K. V. Koshy
|Headquarters||Pathirappally, Alappuzha, Kerala|
Udaya Studios is the oldest film production studio in the Malayalam film industry of India. It was established in 1947 by director-producer Kunchacko (1912–1976) and film distributor K. V. Koshy in Pathirappally, Alappuzha in Kerala. The studio influenced the gradual shift of Malayalam film industry from its original base of Madras, Tamil Nadu to Kerala, now considered a miletsone in the history of Malayalam film industry., and the first film of studio was Vellinakshatram (1949).
The films, produced at the studio, were produced under the banner of K & K Combines, and later under Excel Productions (also spelt X. L. Productions). Udaya's professional rivalry with P. Subramaniam's Merryland Studio was quite famous.
Kunchacko established a film production company named "Udaya Pictures" in 1942, though he continued production at traditional the base of Malayalam film, Chennai, but it all changed in 1947 when he came together with film distributor K. V. Koshy and established Udaya Studios in Alleppey (Alappuzha), and in time the studio also set up its own distribution network. Soon it had a string of successes with blockbusters based on Vadakkan Pattu. Unniyarcha (1961) Palattukoman (1962) Othenante Makan (1970) Aromalunni (1972) Ponnapuram Kotta (1973) Thacholi Marumakan Chandu (1974) Thumbolaracha (1974) Kannappanunni (1977) Thacholi Ambu (1978) Kadathanattu Makkam (1978) Palattu Kunjikannan (1980)
After Kunchako's death in 1976, his son, director Boban Kunchacko, took over the functioning, but after his death in 2004 at the age of 55, the studio saw some bad days. However, Dr. Avinash Unnithan (Suryamangalam Group) has taken up the studio and it is being renovated and revamped in an attempt to bring it to its past glory, as per the need of the time, like an air-conditioned shooting floor and other facilities attached to it, but also taking utmost care to preserve the old structures thereby keeping alive the nostalgic feel of the place.