Anjali Menon is an Indian film director and screenwriter who predominantly works in the Malayalam film industry. She made her directorial debut with the film Manjadikuru. She won the National Film Award for Best Screenplay (Dialogues) for Ustad Hotel at the 60th National Film Awards. She was one of the founding members of the Women in Cinema Collective (WCC), an organization that focuses on gender equality in the Malayalam film industry.
Anjali Menon was born in Kozhikode to T. Madhavan Nair and Sarada Nair. She grew up in The United Arab Emirates and graduated from Providence Women's College, Kozhikode. She then completed a Masters in Communication Studies at Pune University, during which she made documentaries. She then pursued a Masters in Filmmaking at London Film School, graduating in 2003.
She lives in Mumbai with her husband and son.
Anjali's graduation film Black Nor White, produced by Asif Kapadia and featuring Rez Kempton and Archie Panjabi, was premiered at the Palm Springs International Film Festival and won the BFI award for Best Short film. She made her feature debut with Manjadikuru (2008), a coming-of-age drama set in 1979. It won the FIPRESCI award for the Best Malayalam film and Best Indian Debut. She also received Kerala State Film Award for Best Screenplay for the movie. However, her first release was Kerala Cafe (2009), an anthology film for which she contributed the segment 'Happy Journey', centered around gender politics. She then wrote the story, screenplay, and dialogues of the critically and commercially acclaimed Ustad Hotel (2012), directed by Anwar Rasheed. She received the National Film Award for Best Screenplay - Dialogues for the film, which also won the National Awards for Most Popular Film. The film also won the Kerala State Film Award for Best Screenplay and Filmfare Award for Best Director – Malayalam. She then directed Bangalore Days (2014), revolving around the life of three Malayali cousins in Bangalore, which became a huge commercial success. Her next film was the commercially and critically acclaimed Koode (2018), which showcased issues of caste, migration, and child sexual harassment as it dealt with themes of loss and solace.
Anjali's movies have depicted themes of the migrant experience and cross-cultural interactions. Her film company Little Films India is based in Mumbai and Kochi.
Anjali was one of the founders of the Women in Cinema Collective (WCC), an organization of women in Malayalam cinema, formed in the wake of the sexual assault of a prominent actress.
Anjali has also written short stories, including 'Tea and Toast' which was published in the Malayala Manorama Onam Special, and as part of the collection Monsoon Feast. She blogs about her filmmaking experiences at anjalimenon.wordpress.com.