KOZHIKODE: Noted film maker and a stalwart of ‘people’s cinema’ movement, Odessa Sathyan, 57, passed away at the Government Medical College Hospital here in the wee hours on Tuesday. According to the hospital authorities, he had been battling pancreatic cancer for many years and breathed his last at 3am in the Palliative Care ward.
Sathyan, a former Naxalite, came to the limelight through the mass cinematic movement that surfaced during the late 1970s along with legendary filmmaker John Abraham. His association with John Abraham and Odessa Film Society earned him the name ‘Odessa Sathyan.’ C V Sathyan, born as the son of the late Kunkan and Cheeru of Cheeramveettil, Narayana Nagar, Vadakara, on October 10, 1957, was associated with Left movements from his childhood and actively involved in the trade union issues at Iringalppara and other places in Kozhikode district. Later he was attracted to the ideologies of Left extremism and joined the Naxalite movement. Sathyan was the district secretary of the CPIML when its leaders were jailed after the imposition of Emergency in the country and the leader of mass trial conducted by the party at Kozhikode Medical College Hospital.
Sathyan has acted and worked as a prominent crew member in the noted movie ‘Amma Ariyan’ directed by John Abraham.
After the death of John Abraham, Sathyan became the proprietor of Odessa Movies, which is engaged in keeping alive the film culture of ‘people’s cinema’ in the sense that the cost of its production would be met through contributions from lovers of good cinema.
Odessa Movies has made an impact on the world of films with its documentaries - ‘Ithrayum Yathabhagam’ on the late poet A Ayyappan, ‘Vettayadappetta Manassu’ (The Haunted Mind), on the late Ramachandran Nair, the police constable who confessed to have gunned down Naxalite leader Varghese in Wayanad, and the ‘Mortuary of Love,’ about ‘love, lust and sexual perversions.’
He had been undergoing treatment for cancer at Kozhikode. But he completed the shooting of Visudha Pasu (Holy Cow) ignoring his health condition and now the project has entered the phase of editing.
He had also conducted a film festival to commemorate John Abraham during this time. Hundreds of people from various walks of life paid last respects to the filmmaker when his body was kept at the Vadakara Town Hall. The body was cremated on the premises of his house at Narayana Nagar by evening. Sathyan is survived by wife C V Jenny, daughters C V Sandra, C V Soya and son-in-law Ajith.