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Resul Pookutty – Oscar Award -Winning Sound Designer


Resul Pookutty is India’s best known and distinguished Sound Designer/ Audiographer. He has recorded and released the first and only library of Indian sound effects called ‘The Essential Indian Sound Effects’. His autobiography Sabdatharapadam (The Sound of the Milky Way) a huge best seller in his native Malayalam language has been released in English as ‘Sounding Off – The Memoirs of an Oscar-winning Sound Designer’. Resul and his filmi friends’  latest experimental bucket film, ‘I.D’, which was made with the intention of a release with no tickets, with a bucket kept at the exit for collecting an amount viewers deemed fit after seeing the film, has won many international accolades. Pookutty has won a bevy of prestigious awards including the Oscar (along with Richard Pryke & Ian Tapp) for ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, as well as BAFTA and the Cinema Audio Society awards for the same film.  The Govt. of India honoured him in 2010 with the Padma Shri Award one of the most prestigious civilian awards in India.

The journey from the small village of Vilakkupara in Kerala’s Kollam district to the Kodak Theatre has not been an easy one. Resul’s father was a private bus ticket checker. During his school days Resul had to walk 6 km to attend school and study in the light of a kerosene lamp as his village had no electricity. He pursued law from Govt. Law College Trivandrum but abandoned it mid way to study films. Much later in 2011 he wrote the remaining LLB exam papers. Resul is a 1995 graduate from Film & Television Institute of India, Pune. After his graduation in Pune he moved to Mumbai to pursue his film career.

The Sound Wizard got his big break with the critically acclaimed 2005 film Black, directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali. His first major international project was ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ which won him nation-wide acclaim as the first Indian sound engineer to win an Academy award in 80 years of its history. Unfortunately his parents were not alive to see their son’s glory. Today, Pookutty runs his own post-sound facility called Canaries Post Sound in Mumbai, designing for national and international projects.

Pookutty feels philanthropy should be an extension of one’s interests and abilities. It’s no wonder then that he helped rescue victims trapped under debris during the 2001 Bhuj earthquake using sound sensors. Today, The Resul Pookutty Foundation in Mumbai works with women and children on health, education and livelihood and also awards scholarships to film students.