| Jayaraj Nair|
| Jayaraj Rajasekharan Nair|
4 August 1960 (age 55) (1960-08-04) Kottayam, Kerala, India
Director, Screenwriter, Producer
Keshav Jayaraj, Dhanu Jayaraj
Savithri R Nair, N. Rajasekharan Nair
Kerala State Film Award for Best Film
4 the People, Camel Safari, Calmness, Ottaal, Kaliyattam
Biju Menon, Suresh Gopi, Kaithapram Damodaran Namboothiri, Jayaram, Manoj K Jayan
Jayaraj Rajasekharan, often credited as Jayaraj, is an Indian Malayali filmmaker known for directing mainstream as well as art house films. His notable film include, Vidyarambham (1990), Johnnie Walker (1992), Kudumbasametham (1992), Paithrukam (1993), Highway (1995), Desadanam (1996), Kaliyattam (1997), Karunam (2000), Shantham (2000), Kannaki (2002), 4 the People (2004), Daivanamathil (2005), Makalkku (2005), Adbhutam (2006), Gulmohar (2008), Loudspeaker (2009), Pakarnnattam (2012) and Ottaal (2015) and Veeram (2017).
Jayaraj was born on 4 August 1960 to a middle-class family in Kottayam, Kerala, India. His father was N. Rajasekharan Nair and mother, Savithri R. Nair. He completed his Bachelor of Technology in Electronics and Communication. During his stay at Thiruvananthapuram, he attended film festivals including the International Film Festival of Kerala and watched many world classics. Kurosawa's Rashomon and DeSica's Bicycle Thieves were among them, and they influenced him immensesly. After his studies in Thiruvananthapuram, he met noted director Bharathan who was a neighbor of his sister in Madras, Tamil Nadu. Bharathan was impressed by Jayaraj and made him his assistant director for Chilambu(1986). Jayaraj then went on to be the assistant to Bharathan in six more films including the critically acclaimed Oru Minnaminunginte Nurunguvettam (1987) and Vaishali (1988). Jayaraj debuted as director with Vidyarambham (1988). His early career mainly produced commercially oriented films like Aakasha Kottayile Sultan (1991), Johnnie Walker (1992), High Way (1995), Thumboli Kadappuram (1995) and Arabia (1995).
Notable in his early career were Kudumbasametham (1992), Paithrukam (1993) and Sopanam (1993). Paithrukam was critically acclaimed but was subject to criticism for its conservative, religious philosophy. Desadanam (1997) was a milestone in his career. With the film, he was considered a serious film-maker by the critics. It was followed by another critically acclaimed film, Kaliyattam (1997) which was an adaptation of Shakespeare's Othello. It won him the National Film Award for Best Direction.
In 1999 Jayaraj started his nine-film series project Navarasa with Karunam, followed by Shantham(2000). Shantham won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film. The third in the Navarasa series was Bheebhatsa, a Hindi film. A fourth film in the series, Adbutham, is planned and Jayaraj has set his aim to complete the shooting in less than 2 hours 14 minutes with single camera at a time. He reportedly said in an interview to Rediff.com when inquired about the shooting time "In less than ten hours. It may end in five or even two hours. You never know."
Of late he has been doing commercial and art films and is successful in both genres. While Thilakkam (2003) and 4 The People (2004) were huge commercial successes Kannaki (2002), Makalkku (2005), Daivanamathil (2005) and Ottaal (2015) were critically acclaimed. A sequel to 4 the People came in 2005: By the People which was a flop. Despite that, Jayaraj continued the sequel the trilogy titled Of The People, as of December 2007.
Jayaraj's wife Sabitha Jayaraj is a state award-winning costume designer and an actress.International awardsNational Film Awards1996 : Best Feature Film in Malayalam - Desadanam1997 - National Film Award for Best Director - Kaliyattam2000 : Best Film - Shantham2005 : Best Film on National Integration - Daivanamathil2007 : Best Director (Non Feature Films) - Vellapokkathil - The Deluge2014 : Best Film on Environment Conservation/Preservation - OttaalKerala State Film Awards1992 - Kerala State Film Award for Second Best Film: Kudumbasametham1996 - Kerala State Film Award for Best Director : Deshadanam1997 - Best Film with Popular Appeal and Aesthetic Value : Kaliyaattam1999 : Kerala State Film Award for Best Film - Karunam2015 : Kerala State Film Award for Best Film - OttaalFilmfare Awards South1997 - Best Director : Kaliyattam2000 - Best Director : Karunam2000 - Best Film : KarunamV. Shantharam Awards1997 : Kaliyattam2000 : ShanthamJohn Abraham Awards2000 : Karunam2;12 : Vellapokkathil - The DelugeRamu Karyatt Awards1996 : DesadanamP. Padmarajan Awards1996 : Desadanam2000 : Karunam