative of the "deep-rooted spiritual connections between India and Russia." [11]


The film is produced by Abhilash S. Kumar, from Artbeat Studios, and the cinematography has been done by Alex Joseph. Jayesh Mohan has worked as Associate Cinematographer in the film. The film's composer is Basil CJ and lyrics were penned by Sherin Catherine. The movie was shot in Idukki, Kerala, and Cumbum, Tamil Nadu, and the location sound was handled by Sandeep Madhavam and Jiji Joseph.

Since the film is set in 1956, Palathara chose to use cultural references, as well cinematic techniques, that evoke the period. Hailing from Idukki, Palathara has included stories from his family's past to lend authenticity to the narrative.


  1. "Don Palathara's two upcoming films selected for 25th IFFK". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 2021-01-30.
  2. "Character depth is rare in Indian festival films: Don Palathara". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 2021-01-30.
  3. Reporter, Staff (2019-11-05). "Don Palathara's period movie selected for Film Bazaar". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2021-01-30.
  4. "Don Palathara's period film 1956, Central Travancore to premiere at Moscow International Film Festival - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2021-01-30.
  5. Ramachandran, Naman (2019-10-06). "India's Artbeat Studios Launches at Busan With 'Travancore' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 2021-01-30.
  6. Praveen, S. r (2020-08-28). "Malayalam film chosen for Moscow film fete". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2021-01-30.
  7. Menon, Anasuya (2019-08-02). "The story of a people's psyche". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2021-01-30.
  8. "IFFK 2021: Don Palathara's 1956, Central Travancore is a revisionist adventure". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 2021-07-09.
  9. "Rima Kallingal, Jitin Puthanchery star in Don Palathara's new film". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 2021-01-30.
  10. "1956, Central Travancore heads to Goa". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 2021-01-30.
  11. "'1956, Central Travancore', Malayalam film on early migrants to Idukki, heads to MIFF". The Week. Retrieved 2021-01-30.

External links[edit]

Category:Malayalam-language films Category:Upcoming films Category:Indian films

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