K U Mohanan, a gifted cinematographer from Payyanur gramam is again in the news for his exceptional camera work in talaash. He has become the most sought after camera man in bollywood after many success stories. In 2012 alone there were two outstanding films to his credit - ‘Miss Lovely’ which in fact shocked Cannes audience and ‘Celluloid man’, a documentary well received.
Payyanur has produced many men of talents. Born to an orthodox family, Mohanan fought hard to scale up to the top. He has undertaken much pain to become what he is now. He is a born artist and was initiated to drama and cinema much earlier in life. His father, P G Poduval was a famous ‘kolkali’ singer. The cultural environment of Payyanur with theyyam, temple art forms and folk arts helped him a lot. His association with CH Surendran Nambiar and CH Mohanan acquainted him with world classics. He had a taste of good cinema at Sarga Film society headed by P. T. Ramakrishnan and K. Ramachandran which opened up world cinema before him.
He completed his primary education from muchilot school and high school from Govt. High School , Payyanur. He graduated in English Literature from Payyanur College His talents matured here and he bagged many awards in University art festivals. He taught English at Cherussery College for some time. Here he, along with friends conducted many seminars and symposiums on world Literature.
He started his amateur work as a photographer with a camera gifted to him by Mr. Salam, a college friend. He spent valuable money on films (which was very dear then) empty bellied which invited the wrath of his relatives. He spent hours of sleepless nights at temples and ‘Kavus” to shoot theyyams and other folk art forms with friends. These photos were his pass word to Pune Film Institute. His diploma film shocked everyone.
After Film Institute his initial attempts at documentary and ad films was appreciated alike. Even today some of the top ad visuals are by him.
He got a very good opening in feature films with Mani kaul in Noukar ki kameez which received many laurels. His camera work in lagan and Don opened up Bollywood to him. He also shot many films. In fact his credit list is very long including 'sayanam' in malayalam
His films include We are Family, Aja Nachle, Don, John &Jane, Y Not ?, Samay : When time strikes, Freaky Chakra, Rooms of Shadow and Light, The Magnificent Ruin, Aadhi Haqeet, Aadha Fasana, Agnivarsha: The Fire and the Rain, Majuben Truck Driver
He is settled in Mumbay with his journalist wife Beena and daughter and son. His daughter Malavika Mohan had her debut cine appearance as heroine in pattam pole with Dulquer Salman