indian cinema heritage foundation

A Vincent

  • Born: 14 June, 1928 (Calicut, Madras Presidency)
  • Died: 25 February, 2015 (Chennai, Tamil Nadu)
  • Primary Cinema: Malayalam

An acclaimed cinematographer and director, Aloysius Vincent has left his mark in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi cinema. He has shot some of the most significant Malayalam and Tamil films of the twentieth century, as well as directing 30 films himself.

Vincent began his career at Gemini Studios as an apprentice under the ace cinematographer Kamal Ghosh. His first independent assignment was Bratuku Teruvu (1953) in Telugu. After working in the trilingual Chandirani (1953) he worked on the path-breaking neo-realist Malayalam film Neelakuyil (1954). Vincent’s use of natural light in its shooting was appreciated across the industry. He would soon establish himself in the industry through his work in T Prakash Rao’s Amara Deepam (1956) and would also shoot its Hindi remake Amar Deep in 1958. His collaboration with T Prakash Rao yielded another classic in the historical Uthama Puthiran (1958) which became a blockbuster hit. He continued working in remarkable films like Kalyana Parisu (1959), Illarikam (1960), Pelli Kanuka (1960) and the landmark Mudiyanaya Puthran (1961). 

His first colour film was the 1965 hit Enga Veettu Pillai (1965). He continued working in four industries through the 60s and 70s, eventually turning director with 1964’s Bhargavi Nilayam. Some of the notable films directed by him include Murappennu (1965), Thulabharam (1968), Asuravithu (1968), Nadhi (1969), Achani (1973), Thriveni (1970), and Theerthayatra (1973). His work with C V Sridhar was particularly appreciated in films like Then Nilavu (1961), Nenjil Or Aalayam (1962) and Kaadhalikka Neramillai (1964). Some of the Hindi films that he worked in were Dil Ek Mandir (1963), Mehrban (1967), Ek Naari Ek Brahmachari (1971), Prem Nagar (1974) and Mahaan (1983). He was awarded the Filmfare Award for Best Cinematography for Prem Nagar. He was also awarded the J C Daniel Award in 1996 and made an honorary member of the Indian Society of Cinematographers in 2003. 

The veteran cinematographer passed away on 25 February, 2015. His sons Jayanan and Ajayan Vincent are also professional cinematographers.  


Information courtesy: Film Heritage Foundation.