|Height||157 cm (5 ft 2 in)|
Vimala Perumal is a Malaysian film director, producer, and writer. She is best known for her work in the Pasanga Trilogy, a highly acclaimed series of films that have won numerous national and international awards. Vimala is also the owner and manager at Veedu Production, a renowned production house based in Malaysia, which she started along with her husband Denes Kumar.
Vimala is also a senior lecturer at the Multimedia University Cyberjaya based in Malaysia. She has also contributed diligently to several books and journal publications such as Tamil Film Industry in Malaysia and Human Communication: The Power of Connection.
Early life and education
Vimala was born to mixed-race parents in Sungai Petani, Kedah, Malaysia, in 1982. (father born of Indian descendent and mother of Chinese descendent). Growing up in a diverse cultural environment exposed her to the diversity of Malaysia's multi-cultures, which affected her storytelling style. Coming from an orthodox household, she had no intention of pursuing a career in movies and instead planned to get a degree in chemical engineering. When her father encouraged her to pursue a career in medicine, her brother encouraged her to pursue a career in filmmaking instead. He was affiliated with Telekom Malaysia and persuaded her that multimedia was the next big thing. Vimala received a scholarship to study cinema and animation at Multimedia University.
She began her career after graduating by teaching visual research and communication to foundation students at Multimedia University. She continued her studies to obtain a higher academic certification, earning a Masters' degree in Knowledge Management with Multimedia at the same university, in addition to being a lecturer. In 2016, Vimala received her doctorate through research in the subject of cinema production and human communication from University Putra Malaysia, making her the first female film director in Malaysia.
Vimala began her career as a Production Assistant in TV production and Independent Films in the year 2002. Following the year 2004, Vimala began working as a Production Manager on her first feature film, 'Chemman Chaalai,' overseeing the filmmaking process. Vimala made her first writing and producing debut in 2006 with the film 'Chalanggai,' which served as a stepping stone to her filmmaking career. Her achievements include the Hubert Bals Fund of the International Film Festival in Rotterdam honoring her winning script in the feature film "Chalanggai" and the National Geographic All Roads Film Project's Seed Grant.
Vimala began her directorial career with the creation of short films. She wrote and produced the film 'Chellam,' which was directed by Denes Kumar and released in 2009. The following year, she worked as a Writer and Director on a short film project called 'Navarasas' (e-motion), which was selected as one of the top 60 short films in the world and screened at the 30th Busan International Short Film Festival in South Korea and the Mumbai Third Eye Film Festival.
Her short films were accepted into a number of international film festivals, and it was incredible to see how well they were received by an audience from another country. Vimala and Denes were then inspired to turn the stories into full-length feature film and present it at a theatre. Vilaiyaatu Pasange was the team's next project, and it was one of the first Malaysian Tamil films to be distributed in digital format.
The Pasanga Trilogy
On October 13, 2011, Vimala directed her first feature film, Vilaiyaatu Pasangge (Playful Folks), which had a successful run at International Screens (GSC). The film defied all odds and became the first Malaysian Tamil film to be broadcast on Astro Box Office. On January 2, 2014, Vimala released her second feature film, Vetti Pasanga (Useless Folks). Vetti Pasanga (Useless Folks) has had more success than her directorial debut, based on her previous achievements. Vetti Pasanga (Useless Folks) not only won two Silver Awards at the international level, but it also set a new record for the highest box office collection for a Malaysian Tamil film under the Wajib Tayang Scheme (Must Screen Movies). It was also the first Malaysian Tamil film to be broadcast on Astro FIRST.
Vimala stepped into Vedigundu Pasangge (Rowdy Folks) as the third sequel to her Pasanga Trilogy, which intently brought Malaysian Tamil Cinema to a new competitive level in the local industry after two spectacular successes with her films. Vedigundu Pasangge (Rowdy Folks) was released on July 26th, 2018 in 55 theatres across Malaysia, breaking the record for the first Malaysian Tamil film to screen in the United Kingdom (UK) for two weeks. The film had its world debut in Singapore, India, and Sri Lanka. The film's success in its initial wave is a result of the director's attempts to provide the audience with the proper flavors of comedy, feelings, and love. With more than 50 nominations, the film received 41 accolades upon its initial release, including 9 international honors and 32 national awards. Among them was being nominated in six major categories and receiving the Special Jury Award at the 30th Malaysian Film Festival 2019, the country's most prestigious award show. Vedigundu Pasangge (Rowdy Folks) by Vimala Perumal was also honored throughout the world for succeeding against all odds in the Malaysian Tamil Film Industry and leaving a lasting impression on the public and industry kin.
In 2016, Maxis teamed with a few renowned filmmakers throughout the country to produce their first-ever cutting-edge technology, the 360-degree camera, in honor of Independence Day. Vimala Perumal and Denes Kumar collaborated on the Maxis Rojak 360 short film series, and Vimala Perumal directed her debut 360-degree film, "Rojak Cow Cow," on YouTube.
Vimala is now working on putting together their compelling stories for home entertainment, a television launch of an urbane women-focused Tamil Drama Series, TAMILETCHUMY, in 2020. It's the company's debut drama series, a Tamil family drama set in Malaysia that deals with women's empowerment. The series was well-received by the public, and the second season was released on August 12, 2021.
Awards and recognition
- The Malaysia Book of Record, Highest Grossing Box-Office Film (Tamil), Malaysia, 2018
- Best Production House, KIFA Cholan Cine Award, Malaysia, 2020
- Best Feature Film, 10th Norway Tamil International Film Festival, Norway, 2019
- Asia Pacific Best Film Platinum Award, Asia Pacific Int. Filmmaker Festival and Awards, Indonesia, 2019
- Official Screening, National Museum Of Indian Cinema, Mumbai, India, 2019
- Official Screening, Malaysia Singapore Film Festival, Singapore, 2019
- Best Writing/Screenplay, Barcelona Planet Film Festival, Spain, 2018
- Nominated, Best Women Director, Barcelona Planet Film Festival, Spain, 2018
- Best Women’s Film, Calcutta International Cult Film Festival, India, 2018
- Award of Excellence, Accolade Global Film Competition, US, 2018
- Best Production Design, South Film & Arts Academy Festival, Chile, 2018
- Excellent Researcher Award, Multimedia University, Cyberjaya, Malaysia, 2017
- 2016: Short Film, “ROJAK COW COW” for MAXIS (Hari Malaysia Special)
- Asian First 360-Degree Film Festival, 25th August 2017
- 2015/16: Feature Film, Producer, “VERE VAZHI ILLE” (No Way Out)
- Special Award (Astro First)
- Malaysian Indian Cine Award (MICA), 23rd December 2016
- 4th Asian Cinema Festival, 11th – 15th November 2016, Barcelona, Spain
- 2013/14: Feature Film, Writer & Director, “VETTI PASANGA” (Useless Folks)
- Silver Award, International Conference on Informatics & Creative Multimedia, Malaysia (WORLD PREMIERE)
- Silver Award, International Conference and Exposition on Inventions, 7 – 9th November 2013, KualaLumpur Convention Centre, Ministry of Education
- Excellent Researcher Award, Multimedia University, Cyberjaya, Malaysia. - First Malaysian Tamil Movie on ASTRO FIRST
- 2011/12: Feature Film, Writer & Director, “VILAIYAATU PASANGE” (Playful Folks)
- Best Film, Best Film Director, Tamil Nesan Award, Malaysia.
- First Malaysian Tamil Movie on ASTRO BOX OFFICE
- 2010: Short Film, Writer & Director, “NAVARASAS” (e-Motion)
- 2nd Research Creation and Exhibition, Multimedia University, Malaysia
- In Competition, Finalist, 30th Busan International Short Film Festival, Korea
- In Competition, Finalist, 9th Third Eye Asian Film Festival, Mumbai, India
- In Competition, Finalist, 2nd Seoul Extreme Short Image Film Festival, Seoul Korea
- Special Invitation, INNOFEST, National Art Gallery Exhibition, Malaysia
- 2009: Short Film, Writer & Producer, “CHELLAM” (Honey)
- 4th Short Film Party, Malaysia
- Finalist, Astro Short Film Competition, Malaysia
- 2007/08: Feature Film, Writer & Producer, “CHALANGGAI” (Dancing Bells)
- Best Digital Film Award, 20th Festival Filem Malaysia
- NETPAC Best Film, 9th Osian’s Cinefan Int. Film Festival, India
- NETPAC Special Mention, 36th Int. Film Festival Rotterdam
- Script Development Fund, Hubert Bals Fund, Rotterdam
- Seed Grant, All Roads Film Project, National Geographic Society
- In Competition, 5th Bangkok Int. Film Festival
- 37th La Rochelle International Film Festival, France
- 12th Pusan Int. Film Fest, Korea
- Tokyo Int. Film Fest, Japan
- 17th Fukuoka Int. Film Fest, Japan
- Rio De Janeiro Int. Film Fest, Brazil
- 30th Asian American Int. Film Fest, US
- Asia House London, UK
- 28th Durban Int. Film Fest, South Africa
- Back Lot Int. Film Fest
- 31st Hong Kong Int. Film Fest, Hong Kong
- 20th Malaysian Film Festival, Penang, Malaysia
- 8th University Science Malaysia Film Festival - Malaysian Premiere
- 2005/06: Feature Film, Production Manager, “CHEMMAN CHAALAI” (The Gravel Road)
- Best Alternative Film, Anugerah Skrin TV3
- Special Jury Award, 27th Nantes Festival 3 Continents, France
- Opening Film, Asian Film Symposium, Singapore
- In Competition, Bangkok Int. Film Festival
- 48th San Francisco Int. Film Fest, US
- 34th Rotterdam Int. Film Fest, The Netherlands
- 15th Fukuoka International Film Festival, Japan
- 10th Pusan Int. Film Festival, Korea
- 9th Toronto Reel Asian Film Fest, Canada
- 8th Buenos Aires Festival Independent Cinema, Argentina
- 7th Barcelona Asian Film Festival, Spain
- 7th Osian’s Cinefan Film Festival, India
- 6th Kaushung International Film Fest, Taiwan
- MOV International Film Festival, Philippines
Books and publications
- Vimala Perumal (2016). Tamil Film Industry in Malaysia. In the Malaysian creative industry (pp. 34-36). Malaysia.
- Vimala Perumal (2016). Human Communication: The Power of Connection. In Human communication (pp. 24-25). Malaysia: University Malaya.
- Vimala Perumal (2011). Filmmakers Interaction Factors that Affect the Success of Independent Films: A Malaysian Perspective. In Creative content technologies research development executive summaries (pp. 41-44). Malaysia: Multimedia University.
- Vimala Perumal. Indian Classical Dance (Bharatanatyam) in 3D Animation, VDM Publishing House, Germany, 2010.
- Vimala Perumal. The Need of Knowledge Management in Malaysian Film Industry, Lambert Academic Publishing (LAP), Germany, 2009.
- Vimala Perumal, Mustafa, F. (2016). “Revitalization of Traditional Arts in Asia”, Asian Wings – Leaders’ Summit for Higher Education in Arts, 19th – 21st December 2016, Taipei, Taiwan.
- Vimala Perumal, Sharji, E. A. (2012). “Visual Arts as a Vehicle of Communication”, Proceedings of International Conference on Electronic Imaging and Visual Arts, 28th – 29th November 2012, Paris, France.
- Vimala Perumal, Hamisah, H., Jusang, B., Nizam, M. (2012). “A Study of Filmmakers Interaction through Social Exchange Theory”, Proceedings of International Conference on Social Sciences, 14th – 16th November 2012, Venice,Italy.
- Vimala Perumal, Hamisah, H., Jusang, B., Nizam, M. (2012). “Exploratory Analysis of Interaction Factors on Crewmembers Performance in Malaysian Independent Film Industry”, Proceedings of 2012 International Conference on Education, Research and Innovation (ICERI 2012), 28th – 29th September 2012, Phnom Penh,Cambodia.
- Vimala Perumal, Hamisah, H., Jusang, B., Nizam, M. (2012). “Moving Towards The Value Of Knowledge: A Study On The Importance Knowledge Sharing In A Digital Film Production”, International Conference On Arts, Social Sciences And Technology, University Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Kedah, Malaysia.
- Vimala Perumal, Hamisah, H., Jusang, B., Nizam, M. (2011). “A Review on the Development, Challenges and Contributions of Independent Film Activities in Malaysia Film Industry”, Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Science, Vol. 6, Common Ground Publishing.
- Vimala Perumal. E-Motion of Indian Classical Dance (Bharatanatyam), 2nd Research Creation & Exhibition, Multimedia University, Malaysia, 2010.
- Vimala Perumal; Peter Charles Woods (2007). “The Need for Knowledge Management in the Malaysian Film Industry: A Case Study”, Journal of Information & Knowledge Management, Vol. 6(3), 1–8, iKMS World Scientific Publishing Co.
- Vimala Perumal & Tan, W.H.(2006). “Knowledge Transfer Systems in Film and Animation Department at Multimedia University,” Proceedings of International Conference on Knowledge Management in Institutes of Higher Learning, [CD-ROM], 21– 23 Feb, 2006, Suan Dusit Rajabhat University, Bangkok, Thailand.
Vimala married Denes Kumar, an actor, and producer, on November 19, 2011, cementing their ten-year acquaintance with a long-term commitment of companionship. The couple first met in the year 2000 and married in 2010. A year later, they married in a traditional Indian ceremony. They had their daughter, Dashena, in 2012, and their son, Sharwin, three years later, and now live in Puchong, Selangor, Malaysia, where they manage their production firm, Veedu Production.
|1||The Gravel Road||2005||Production Manager|
|2||Dancing Bells||2007||Producer, Writer|
|4||Vilaiyaatu Pasange||2011||Writer, Director|
|5||Vetti Pasanga||2014||Writer, Director|
|6||Vere Vazhi Ille||2015||Producer|
In the media
- Sathiabalan, S. Indra. "The lady boss". www.thesundaily.my. Retrieved 27 January 2022.
- "Dr Vimala Perumal's Vedigundu Pasangge Wins Best Tamil Film Diaspora at the Norway Tamil Film Festival 2019". Varnam MY. 2 November 2019. Retrieved 27 January 2022.
- "Dr Vimala Perumal – MANNIN MAINTERGAL". Myinfozon. 15 May 2020. Retrieved 27 January 2022.
- "Maxis Rojak 360°, Malaysia's 1st 360° Film Series - A YouTube & Maxis 4G Joint Project". Maxis. Retrieved 27 January 2022.
- "Cinefest Malaysia Awards 2019 @ ICC Pudu (31/1/19) | Rentak Sejuta: Southeast Asia's #1 Music News Site". 1in1m.proboards.com. Retrieved 27 January 2022.
- "Tamiletchumy Season 2 To Entertain Your Household Come 2021". Varnam MY. 25 January 2021. Retrieved 27 January 2022.
- "ASTRO Gears Up For Tamiletchumy Season 2 and International Tamil Shows In August". Varnam MY. 10 August 2021. Retrieved 27 January 2022.
- "Musim pertama Tamiletchumy cetus kegilaan peminat". MalaysiaGazette. 26 July 2020. Retrieved 27 January 2022.
- "Congratulations To The Talented Female Director Vimala Perumal". raaga.my. Retrieved 27 January 2022.
- "LET ME TELL YOU A STORY: The Journey of a Filmmaker". Peatix. Retrieved 27 January 2022.
- Company, eJeeban Web Design (4 December 2021). "Vimala Perumal". Eksentrika: Arts Community • Artist Registry • Asian Arts Magazine. Retrieved 27 January 2022.
- Ago, Admin Web • 3 Years (8 January 2019). "SEKALUNG TAHNIAH BUAT FILEM 'VEDIGUNDU PASANGGE'". Finas. Retrieved 27 January 2022.
- "Kollywood Director Vimala Perumal Biography, News, Photos, Videos". nettv4u. Retrieved 27 January 2022.
- "Vetti Pasanga". trootz. 19 January 2014. Retrieved 27 January 2022.
- "Vedigundu Pasangge ungguli anugerah CINEFEST 2019". MalaysiaGazette. 11 February 2019. Retrieved 27 January 2022.
- "Denes Kumar and Dr Vimala Start Filming 'Tamil School'". Varnam MY. 5 July 2019. Retrieved 27 January 2022.
- "Local Flick 'Vedigundu Pasangge' Secures 5 Cinemas In The UK". Varnam MY. 23 July 2018. Retrieved 27 January 2022.
- Lee, Joe. "The Malaysian Film Festival winners are the real Malaysian films (VIDEO) | Malay Mail". www.malaymail.com. Retrieved 27 January 2022.
- "vedigundue-pasangge-highest-grossing-malaysian-tamil-movie". thestar. Retrieved 27 January 2022.
- "Majlis Pengkritik Filem Kuala Lumpur". ampfkl.blogspot.com. Retrieved 27 January 2022.
- "Maxis 4G & YouTube Unveil Malaysia's 1st 360° Film Series To Celebrate Merdeka 2016". Maxis. Retrieved 27 January 2022.
- "Tamiletchumy dapat sambutan luar biasa". MalaysiaGazette. 27 June 2020. Retrieved 27 January 2022.
- "Dr Vimala Perumal Wins Kristal Award 2017". Multimedia University. 14 March 2018. Retrieved 27 January 2022.
- "Denes, Vimala Perumal cipta sejarah lagi". MalaysiaGazette. 17 November 2019. Retrieved 27 January 2022.
- "Vedigundu Pasangge dapat pengiktirafan dari Norway pula". MalaysiaGazette. 27 February 2019. Retrieved 27 January 2022.