Marana Simhasanam

Marana Simhasanam (English: Throne of Death, French: Le Trone de la mort) is a 1999 Indian Malayalam-language drama film, written and directed by Murali Nair.[1] Inspired by the first execution by electrocution in India, the film was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival where it won the Caméra d'Or.[2][3] The film received special reception at the British Film Institute.[4][5] The film received positive reviews from Le Monde (the French newspaper) for its unusual theme. The film was screened in Vienna, Torino, Toronto, Pusan, La Rochelle, Midnight Sun Film Festival Lapland, and the American Film Institute's Film Festival.[3]

Marana Simhasanam
Film poster at the Cannes festival
Directed byMurali Nair
Produced byMurali Nair
Written byBharathan Njavakkal (dialogue)
Screenplay byMurali Nair
Story byMurali Nair
StarringVishwas Njavakkal
Lakshmi Raman
Sudhas Thayat
Jeevan Mitwa
Music byMadhu Apsara
CinematographyM J Radhakrishnan
Edited byLalitha Krishna
Release date
  • 15 December 1999 (1999-12-15)
Running time
57 minutes


Krishnan is an out-of-work seasonal farmer who is driven to steal coconuts from his landlord to support his family. When he is caught and imprisoned, he is shocked to learn that he has been charged with the murder of a man who has been missing from the island for many years. But since it was an election time, and the most popular platform for politicians had become capital punishment, Krishnan is sentenced to death in the country's newest technology - electrocution by the world bank funded electric chair. He is promised a statue being erected in his honor.


  • Vishwas Njavakkal
  • Lakshmi Raman
  • Suhas Thayat
  • Jeevan Mitva


The film was shot entirely by amateur team on location near the Manjanikkadu islet in Vypin, a small island off the cost of Njarakkal in Kerala, India. Except the female lead, all characters were portrayed by the locals in the village, including a widowed basket weaver who responded to a casting advertisement in the Malayalam daily Mathrubhoomi.[6]


Ceremony Award Result Ref.
1999 Cannes Film Festival Caméra d'Or Won [7]
Kodak Theatre Kodak Prize Won [3]
1999 Busan International Film Festival New Currents Award Nominated [3]
1999 International Film Festival of Kerala The Golden Crow Pheasant Award Nominated [3]


  1. "In real life roles". 13 August 1999. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
  2. "Festival de Cannes: Throne of Death". Retrieved 10 October 2009.
  3. "Rediff On The NeT, Movies: An interview with Murali Nair". 8 July 1999. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
  4. "Marana Simhasanam (1999)". BFI. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
  5. site admin (7 June 1999). "Golden windfall - Society & The Arts News - Issue Date: Jun 7, 1999". Retrieved 26 August 2019.
  6. "In real life roles". 13 August 1999. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
  7. "MARANA SIMHASANAM". Festival de Cannes.
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