14 August 1970
|Years active||1999 – present|
Unnikrishnan Bhaskaran (born 14 August 1970) is an Indian film director, screenwriter, and distributor who works in the Malayalam film industry. He completed post-graduation in English literature and took M. Phil from Mahatma Gandhi University with first rank. He started publishing his writings on literature, politics and culture during early 1990s. His critical writings were noted for their sharp and intelligent insights and theoretical rigour. In the early 90s, in the literary critical scene in Kerala, he was among the few critics who paved way for reading literature and art in an entirely different manner which was informed by postmodernist thought. Unnikrishnan along with V C Harris edited a series of books on postmodernism titled ‘Navasidhandangal’ published by DC Books. Later he started publishing writings on contemporary politics. His critical pieces on the much discussed rift between V S Achuthanandan and Pinarayi Vijayan, Loksabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee, Brian Lara, Kerala Model etc. were very well received and widely discussed.
He began his film career by screenwriting Jalamarmaram in 1999, which won the Kerala State Film Award for Best Screenplay. In 2005, he scripted, directed and produced the telefilm Annum Mazhayaayirunnu, which won six Kerala State Television Awards, including Best Telefilm and Best Screenplay writer for him. In the same year, The Tiger, a thriller written by him was a major commercial success. It is generally regarded as one of the best suspense films in Malayalam. He made his feature film directorial debut in 2006 with the film Smart City. His most notable directorial works include Madambi (2008) and Grandmaster (2012). In 2017, he directed the crime drama Villain, India's first film completely shot in 8K resolution. The film was also noted for its subtle political undercurrents which strongly critique arbitrary individual cantered justice. In 2019, he wrote and directed, “Kodathi Samaksham Balan Vakeel, the first Malayalam film produced by Viacom18 Motion Pictures in Malayalam, a thriller laced with comedy which turned out to be super hit.In 2019, he along with Anto Joseph produced Stand Up, a film directed by Vidhu Vincent.
Unnikrishnan is involved in organisational activities in film industry. He is the general secretary of Film Employees Federation of Kerala (FEFKA) since 2008 and All India Film Employees Confederation (AIFEC) since 2014. He is a member in the advisory committee of Cine Workers' Welfare Board and director of Saamskaarika Kshemanidhi. He owns the production/distribution company RD Illuminations. He also owns a state of the art theatre complex, RD Cinemas in Mundakkayam.
Early and personal life
B. Unnikrishnan was born on 14 August 1970 in Pathanamthitta district in Kerala, India as the only child of Bhaskaran Pillai, a former college principal and Ponnamma, a homemaker. He took his graduation in English literature at the University College Thiruvananthapuram during early 1980s and later did post-graduation in English Literature at CMS College Kottayam, after which he obtained Master of Philosophy (M. Phil) from the School of Letters, Mahatma Gandhi University with first rank. during 1989 – 90. Before foraying into film industry, he worked as a lecturer in different colleges. He admires Alfred Hitchcock and cites writer Agatha Christie as his "life-long inspiration". He is married to Rajeswari Menon, an assistant professor at SCMS Cochin School of Business. They have a daughter named Durga.
He began his film career in 1999 by writing the screenplay of Jalamarmaram directed by T. K. Rajeev Kumar, which won the Kerala State Film Award for Best Screenplay that year. The film dealt with the politics of water and environmentalism. Its narrative was unique in that it narrated a richly layered story with strong political nuances from the point of view of a five-year-old boy. In 2000, his screenplay Cover Story directed by G. S. Vijayan was released. It was a thriller much ahead of its times and was a box office failure. He was the screenwriter of the hugely successful thriller Black and White, a television serial telecast in Asianet in 2004, which won two Kerala State Television Awards. The serial directed by Viji Thampi is the best investigative thriller in Malayalam television till date. in 2004, he wrote and directed a telefilm titled Antharangal, which won the Kerala state television award for the best telefilm. In 2005, he wrote, produced and directed a telefilm, Annum Mazhayayirunnu which was aired by Amrita TV. It was filmed in eight days with a small cost of over ₹ 5 lakh, Siddique and Jyothirmayi played the lead roles. The Hindu wrote "The suspense that is maintained throughout the short movie, despite it being set in a domestic, sylvan setting, goes to the credit of the carefully crafted script". The telefilm won six Kerala State Television Awards, including Best Telefilm and Best screenplay for Unnikrishnan.
A major player in Thilakan ban scandal. FEFKA general secretary and director B. Unnikrishnan was being controlled by certain superstars who had their own interests, Mr. Thilakan alleged. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/Denied-role-in-film-Thilakan-to-stage-sit-in/article16812627.ece He scripted Shaji Kailas-directorial action film Shivam in 2002 and the thriller film The Tiger in 2005, the latter starring Suresh Gopi was a major commercial success. It is widely regarded as one of the best suspense thrillers in Malayalam. According to Unnikrishnan, it was financial necessity that made him a screenwriter and passion made him a filmmaker. He made his feature film directorial debut in 2006 with the action film Smart City. His second directorial Madampi starring Mohanlal was a blockbuster . Unlike his previous films, Madampi was a family drama that told the story of a money lender in a village. In 2009, he scripted and directed the action police story I. G. – Inspector General starring Suresh Gopi. The film talked issues like terrorism and communal politics. In the same year, he wrote and directed the segment Aviramam in the anthology film Kerala Cafe. In 2010, he scripted and directed the political satire Pramani starring Mammootty as a corrupt panchayat president, which was a box office failure. It was followed by the action film The Thriller, an investigative story starring Prithviraj Sukumaran as a cop.
His directorial crime thriller Grandmaster released in 2012 was written by himself starring Mohanlal as a loner cop who is challenged to investigate a crime. Not only that it was a financial success, but it showed Mohanlal in a totally different look and style. Grandmaster was the first Malayalam film produced by UTV and it is also the first Malayalam film to be released in Netflix, apart from its theatrical release. It was followed by I Love Me, a romantic thriller written by Sethu, that revolves around a group of youngsters. In 2015, he written and directed the heist film Mr. Fraud starring Mohanlal. Unnikrishnan forayed into the production/distribution sector with his company RD Illuminations, which released Yodhavu in 2016, the Malayalam dubbed version of the Telugu film Sarrainodu. Followed by Dhruvaraja Jagannadh and Fidaa and Bhaagamathie in 2017. He joined again with Mohanlal in 2017 for the crime thriller Villain. It is also the first Indian film to be completely shot in 8K resolution. The film has a great cast including Vishal, Manju Warrier, Hansika, Meka Srikanth, and Rashi Khanna. The film was noted for its subtle engagement with the idea of individual centric/ mob justice and the brilliant performance of Mohanlal. After this film, he coproduced and his company distributed the film Swathandriam Ardharathriyil in 2018, produced by B. C. Joshy, Lijo Jose Pellissery, and Chemban Vinod Jose and it was a great success at the Boxoffice. In 2019, he wrote and directed the first Malayalam film produced by Viacom18 Motion Pictures titled Kodathi Samaksham Balan Vakeel. The film, which was distributed by RD Illuminations, has turned out to be a great success in the box office.
He is the general secretary of Film Employees Federation of Kerala (FEFKA) since 2008, he was re-elected to the position three times—2010, 2013 and 2017. In 2014, he was elected as the general secretary of All India Film Employees Confederation (AIFEC). He is a member in the advisory committee of Cine Workers' Welfare Board and director of Saamskaarika Kshemanidhi in Kerala. In 2016, he opened the multi-cuisine restaurant named Grandmaster's Kitchen in Palayam, Thiruvananthapuram, the restaurant was named after his film Grandmaster. He owns the film distribution company RD Illuminations, that debuted in 2016 by releasing Yodhavu in Kerala. He was the Managing Director of the film post-production studio Vismayas Max and also the multiplex Aries Plex SL Cinemas, a Double-4K 64-channel Dolby Atmos theatre in Thiruvananthapuram. It is the first theatre with Double-4K facility in South India. Presently he owns the state of the art theatre complex, RD Cinemas in Mundakayam.
|1999||Jalamarmaram||Yes||Director: T. K. Rajeev Kumar|
|2000||Cover Story||Yes||Director: G. S. Vijayan|
|2002||Shivam||Yes||Director: Shaji Kailas|
|2005||The Tiger||Yes||Director: Shaji Kailas|
|2009||I. G. – Inspector General||Yes||Yes|
|Aviramam||Yes||Yes||Segment from Kerala Cafe|
|I Love Me||Yes||Writer: Sethu|
|2019||Kodathi Samaksham Balan Vakeel||Yes||Yes|
|2004||Black and White||Writer||Asianet||Serial; director: Viji Thampi|
- 2003: Best telefilm – Antharangal
- 2005: Best Telefilm – Annum Mazhayayirunnu
- 2005: Best Screenplay – Annum Mazhayayirunnu
- "ബി. ഉണ്ണികൃഷ്ണന്റെ ജന്മദിനം" (in Malayalam). DC Books. Archived from the original on 25 October 2017. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
- Nagarajan, Saraswathy (21 December 2012). "I love cinema". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 24 October 2017. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
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- Manmadhan, Prema (29 April 2005). "Pangs of love". The Hindu. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
- Special correspondent (4 November 2005). "'Avicharitham' wins five State television awards". The Hindu. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
- Unni, Deepa. "Viji Thampy". Sify. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
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- Manmadan, Prema (16 December 2005). "It's all about mind games". The Hindu. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
- "After 'The King and the Commissioner', actor Suresh Gopi to star in Shaji Kailas' next action flick". CNN-News18. 29 December 2014. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
- പ്രതീഷ്, ടി. എസ്. (19 May 2008). "മാടമ്പിയെക്കുറിച്ച് ബി. ഉണ്ണികൃഷ്ണൻ". Mathrubhumi. Archived from the original on 24 October 2017. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
- Staff reporter (8 April 2009). "No fears of being typecast: Suresh Gopi". The Hindu. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
- Moviebuzz (30 October 2009). "Review:Kerala Cafe". Sify. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
- Nagarajan, Saraswathy (25 March 2010). "Follow the leader". The Hindu. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
- "Kerala Box-Office- March 1 to April 13". Sify. 15 April 2010. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
- Nagarajan, Saraswathy (5 July 2012). "Grandmaster in Hindi". The Hindu. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
- Prakash, Asha (10 September 2010). "How about paying for viewing films online?". The Times of India. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
- George, Vijay (1 November 2012). "Selfless acts". The Hindu. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
- Nagarajan, Saraswathy (15 May 2014). "Mr. Fraud comes to town". The Hindu. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
- Nair, Sree Prasad (5 September 2017). "After Allu Arjun's Yodhavu and Dhruvaraja Jagannadh, B Unnikrishnan to score hat-trick of hits with Fidaa". Catch News. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
- Ramachandran, Mythily (25 October 2017). "Director Unnikrishnan returns with Mohanlal's 'Villain'". Gulf News. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
- Onmanorama staff (18 August 2017). "Angamaly's Vincent Peppe to play Kottayam banker in next". Malayala Manorama. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
- Nayar, Parvathy S. (9 May 2013). "B Unnikrishnan is FEFKA general secretary again". The Times of India. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
- "Fefka office-bearers". The Hindu. 26 November 2010. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
- "FEFKA office-bearers elected". The Hindu. 4 January 2017. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
- Moviebuzz. "I have no political ambitions: says B Unnikrishnan". Sify. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
- Nagarajan, Saraswathy (30 June 2016). "Five-star dining experience". The Hindu. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
- Sreekumar, Priya (2 June 2016). "Menu card of Unnikrishnanan". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
- Praveen, S. R. (15 July 2015). "Baahubali director to watch his film in city". The Hindu. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
- "State Film Awards – 1999". Department of Information and Public Relations. 1999. p. 3. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 24 October 2017.