Sathyan was born in 1954 January 3 in Anthikad, Thrissur, Kerala. He was born in a prominent Ezhava family to M.V. Krishnan and M.K. Kalyani. He is married to Nimmi Sathyan and have three sons, Arun Sathyan (Assistant Manager, Nerolac), Akhil Sathyan (Engineer), Anoop Sathyan (Currently pursuing Film and Video design at National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad.)
Sathyan Anthikad sart his career in 1973 as an Assistan Director to Dr Balakrishnan. Sathyan kickstarted his film direction with Kurukkante Kalyanam in 1982 and there was no turning back. He teamed up with Sreenivasan and made some of the most memorable filim in Malayalam film history, like Thalayanamanthram, Nadodikkattu and Sandesam are some of the films born from the team, The team made socially relevant matters in a comic tocuh.
He is a pet of family filmgoers because of his selection of plots in family life backgrround having social relevance and because of his comedic tastes. He has often asked maestreo Ilayaraja to set scores for his films. They teamed up in films like Achuvinte Amma, Manassinakkare, Kochu Kochu Santhoshangal, Rasathanthram, Vinodayathra, Innathe chinta vishayam and Bhagyadevatha. His latest malayalam film is his fiftieth venture kadha Thudarunnu.