Abhilash S. Kumar

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Abhilash Kumar
ResidenceKochi, Kerala

Abhilash Sasikumar is an Indian ad film and feature filmmaker, producer and screenwriter from Kerala, India. He is best known for writing the script for 22 Female Kottayam, and his frequent collaborations with Aashiq Abu and Shyam Pushkaran, like on the sleeper hit, Salt 'N' Pepper.[1][2][3] He produces films under the banners of production houses, Artbeat Studios and Papaya Media, and the latter also manages a cafe targeted to the artistic community, Cafe Papaya.[4][5]

Early life[edit]

Abhilash Kumar was born in Kerala, and attended the Seventh Day Adventist School in Thrissur.[6] From a young age, he dreamed of being a writer, and someday authoring his own novel.[7] In 2011, he made a career shift from the IT to the film industry, after assisting his friend Aashiq Abu in his project, Daddy Cool.[8]



2011 saw the debut of Kumar's film career, with a role as assistant director on Abu's Salt 'N' Pepper, a love story with food as a central theme.[9][10] The screenplay was written by Shyam Pushkaran and Dileesh Nair. After the film's release, Abu announced his next venture would be title Idukki Gold, a movie based on a short story by Santhosh Echikkanam.[11]

However, after the success of Salt 'N' Pepper, a light comedy and a debut for many, the team decided to switch gears and make a darker-themed movie and put Idukki Gold on hold. Thus the development process for 22 Female Kottayam began, and the character of the main protagonist, Tessa, came about through discussions with nurses from Kottayam and the lead actress, Rima Kalingal.[1] 22 Female Kottayam is Kumar's first major screenwriting credit, even though he collaborated on Salt 'N' Pepper's script.[11] The story is a revenge drama about a nurse who is brutalised and conned by her boyfriend.[12][13]

In mid-2012, romantic comedy Da Thadiya followed, directed by Abu and scripted by his frequent collaborators, Kumar, Nair, and Pushkaran. The film told the story of an obese youngster, Luke John Prakash, and the trials he faces as a result of his condition. It was produced under Abu's banner, Open Your Mouth Cinemas.[14][15] DJ Sekhar Menon plays the protagonist's role, in his debut as an actor.[16]

Idukki Gold did finally follow in 2013, a story about the reunion of college friends after 35 years. The film generated controversy after its posters, depicting Hindu deity Shiva and Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara smoking, were released. Abu later clarified that the circulated images were not the film's official posters.[17] The trailer was also temporarily taken down by YouTube, because reports from viewers flagged the content as inappropriate. The trailer depicted a group of middle-aged men smoking marijuana, and was nevertheless passed by the censor board after due warnings were posted. The video was later restored to YouTube after associate director, Kumar, and the other filmmakers sent in a petition with the censor certificate.[18]

Next, in 2013, he wrote one story of the five-film anthology, 5 Sundarikal, produced by Amal Neerad Productions. The stories have no connecting link, apart from the fact that they are all love stories. The project was undertaken by a group of close friends.[19]

His next project was co-writing the screenplay for Gangster in 2014, starring Malayalam cinema's superstar Mammootty.[20] The crime thriller was highly anticipated as the story is about a mafia don with a Robin Hood persona.[21] [22]

Under their co-owned banner, in 2015, Papaya Media Designs based in Kochi, Kumar, Saiju Sreedharan and well-known photographer, Ajay Menon, shot a music video for Kochi-based progressive rock band, Motherjane.[23][24] The single Clay Play was named one of the Top Ten Singles in 2015 by Rolling Stone Magazine India.[25] The team then went on to make a second music video, this time shot exclusively on a Samsung Galaxy S6, for alternative music band 4th Hue.[4]

In 2017, Kumar was contacted by a close friend, Archana Kavi, to consult upon an idea she had for a web series screenplay. Kavi has written a skeleton of the story, which was about a relationship between a father and his daughter, and loosely based on her own relationship with her father. The series, Toofan Mail, developed in day, and was directed by Kumar in Kochi over the course of five days.[26] The web series was produced by Kumar's company, Papaya Media.[27][28]

In 1956, Central Travancore, Kumar dons a producer's hat. The film has been written, directed and edited by Indian-Australian director Don Palathara, and produced by Kumar's company Artbeat Studios.

In June 2019, reports emerged that a sequel to Salt 'N' Pepper, titled Black Coffee was in the works.[29][30]


Concurrently with his film career, Kumar continues to work on advertising films. In 2015, he was an associate director for Aashiq Abu for a campaign advertising UAE Exchange. The campaign featured actors, Fahadh Faasil and Jayasurya, the former also previously worked with the directorial team of 22 Female Kottayam.[31]

Personal life[edit]

Kumar married to Malayalam film actress Lena of Ee Adutha Kaalathu fame in 2004, after being childhood friends, but parted ways in 2014.[6][32] The couple resided in Bengaluru, and worked in Kerala.[33]


Feature films
Year Title Role Notes
2011 Salt N' Pepper Assistant director
2012 22 Female Kottayam Screenwriter Collaborated with Shyam Pushkaran
2012 Da Thadiya Screenwriter Collaborated with Shyam Pushkaran and Dileesh Nair
2013 Idukki Gold Associate director
2013 5 Sundarikal Screenwriter One story (Gauri) in the five-film anthology
2014 Gangster Screenwriter Collaborated with Ahmed Sidhique
2019 1956, Central Travancore Producer Under the banner Artbeat Studios
Short films
Year Title Role Notes
2018 Break Journey Director/Screenplay/Dialogues Produced under the banner Hashtag Plus Films
Web series
Year Title Role Notes
2017 Toofan Mail Director Consulted with series creator, Archana Kavi, to develop the screenplay
Music videos
Year Song Artist Role
2015 Clay Play Motherjane Writer/Director
2016 Be.Here.Now 4th Hue Writer/Director


  1. 1.0 1.1 "She came, she conquered' - Times of India" (in en). https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/malayalam/movies/news/She-came-she-conquered/articleshow/51291616.cms.
  2. "Shyam Pushkaran-Aashiq Abu" (in en). 2018-10-25. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/malayalam/movies/news/five-popular-writer-director-combinations-in-malayalam/photostory/66364289.cms.
  3. Anand, Shilpa Nair (2019-02-08). "The story of Kumbalangi Nights" (in en-IN). The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/scenarist-syam-pushkaran-on-telling-the-story-of-kumbalangi-nights/article26212032.ece.
  4. 4.0 4.1 DelhiJanuary 18, Vivek Surendran New; January 28, 2016UPDATED; Ist, 2016 14:19. "Ajay Menon Photography shot an entire music video using smartphones, and it's stunning!" (in en). https://www.indiatoday.in/fyi/story/ajay-menon-photography-samsung-galaxy-papaya-media-4th-hue-304403-2016-01-18.
  5. Elias, Esther (2013-06-20). "A space for expression" (in en-IN). The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/art/a-space-for-expression/article4833718.ece.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Lena is a Gorgeous Woman". http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/kochi/2012/apr/22/lena-is-a-gorgeous-woman-361111.html.
  7. "Techie turns scriptwriter - Times of India" (in en). https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/others/news-interviews/Techie-turns-scriptwriter/articleshow/10665534.cms.
  8. "Aashiq Abu to introduce Abhilash Kumar" (in en). https://www.nowrunning.com/news/malayalam/aashiq-abu-to-introduce-abhilash-kumar/44824/story.htm.
  9. FWDmedia (2011-12-06). "Aashiq Abu Uncooked" (in en-US). https://www.fwdlife.in/aashiq-abu-uncooked.
  10. "Review: Good sprinkling of Salt N' Pepper". https://www.rediff.com/movies/report/review-salt-n-pepper/20110711.htm.
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Aashiq Abu to thrill audience - Times of India" (in en). https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/others/news-interviews/Aashiq-Abu-to-thrill-audience/articleshow/10453441.cms.
  12. "Decoding the world of Syam Pushkaran, the critically acclaimed writer of Kumbalangi Nights- Entertainment News, Firstpost" (in en). 2019-02-25. https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/decoding-the-world-of-syam-pushkaran-the-critically-acclaimed-writer-of-kumbalangi-nights-6148271.html.
  13. "Video: Making of film '22 Female Kottayam'". https://www.news18.com/news/india/video-making-of-film-22-female-kottayam-477789.html.
  14. "Aashiq Abu is all set to return with 'Da Thadiya'". https://www.news18.com/news/india/aashiq-abu-is-all-set-to-return-with-da-thadiya-472355.html.
  15. "Aashiq Abu turns producer". http://www.newindianexpress.com/entertainment/malayalam/2012/may/05/aashiq-abu-turns-producer-365005.html.
  16. George, Vijay (2012-09-20). "Big on romance" (in en-IN). The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. https://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/big-on-romance/article3917679.ece.
  17. Reporter, IBTimes Staff (2013-10-06). "'Idukki Gold': Aashiq Abu's Directorial to Hit Screens on 11 October" (in english). https://www.ibtimes.co.in/039idukki-gold039-aashiq-abu039s-directorial-to-hit-screens-on-11-october-511736.
  18. "Idukki Gold trailer courts netizens' ire - Times of India" (in en). https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/malayalam/movies/news/Idukki-Gold-trailer-courts-netizens-ire/articleshow/23109738.cms.
  19. Reporter, Staff (2013-05-22). "Two decades of friendship and 100 years of cinema" (in en-IN). The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/two-decades-of-friendship-and-100-years-of-cinema/article4736964.ece.
  20. Reporter, IBTimes Staff (2013-10-06). "'Idukki Gold': Aashiq Abu's Directorial to Hit Screens on 11 October" (in english). https://www.ibtimes.co.in/039idukki-gold039-aashiq-abu039s-directorial-to-hit-screens-on-11-october-511736.
  21. India, The Hans (2014-04-11). "Mammootty's Gangster movie review" (in en). https://www.thehansindia.com/posts/index/Cinema/2014-04-11/Mammoottys-Gangster-movie-review/91756.
  22. "The Gangster - The Most Awaited Movie For 2014" (in en). 2013-12-24. https://www.filmibeat.com/malayalam/news/2013/the-gangster-most-awaited-movie-for-2014-128035.html.
  23. "Motherjane's Addiciton -" (in en-US). 2015-01-13. https://rollingstoneindia.com/motherjanes-addiciton/.
  24. Anand, Shilpa Nair (2015-01-07). "Motherjane set to 'play'" (in en-IN). The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/society/motherjane-set-to-play/article6764351.ece.
  25. "Motherjane released Clay Play" (in en). https://www.evadowdinternational.com/motherjane-clay-play.html.
  26. sreekumar, priya (2017-10-22). "Archie's creative explorations" (in en). https://www.deccanchronicle.com/entertainment/mollywood/221017/archies-creative-explorations.html.
  27. "Archana Kavi's mini series Toofan Mail's trailer looks interesting - Times of India" (in en). https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/malayalam/movies/news/archana-kavis-mini-series-toofan-mails-trailer-looks-interesting/articleshow/61155286.cms.
  28. "Actor Archana Kavi opens up about rediscovering herself, growing up and finding the courage to write her first screenplay". https://www.edexlive.com/people/2017/nov/25/weaving-words-of-wisdom-archana-kavi-is-living-up-to-her-name-1643.html.
  29. "Malayalam movie 'Salt N' Pepper' to have a sequel titled 'Black Coffee'" (in en). https://www.theweek.in/news/entertainment/2019/06/28/Malayalam-movie-Salt-N-Pepper-to-have-a-sequel-titled-Black-Coffee.html.
  30. "Salt n Pepper sequel Black Coffee to be directed by Baburaj". https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/salt-n-pepper-sequel-black-coffee-be-directed-baburaj-104470.
  31. Menon, Akhila (2015-04-16). "Fahadh And Jayasurya With Aashiq And Amal" (in en). https://www.filmibeat.com/malayalam/news/2015/fahadh-and-jayasurya-with-aashiq-and-amal-180328.html.
  32. "My divorce is more than a year old :Says Lena - Times of India" (in en). https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/malayalam/movies/news/My-divorce-is-more-than-a-year-old-Says-Lena/articleshow/28581125.cms.
  33. "Two of a kind | Deccan Chronicle". 2012-04-19. https://web.archive.org/web/20120419142300/http://www.deccanchronicle.com/tabloid/kochi/two-kind-362.

External links[edit]

Category:Living people Category:1980 births

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