In November 2013, Salim Ahamed announced that he will be directing a film that deals with the Gulf and various aspects of it. And it will star Mammootty in the lead, in his second collaboration with Ahmed after Kunjananthante Kada (2013). Madhu Ambat was reported to handle the cinematography with the sound recording done by Resul Pookutty. The film’s title was revealed in April 2014. It was in 2013 that Ahamed narrated the story before Mammootty. He expressed the interest, and the total screenplay was finished in a homework of span one year.
In September 2014, Jewel Mary a television anchor was cast as heroine, in her feature film debut as Nalini, while Mammootty’s character was revealed to be named Pallickal Narayanan. Sreenivasan was also confirmed to play the role of Moidheen, while Siddique, Salim Kumar, Joy Mathew and Yavanika Gopalakrishnan were signed for other prominent roles. Actress Viji Chandrasekhar was confirmed to play protagonist’s mother. Salim Ahamed had earlier denied the rumours that Suresh Gopi and Manju Warrier would be part of the cast.
Pathemari (English: Dhow) is a 2015 Malayalam period drama film written and directed by Salim Ahamed and starring Mammootty in the lead role, with a supporting cast that includes Jewel Mary, Siddique, Sreenivasan, Salim Kumar, Shaheen Siddique, Viji Chandrasekhar and Joy Mathew. The plot features the life of Pallikkal Narayanan (Mammootty) who migrated to the Middle-East in the early 1980s, when the Kerala Gulf boom was at its peak. Resul Pookutty handles the sound recording, while music is composed by Bijibal and cinematography is done byMadhu Ambat. The principal photography began in October 2014 and the first look poster was released in July 2015.The film was shot in Kerala and Middle East.Distributed by Eros International, Pathemari released on 9 October 2015 to both critical acclaim and commercial success.