KOCHI: Legendary Malayalam film-maker I V Sasi passed away in Chennai Tuesday after a prolonged battle with illness. He was 69. He is survived by his wife Seema, son Ani and daughter Anu.
With more than 150 films to his credit in a three-decade-long career, Sasi was known for his distractive style in Kerala cinema.
After starting his career as an art director for Kaliyalla Kalyanam (1968), Sasi made his directorial debut with Utsavam (1975). He received the National Award for Aroodam (1982) and two other state awards. Devasuram, Aalkootathil Thaniye, Adiyozhukukal and Athirathram went on to become superhits and earned him a cult following.
His movies were instrumental in making a superstar out of Mammootty. They worked together in 35 projects.
Known for technical brilliance and stylish film-making, I V Sasi's works brought the masses to the theatres, earning him the tag of the showman of Malayalam cinema. Most of his works skillfully blended artistic elements and commercial values.
The director pioneered many technological innovations, taking regional cinema to new horizons. He directed the first Malayalam film in colour, Itha Ivide Varae (1977), and made the first Cinemascope movie, Alavuddinum Athbhudhavilakum (1979).
His hits were dubbed into many languages, including Hindi.
I V Sasi also scripted history of sorts with Avalude Ravukal, which went on to be the second movie in Malayalam to get an 'A' certificate. He later married the heroine of the movie, Seema. The couple worked in over 30 films together.
Known for his brilliant association with many talents, Sasi made over 30 movies with the writer T Damodaran and they became a successful hit-making pair.
He also worked with Aleppey Ashraf and Padmarajan.
However, his last two projects, Balram Vs Taradas (2006) and Vellathooval (2009) failed to click at the box office.