|Occupation||Film director, Screenwriter|
|Relatives||Guru Dutt (cousin)|
|Awards||1976 Padma Shri |
1991 Padma Bhushan
2005 Dadasaheb Phalke Award
2013 ANR National Award
|Member of Parliament Rajya Sabha|
16 February 2006 –15 February 2012
Shyam Benegal (born 14 December 1934) is an Indian director and screenwriter. With his first four feature films Ankur (1973), Nishant (1975), Manthan (1976) and Bhumika (1977) he was part of a new genre, which has now come to be called the "middle cinema" in India. He has expressed dislike of the term, preferring his work to be called New or Alternate cinema.Benegal was awarded the Padma Shri in 1976 and the Padma Bhushan in 1991. On 8 August 2007, Benegal was awarded the highest award in Indian cinema for lifetime achievement, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for the year 2005. He has won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi seven times. He was awarded the V. Shantaram Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2018 Mumbai International Film Festival.
Shyam Benegal was born on 14 December 1934 in Trimulgherry,then a British Cantonment, and now twin city of the state capital, as Shyam Sunder Benegal. It was here at age twelve, that he made his first film, on a camera given to him by his photographer father Sridhar B. Benegal. He received an M.A. in Economics from Osmania University, Hyderabad. There he formed the Hyderabad Film Society.
Film director and actor Guru Dutt's maternal grandmother and Shyam's paternal grandmother were sisters.
In 1959, he started working as a copywriter at a Mumbai-based advertising agency, Lintas Advertising, where he steadily rose to become a creative head. Meanwhile, Benegal made his first documentary in Gujarati, Gher Betha Ganga (Ganges at the Doorstep) in 1962. His first feature film had to wait another decade while he worked on the script.
In 1963 he had a brief stint with another advertising agency called ASP (Advertising, Sales and Promotion). During his advertising years, he directed over 900 sponsored documentaries and advertising films.
Between 1966 and 1973, Shyam taught at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune, and twice served as the institute's chairman: 1980–83 and 1989–92. By this time he had already started making documentaries. One of his early documentaries A Child of the Streets (1967), garnered him wide acclaim.In all, he has made over 70 documentary and short films.
He was awarded the Homi J. Bhabha Fellowship (1970–72)which allowed him to work at the Children's Television Workshop, New York, and later at Boston's WGBH-TV.
After returning to Mumbai, he received independent financing and Ankur (The Seedling) was finally made in 1973. It was a story of economic and sexual exploitation in his home state, Telangana, and Benegal instantly shot to fame. The film introduced actors Shabana Azmi and Anant Nag and Benegal won the 1975 National Film Award for Second Best Feature Film. Shabana won the National Film Award for Best Actress.
The success that New India Cinema enjoyed in the 1970s and early 1980s could largely be attributed to Shyam Benegal's quartet: Ankur (1973), Nishant (1975), Manthan (1976) and Bhumika (1977). Benegal used a variety of new actors, mainly from the FTII and NSD, such as Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri, Smita Patil, Shabana Azmi, Kulbhushan Kharbanda and Amrish Puri.
In Benegal's next film, Nishant (Night's End) (1975), a teacher's wife is abducted and gang-raped by four zamindars; officialdom turns a deaf ear to the distraught husband's pleas for help. Manthan (The Churning) (1976) is a film on rural empowerment and is set against the backdrop of Gujarat's fledgling dairy industry. For the first time, over five lakh (half a million) ₹ 2 each and thus became the film's producers. Upon its release, truckloads of farmers came to see "their" film, making it a success at the box office. After this trilogy on rural oppression, Benegal made a biopic Bhumika (The Role) (1977), broadly based on the life of well-known Marathi stage and film actress of the 1940s, Hansa Wadkar (played by Smita Patil), who led a flamboyant and unconventional life. The main character sets out on an individual search for identity and self-fulfilment, while also grappling with exploitation by men.rural farmers in Gujarat contributed
In the early 1970s, Shyam made 21 film modules for Satellite Instructional Television Experiment (SITE), sponsored by UNICEF. This allowed him to interact with children of SITE and many folk artists. Eventually he used many of these children in his feature length rendition of the classic folk tale Charandas Chor (Charandas the Thief) in 1975. He made it for the Children's Film Society, India.To quote film critic Derek Malcolm:
what Benegal has done is to paint a magnificent visual recreation of those extraordinary days and one that is also sensitive to the agonies and predicament of a talented woman whose need for security was only matched by her insistence on freedom.
Unlike most New Cinema filmmakers, Benegal has had private backers for many of his films and institutional backing for a few, including Manthan ( Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation ) and Susman (1987) (Handloom Co-operatives). However, his films did not have proper releases. He turned to TV where he directed serials such as Yatra (1986), for the Indian Railways, and one of the biggest projects undertaken on Indian television, the 53-episode television serial Bharat Ek Khoj (1988) based on Jawaharlal Nehru's book, Discovery of India .This gave him an added advantage, as he managed to survive the collapse of the New Cinema movement in the late 1980s due to paucity of funding, with which were lost many neo-realist filmmakers. Benegal continued making films throughout the next two decades. He also served as the Director of the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) from 1980 to 1986.
Following the success of these four films, Benegal was backed by star Shashi Kapoor, for whom he made Junoon (1978) and Kalyug (1981). The former was an interracial love story set amidst the turbulent period of the Indian Rebellion of 1857, while the latter was based on the Mahabharata and was not a big hit, although both won Filmfare Best Movie Awards in 1980 and 1982, respectively.
Benegal's next film Mandi (1983), was a satirical comedy about politics and prostitution, starring Shabana Azmi and Smita Patil. Later, working from his own story, based on the last days of Portuguese in Goa, in the early 1960s, Shyam explored human relationships in Trikal (1985).
Soon, Shyam Benegal stepped beyond traditional narrative films and took to biographical material to achieve greater freedom of expression.His first venture in this genre was with a documentary film based on Satyajit Ray's life, Satyajit Ray, in 1985. This was followed by works such as Sardari Begum (1996) and Zubeidaa , which was written by filmmaker and critic Khalid Mohamed.
In 1985 he was a member of the jury at the 14th Moscow International Film Festival.
The 1990s saw Shyam Benegal making a trilogy on Indian Muslim women, starting with Mammo (1994), Sardari Begum (1996) and Zubeidaa (2001). With Zubeidaa, he entered mainstream Bollywood, as it starred top Bollywood star Karishma Kapoor and boasted music by A. R. Rahman.
In 1992, he made Suraj Ka Satvan Ghoda (Seventh Horse of the Sun), based on a novel by Dharmavir Bharati, which won the 1993 National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi. In 1996 he made another film based on the book The Making of the Mahatma , based on Fatima Meer's, The Apprenticeship of a Mahatma. This turn to biographical material resulted in Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero , his 2005 English language film. He criticised the Indian caste system in Samar (1999), which went on to win the National Film Award for Best Feature Film.
Benegal is the current president of the Federation of Film Societies of India. He owns a production company called Sahyadri Films.
He has authored three books based on his own films: The Churning with Vijay Tendulkar (1984), based on Manthan ; Satyajit Ray (1988), based on his biographical film, Satyajit Ray; and The Marketplace (1989), which was based on Mandi .
In 2009 he was a member of the jury at the 31st Moscow International Film Festival.
In 2008, his film Welcome to Sajjanpur , starring Shreyas Talpade and Amrita Rao, was released to a good response.Its music was composed by Shantanu Moitra, and it was produced by Chetan Motiwalla. Shyam Benegal is slated to direct an epic musical, Chamki Chameli, inspired by Georges Bizet's classic Spanish opera Carmen . The story revolves around the eponymous Chamki, a beautiful gypsy girl with a fiery temper and is written by Shama Zaidi. The music is by A. R. Rahman and lyrics are by Javed Akhtar.
In March 2010, Benegal released the political satire Well Done Abba .
One of Benegal's future projects is a film based on the life of Noor Inayat Khan, daughter of Inayat Khan and descendant of Tipu Sultan, who served as a British spy during World War II.
Benegal made a comeback on the small screen with Samvidhaan , a 10-part mini-series revolving around the making of the Indian Constitution, to be aired on Rajya Sabha TV from 2 March 2014.Along with Benegal, Tom Alter, Dalip Tahil, Sachin Khedekar, Divya Dutta, Rajendra Gupta, K K Raina, and Ila Arun were seen at the press conference for the TV series.
Government of Bangladesh has confirmed Benegal would direct the biopic of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The film will be released presumably by 2021.
Shyam Benegal is married to Nira Benegal and has a daughter, Pia.
|2005||50th National Film Awards||Overall Contribution to the Indian Cinema||Dadasaheb Phalke Award|
|2009||54th National Film Awards||Well Done Abba||National Film Award for Best Film on Other Social Issues|
|2005||50th National Film Awards||Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero||Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration|
|1975||20th National Film Awards||Ankur||National Film Award for Second Best Feature Film|
|1976||21st National Film Awards||Nishant||National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi|
|1977||22nd National Film Awards||Manthan||National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi|
|1978||23rd National Film Awards||Bhumika: The Role||National Film Award for Best Screenplay|
|1979||24th National Film Awards||Junoon||National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi|
|1982||27th National Film Awards||Arohan||National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi|
Khalid Mohamed is an Indian journalist, editor, film critic, screenwriter and film director. He formerly worked for the Hindustan Times and was the lead editor for Filmfare magazine. He is the son of Hindi film actress Zubeida Begum, on whose life he wrote the screenplay of Shyam Benegal's 2001 film, Zubeidaa.
Shabana Azmi is an Indian actress of film, television and theatre. The daughter of poet Kaifi Azmi and stage actress Shaukat Azmi, she is an alumna of Film and Television Institute of India of Pune. Azmi made her film debut in 1974 and soon became one of the leading actresses of Parallel cinema, a new-wave movement known for its serious content and neorealism and received government patronage during the times. Regarded as one of the finest actresses in India, Azmi's performances in films in a variety of genres have generally earned her praise and awards, which include a record of five wins of the National Film Award for Best Actress and several international honours. She has also received five Filmfare Awards, and was honoured among "women in cinema" at the 30th International Film Festival of India. In 1988, the Government of India awarded her with Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian honour of the country.
Mrinal Sen was an Indian film director and a nominated Member of the Indian parliament. Sen directed films primarily in Bengali and Hindi. Along with his contemporaries Ritwik Ghatak, Tapan Sinha and Satyajit Ray he pioneered the New Wave cinema in India. He has received multiple awards, including 18 National Film Awards. The Government of India has awarded him the Padma Bhushan, and the Government of France has awarded him the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, while Russian Government awarded him Order of Friendship. Sen was also awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke Award. He was the only Indian filmmaker along with Satyajit Ray whose films have been awarded at the big three film festivals namely the Cannes film festival, Venice Film Festival and the Berlin Film Festival. Sen was a self described "private Marxist".
Aparna Sen is an Indian film director, screenwriter and actress who is known for her work in Bengali cinema. She has received multiple awards, including nine National Film Awards and a Padma Shri.
Zubeidaa is a 2001 Indian film directed by Shyam Benegal and written by Khalid Mohammed. It stars Karisma Kapoor, Rekha, Manoj Bajpayee, Surekha Sikri, Rajit Kapoor, Lillete Dubey, Amrish Puri, Farida Jalal, and Shakti Kapoor. Renowned musician A.R.Rahman has scored the background music and soundtrack for the movie.
Anant Nagarkatte, better known as Anant Nag, is an Indian actor whose predominant contribution has been in Kannada cinema. He has acted in over 300 titles which includes over 200 Kannada films and Marathi, Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu and Hindi films. He has featured in theatre plays, parallel cinema and television shows. He is considered to be a versatile artist in Kannada cinema.
Smita Patil was an Indian actress of film, television and theatre. Regarded among the finest stage and film actresses of her times and one of the greatest film actresses of all time, Smita Patil appeared in over 80 Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Malayalam and Kannada films in a career that spanned just over a decade. During her career, she received two National Film Awards and a Filmfare Award. She was the recipient of the Padma Shri, India's fourth-highest civilian honour in 1985. She made her film debut with Shyam Benegal's Charandas Chor (1975). She became one of the leading actresses of parallel cinema, a New Wave movement in India cinema, though she also appeared in several mainstream movies throughout her career. Her performances were often acclaimed, and her most notable roles include Manthan (1977), Bhumika (1977), Jait Re Jait (1978), Aakrosh (1980), Chakra (1981), Namak Halaal (1982), Bazaar (1982), Umbartha (1982), Shakti (1982), Arth (1982), Ardh Satya (1983), Mandi (1983), Aaj Ki Awaaz (1984), Chidambaram (1985), Mirch Masala (1985), Amrit (1986) and Waaris (1988).
Dev Benegal is an Indian filmmaker and screenwriter, most known for his debut film English, August (1994), which won the Best Feature Film in English at the 42nd National Film Awards.
Shama Zaidi is an Indian screenplay writer, costume designer, art director, theatre person, art critic, and documentary film maker. She is married to director M. S. Sathyu.
Ankur is an Indian colour film of 1974. It was the first feature film directed by Shyam Benegal and the debut of Indian actors Ananth Nag and Shabana Azmi. Ananth Nag was introduced in Ankur by Shyam Benegal after his higher education in Mumbai. The film was shot in Hyderabad. Though Shabana Azmi had acted in other films as well, Ankur was her first release.
Mammo is a 1994 Indian Hindi film by Shyam Benegal. It stars Farida Jalal, Surekha Sikri, Amit Phalke and Rajit Kapur.
Nishant is a 1975 Hindi drama film directed by Shyam Benegal, based on an original screenplay by noted playwright Vijay Tendulkar, with dialogues by Satyadev Dubey.
Sardari Begum is an 1996 Indian musical film directed by Shyam Benegal. The film stars Kiron Kher, Amrish Puri, Rajit Kapur and Rajeshwari Sachdev.
Javed Siddiqi is a Hindi and Urdu screenwriter, dialogue writer and playwright from India. He has written over 50 storylines, screenplays and dialogues.
Vanraj Bhatia is an Indian composer best known for his work in Indian New Wave cinema. He is also one of the leading composers of Western classical music in India.
Satyadev Dubey was an Indian theatre director, actor, playwright, screenwriter, and film actor and director. He was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1971.
Prahlad Kakkar is an Indian ad film director, best known for his work on the famous Pepsi TV commercial with Amitabh Bachchan and Sachin Tendulkar. He is the founder and main director for Genesis Film Productions, established in 1977
Smriti Mishra is an Indian film actress, most known for her roles in Shyam Benegal's Sardari Begum (1996), Pamela Rooks's Train to Pakistan and Vijay Singh's Jaya Ganga.
The 38th Annual Bengal Film Journalists' Association Awards were held on 1975, honoring the best Indian cinema in 1974.
Anant Nag is an Indian film actor and an occasional film producer who appears as an actor in Kannada, Hindi, Telugu, Marathi, Malayalam and Tamil films, but predominantly in Kannada films. In a career spanning over 47 years, he has appeared in over 270 films. After having had a successful theatre career, he made his debut in P. V. Nanjaraja Urs' Kannada film Sankalpa, and Shyam Benegal's Dakhani film Ankur, with the former seeing theatrical release first, in 1973, and won multiple awards at the 1972–73 Karnataka State Film Awards. In G. V. Iyer's 1975 film Hamsageethe, he played the role of Bhairavi Venkatasubbiah, a performance that won critical praise, and the film was awarded the Best Feature Film in Kannada at the 23rd National Film Awards.
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