Bharathan (Malayalam: 14 November 1946 – 30 July 1998) was an Indian film director, artist, lyricist, music director, sculptor, poster designer, editor and art director. Bharathan is noted for being the founder of a new school of film making in Malayalam cinema, along with Padmarajan, in the 1980s, which created films that were widely received while also being critically acclaimed. A train of directors, and screen writers followed this school onto the 1990s including Sibi Malayil, Kamal, Lohithadas, Jayaraj, and Sathyan Anthikkad.
He is widely regarded as one of the most influential and prolific filmmakers of Malayalam cinema and has directed more than 50 movies in multiple languages. He was born at Engakkadu near Wadakkancherry, in present-day Thrissur district of Kerala, India.
After completing his diploma from the College of Fine Arts, Thrissur City, Bharathan entered the world of Cinema as an art director for Vincent, an accomplished director of the time and the movie was Ghandarva Kshetram. He got the inspiration from his uncle, P. N. Menon — a veteran film director. After working as an art director and assistant director for a few movies, he made his directorial debut in 1974 with Prayanam, based on Padmarajan’s script. It also marked the rise of two early proponents of middle-stream Malayalam cinema.