| 1912 , Pulinkunnoo, Alleppey, Travancore|
15 June 1976 (1976-06-15) , Madras, Tamil Nadu, India
Film producer, director
Christianity (Roman Catholic Church)
S P Pillai , Thikkurissy Sukumaran Nair , Vijayasree
Kunchacko was an Indian film producer and director who worked in the Malayalam film industry. His venture Udaya Studios influenced the gradual shift of Malayalam film industry from its original base of Madras, Tamil Nadu to Kerala. He is the producer of Jeevithanauka (1951) starring Thikkurissy Sukumaran Nair.
Kunchacko was born to Mani Chacko Maliampurackal and Eliyamma in Pulinkunnoo, Alappuzha, Kerala, India in 1912. His father was the first to start a boat service in Kuttanad. Kunchacko became interested in the art of filmmaking as he grew up. After finishing his Intermediate schooling (Pre-degree equivalent) he made plans to establish a film studio in Kerala.
In 1947, he established Udaya Studio in Pathirappally, Alappuzha. In early days Kunchacko produced films under the banner of K & K Productions, with the partnership of K. V. Koshy. The company produced 4 films: Vellinakshatram, Nalla Thanka, Jeevithanauka and Visappinte Vili. Jeevithanauka (1951), starring Thikkurissy Sukumaran Nair which ran for 250 days. During the making of the film Achchan, Kunchacko and Koshy parted ways and each started filmmaking in separate benners: Kunchacko under Udaya and Koshi under Filmco. Kunchacko went on to produce Achchan, Avan Varunnu and Kidappadam under the banner of Udaya. Kidappadam was a commercial failure, and that made Kunchacko to close down Udaya Studio. However, Udaya was opened within a few years with the help of his friend and Kerala state minister T. V. Thomas.
In 1960, Kunchacko tried his hand in film direction with Umma which he followed with Neeli Saali and Seetha. He went on to direct 40 films in his career of many genres including purana stories, vadakkan pattu stories, comedy films and social themed films. Some of his films are Bharya, Unniyarcha, Palattukoman, Sakunthala, Pazhassiraja, Mainatheruvi Kolacase, Ponnapuram Kotta, Anarkali and Kannappanunni. His career in film direction went along with his career as film producer. He produced films directed by various directors like M. Krishnan Nair (Agni Mrigam, Thara, Kattuthulasi), A. Vincent (Gandharva Kshethram), Thoppil Bhasi (Oru Sundariyude Katha, Ningalenne Communistakki), K.S.Sethumadhavan(Koottukudumbam) and K. Raghunath (Laura Neeyevide).
In 1976 Kunchacko died in Madras, Tamil Nadu with musician K. Raghavan for the song recording of the film Mallanum Mathevanum. Kannappanunni was the last film directed by him. His death occurred on the fifth death anniversary (15 June) of the veteran Malayalam actor Sathyan, who acted in many of his films.
Kunchacko's son Boban Kunchakko acted in a few film produced by Udaya. He later ventured into direction with the films Palattu Kunhikkannan, Sanchari, and Aazhi. His grandson, Kunchacko Boban is also a Malayalam film actor. His brother Navodaya Appachan started the Navodaya Studio.Kannappanunni (1977)Chennai Valarthiya Kutty (1976)Mailanum Mathevanum (1976)Cheenavala (1975)Dharmakshetre Kurukshetre (1975)Manishada (1975)Neela Ponman (1975)Durga (1974)Thumbolarcha (1974)Pavangal Pennungal (1973)Ponnapuram Kotta (1973)Thenaruvi (1973)Aromalunni (1972)Postmane Kananilla (1972)Panchavan Kadu (1971)Dattuputhran (1970)Othenente Makan (1970)Pearl View (1970)Susie (1969)Kodungalluramma (1968)Punnapra Vyalar (1968)Thirichadi (1968)Kasavuthattam (1967)Mainatharuvi Kola Case (1967)Anarkali (1966)Jail (1966)Tilottama (1966)Inapravugal (1965)Shakuntala (1965)Ayesha (1964)Pazhassi Raja (1964)Kadalamma (1963)Rebecca (1963)Bharya (1962)Palattukoman (1962)Krishna Kuchela (1961/I)Unniyarcha (1961)Neeli Sally (1960)Seeta (1960)Umma (1960)