Born on 1950
Hailing from the renowned Pullanapallil Family of Knanaya Catholic community (Kottayam Arch Diocese), Joy Thomas is the eldest descendant of Mr.P T Thomas and Mrs. Annamma Thomas. Joy’s wife is Mrs. Laila, hailing from Kandarapallil family located in Kurupanthara in Kottayam District. The couple has three daughters: Jelitta, Jeleena, and Jereena
Joy Thomas has three siblings; Jimmy Thomas, P T Abraham and Saji Thomas.
Baby steps to the world of Cinema!
As Joy Thomas was always fascinated with the world of celluloid, and because of the unrelenting passion, he started as a beginner in distribution with the movies Adimakal and Janmabhoomi.He then joined Dinny films to learn more about various aspects of movie distribution and production in 1969. Joy had started grasping the nuances of film production and distribution at Dinny films and moved quickly up to the ladder to become the Resident representative in Trivandrum in 1970 and Branch Manager in Calicut from 1971 to 1973.
Taking it to the next level
Joy became the Ernakulam Branch Manager of Dinny Films in1973, during 1975-76, he leased out Pankaj theatre in Alwaye and screened movies. From a bottom level, Joy made it one of the largest tax paying theatres. By taking this bold step, Joy was able to bring in the capital for own venture. In 1975, he took the big leap by starting his film distribution company, Jubilee pictures. “Owner of Dinny films Mr. M A Kuruvilla (Aniyan) was kind enough to support this venture, while I was still a part of Dinny films”, Joy recalls thankfully.
The beginning of a jubilant journey
1976 to 1981 was the golden period of Dinny films, during which Joy Thomas was the General Manager of the company. In 1981, he decided to devote his complete time and dedication for his own brain child, Jubilee pictures in Kottayam, Kerala. He bid adieu to Dinny films in the same year on a good note.
The first year of Jubilee Pictures was not a cakewalk. Jubily released the movies ‘Thaniniram’ and ‘Kannum karalum’ in the Travancore area second run. The distribution of the movie ‘pocket adikkari’ in the Travancore area was the next step. Puthariyankam was a movie that distributed all over Kerala with the help of theatre owners. The movie ‘Choola’, directed by Sasikumar and produced by Navaratna movie makers, was an initiative by movie technicians. With the release of ‘Choola’ dubbing artist Kulathooppuzha Ravi became music director Raveendran with the song ‘tharake mizhiyathalil kanneerumay’. The movie ‘Madrasile mon’ was denied permission for releasing in Kerala by the Censor Board and this dragged Jubily to a financial crisis. Along with god’s special care and love, Joy’s experience and influence in the Malayalam film industry over a decade came to rescue during this predicament.
Stunning the box office!
Nevertheless, the tides turned to Joy Thomas’s favor in 1982. Jubily released ‘Panineer Pookkal’ (Roses), which was a dubbed version of the Tamil movie Panneerpushpangal, which was also the first movie of renowned actress Shanthikrishna. For Joy, it was a rose given by God, the first movie under the banner of Jubily Productions. This was followed by the release of Moonampira which featured Kamal Hassan-Sridevi and Silk Smitha. Moonampira was directed by Balu Mahendra and produced by G Thyagarajan of Sathyajyothi films, which was a blockbuster in Tamil Nadu as well as in Kerala. With these two releases, the financial crisis gave way to sunnier days. By the time Madrasile Mon was also released after the Censor Board approvals, which was the icing on the cake.
1983 was a milestone year for Jubily and Joy with the release of ‘Aa Rathri’ (that night) written by Joy Thomas and directed by Joshy. ‘Aattakalaasham’ was also released in the same year. ‘Aa Rathri’ saw the rise of Mammootty as a star and also was a change from the characters he had been portraying. Prem Nazir and Mohanlal starred in ‘Aattakalaasham’; both the movies were produced by Jubily Productions and distributed by Jubilee Pictures. ‘Aa rathri’ was a financial success and was greatly appreciated by audience. ‘Aatakalaasham,’ was a runaway success and placed Jubily among the top production-distribution houses in Kerala. With the release of the family movie ‘Sandarbham’, Jubily Productions became synonymous to a family banner.
New Delhi: A new era of Cinema
This was followed by a series of successful movies, which include Ente upasana, Makan ente makan, Katha ithu vare and Nirakoottu. Dennis Joseph had done the script, story and screenplay for Nirakoottu. This movie was remade in Tamil and Kannada, and with the Kannada version ‘Satyajyothi’, Joy made his entry to the Karnataka film industry. Dennis Joseph directed the movie Manu Uncle and it has won the national award for the best children’s movie in 1988. Shyama, Nyayavidhi, Pranamam, Bhoomiyle rajaakanmar and My Dear Muthachan were some other super hit movies from Jubily. By this time, Joy Thomas had written his name in golden letters in the page of Malayalam cinema. This was heightened by the tremendous success of the movie, New Delhi. New Delhi featured Mammootty, Suresh Gopi, Urvasi, Sumalatha, Thyagarajan, Siddique, Vijayaraghawan, Devan, Jagannatha Varma. The movie was a good promotion for all the actors. The movie surpassed all records on a national level. It was also produced in languages such as Hindi, Telugu and Kannada. With New Delhi’s success, Jubily’s fame transcended the boundaries of India and had reached foreign countries.
The heart yearns for art
Though movies from Jubily Productions were big time hits in the box office, Joy’s mind always followed his passion of encouraging movies with lesser commercial aspect and more artistic content. ‘Uppu’ directed by Pavithran, Mathilukal by Adoor Gopalakrishnan and Oru minnaminugninte nurunguvettam by Bharathan were some of the aesthetically and artistically superior movies by Jubily Productions.
Solid support of siblings
Joy’s brother Jimmy Thomas has been actively contributing in the areas of film production and distribution from 1975. The collaboration of siblings was also seen in his earlier advertisement firm where Abraham and Jimmy Thomas are a part and in Jubily Automobiles where Abraham and Saji Thomas are active.
Awards and recognitions
President, Lions Club of Kottayam, Gandhinagar (Best President Award of Region)
Presently, Joy is the Managing Director of Jubily productions private limited (commercial complex in Bangalore, known as Jelitta Towers and Jubilee Cine Unit) and the Director of Knanaya Happy Homes, a retirement homes project.
Jubily Automobiles started in 1995 with the dealership of LML Vespa, Yamaha, and now Hero MotoCorp. He is also the managing partner of Jubily Hero (hero motocycles, scooters and parts), Jubily auto agencies(four wheel parts).
Joy Thomas was also recognized in Japan as the number one dealer of Yamaha in India, on behalf of Jubily automobiles. To the date, there is not even a single instance of conflict in the workforce in any of the organizations led by Joy Thomas. This is a standing testimony for the exceptional work culture that Joy Thomas stands for.
It is no surprise that Joy Thomas was honoured at the 100th year celebration Indian Cinema in Chennai.