Sivan began his career as a photo journalist and won several awards for his photographs. In 1959 he set up his own film studio, and soon after that an art gallery for new artists and photographers. Through the years, Sivan has produced over twenty documentaries and short films for the Films Division and other institutions. Swapnam (1972) was the first feature film to be produced by him, which won four state awards. Yagam (1980) and Abhayam (1991) too won him several awards.
Yagam - 1980
The middle class Brahmin hero Unni joins a political group committed to violent struggle. He abandons his studies, slavishly obeys the group's leaders and kills a fellow activist as well as a religiously inclined local landlord. Moving to Madhurai, he falls in love with Kannamma, the daughter of a factory worker. In the end, following Party instructions, he blows up a train but discovers too late that one of the victims is Kannamma's father.
Abhayam - 1991
Eight-year-old Vinu is an imaginative child, who is locked within the pressures of the urban education system by his ambitious parents. Tied to his daily routine, Vinu keeps seeing his small table clock in a nightmare, where he is little and the clock is colossal, where he is eternally trying to hold back the hands from sticking 6 in the morning and always failing.
Tried of battling with the daily routine, Vinu runs away from home one day. He roams the city in the hope of reaching the bus stop where he can find a bus to take him to his village. He encounters many adventures and finally reaches his village as a stowaway in a boat. The he finds that his anxious parents have reached before him, having suspected his destination from what his closest friend told them.