Jeethu Joseph

  • Director, Writer, Producer, Screenplay

Nov 10, 1972  in Muvattupuzha, Kerala, India

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Jeethu Joseph is an Indian director, story writer and script writer who is known for his works in the Malayalam film industry. Jeethu Joseph made his directorial debut in 2007 with Detective and rose to fame when he directed one of the highest grossing Malayalam films of all time, Drishyam in 2013. Some of his other successful directorial works include Mummy & Me (2010), My Boss (2012), and Life of Josutty (2015). Jeethu Joseph has also directed a Tamil film titled Papanasam in 2015, which was the remake of Dirshyam.

Early Life
Jeethu Joseph was born in a typical Malayali Christian family in Muvattaupuzha, Kerala and spent most of his childhood there. His father, V.V Joseph was a former MLA from Muvattupuzha and his mother Leelamma is a housewife. The director studied at Film and Television of Institute of India (FTII) and later pursued his graduation degree in Economics from Nirmala College in Muvattupuzha.

Personal Life
Jeethu Joseph is married to Linta Jeethu and the couple has two children, Catherine Jeethu and Katina Jeethu.

Movie Career
Jeethu Joseph started his career in the film industry by working as an assistant director to Jayaraj in Bheebhastam. After learning the finer nuances of direction, Jeethu got a chance to direct a film starring Dileep but the project did not materialize and the project was subsequently shelved. While Jeethu went back to work as an AD, he had developed a plot for Detective but he could not find any producer to kick-start his maiden directorial venture. Later, his mother Leelamma Joseph offered to co-produce the movie and within a month into the project, a producer showed interest in his project and eventually Detective released in 2007 and it fared well at the box-office.

Following the success of Detective, Jeethu next directed Mummy & Me starring Kunchacko Boban, Mukesh, Archana Jose Kavi and Urvashi. The director spent almost three years in the making but upon its release, in May 2010 it was a commercial hit and marked a turned point in his career. His third directorial venture My Boss for which he had also written the story and script featured Dileep and Mamta Mohandas in the lead roles. Although the film was a commercial, it was criticized for being the copy of the Hollywood film, The Proposal starring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds.

In 2013, Jeethu Joseph directed two movies viz. Memories starring Prithviraj, Miya George and Vijayaraghavan and the Mohanlal and Meena starrer Drishyam. While the Memories fared pretty well at the box-office, it was the latter that got unanimous critical acclaim. The movie, based on the life of Georgekutty and his family who come under the suspicion of murdering the son of Inspector-general of police grossed more than 75 crores at the box-office. The movie ran for more than 150 days in theaters across Kerala and it won numerous awards including Kerala State Film Award for Best Popular Film and the Filmfare Award for Best Film -Malayalam. The film was screened at the 8th edition of the Asian Film Festival and was later remade in several languages including Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada.

The director then remade Drishayam in Tamil as Papanasam with Kamal Haasan reprising the role of Mohanlal and Gautami playing the role of Meena. The film released in July 2015 and it opened to rave critical reviews. In the same year, Jeethu wrote the story and script for his next directorial venture Life of Josutty. The movie produced by Jayalal Menon, Anil Biswal, and Sunil Lulla had Dileep, Jyothi Krishna and Rachana Narayanakutty in the lead roles. The film released on 24th September 2015 and it got mostly positive reviews.

In 2016, the Jeethu worked as a story writer for Aarathu Sinam, which was the remake of his own Malayalam movie, Memories. The movie directed by Arivazhagan had Arulnithi, Iyshwarya Rajesh and Aishwarya Dutta in the lead roles. Upon release, the movie got average to positive reviews and was an average earner. The director's other project in 2016 includes Malayalam movie, Oozham starring Prithviraj Sukumaran, Divya Pillai, Neeraj Madhav and Rasna Pavithran. In the year 2017, Jeethu Joseph wrote and co-produced the Indrajith and Biju Menon starrer, Lakshyam, direccted by Anzar Khan.