Award-winning cinematographer Ramachandra Babu, who wielded the camera for more than 125 movies, died at a hospital here on Saturday, family sources said. He was 72.
Babu was part of the technological advancement made by the Malayalam movie industry and was behind the camera when the industry shifted from black and white to colour.
“He suffered uneasiness and collapsed and was immediately admitted to a hospital here but could not be saved,” a source said.
Babu won the Kerala State Film Award for Best Cinematography four times for his work, starting with his first colour film ‘Dweepu’ in 1977, directed by Ramu Kariat.
He went on to win three more: for ‘Rathinirvedam’ in 1978 and ‘Chamaram’ in 1980 — both directed by Bharathan — and ‘Oru Vadakkan Veeragadha’ starring Mammootty in 1989, directed by Hariharan.
Opposition Congress Leader Ramesh Chennithala expressed his condolences to the bereaved.
Chennithala said Babu was one of the best cinematographers the Malayalam industry has ever seen.
The Minister for Culture A K Balan also expressed his condolences over the demise of the veteran cinematographer.
“The best movies of Malayalam industry was picturised through his camera,” Balan said.
Babu was the cinematographer of the movie ‘Nirmalyam’ released in 1973. The film won the Indian National Award For Best Feature Film. It was directed by M T Vasudevan Nair.
His noted movies include ‘Padayotttam’ in 1982, which was the first Malayalam 70mm feature film, ‘Agraharathil Kazhuthai’ (1978), which had also won the Indian National Award for the Best Tamil Film directed by John Abraham, ‘Sallapam’ (1996), ‘Ghazal’ (1993), ‘Kanmada’ (1998) and more.
He was behind the camera for Yavanika, directed by K G George, Marmaram by Bharathan and both the movies won the Kerala State Best Film Award in 1982.
He had also worked for films in Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Arabic and English languages.
Noted cinematographer Ravi K Chandran is his brother.