Mani C Kappan, the Kerala politician and businessman who won the Pala assembly constituency bypoll on September 27, is a film producer with three superhit Malayalam films and an Assamese film to his credit. The 63-year-old politician defeated the candidate of the Congress-led UDF, which had represented the seat since its creation in 1965. The bypoll was conducted after Pala’s sitting MLA KM Mani, the chairman of Kerala Congress (M), died on April 9, 2019.
A leader of CPM-ally Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Kappan had contested against KM Mani three times before. He was a member of Kerala State volleyball team in his twenties, and played with Jimmy George in Abu Dhabi for four years. He started producing movies in 1993 with Janam, a political drama directed by Viji Thampy starring Murali, Geetha and Siddique. Among the films he produced under his banned Okay Productions, three – Meleparambil Aanveedu, Mannar Mathai Speaking and CID Unnikrishnan – were superhits. Kappan has also acted in over 11 movies.
In 2012, he produced and directed an Assamese film Boroler Ghar, a remake of Meleparambil Aanveedu. Kappan, who owns tea plantations in Meghalaya, decided to take the quintessential Malayalam film to North-East India after he noticed the cultural and geographical similarities between rural Kerala, where Meleparambil Aanveedu is set, and the North-Eastern countryside. Kappan also essayed a cameo in the film; it was played by popular Tamil character actor Vinu Chakravarthy in the original. Acclaimed Assamese filmmaker Manju Borah worked as an adviser in the film.
Feature image credit: The New Indian Express