Date of Birth
Place of Birth
Andhra Pradesh, India
Shyam Benegal is a prolific Indian director and screenwriter.
With his very first four feature films - 'Ankur' (1973), 'Nishant' (1975), ''Manthan' (1976) and 'Bhumika' (1977) - he created a new film genre, which is known today as middle cinema" in India, though he has expressed dislike in the term, preferring to name his work under 'New-Age' or 'Alternate' cinema.
He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1976 and the Padma Bhushan in 1991. On 8 August, 2007, he was awarded the highest award in Indian cinema for lifetime achievement, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award (2005). He has won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi seven times.
The 90's saw Shyam Benegal offer a trilogy on Indian Muslim women, starting with 'Mammo' (1995), 'Sardari Begum' (1996) and 'Zubeidaa' (2001). With 'Zubeidaa', he entered the Bollywood mainstream for the first time, as it starred top Bollywood star Karishma Kapoor, with music by A. R. Rahman.
In 1992, he made another film, 'Suraj Ka Satvan Ghoda', based on the 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 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). The movie went on to win the National Film Award for Best Film.
In 2008, his film, 'Welcome to Sajjanpur', starring Shreyas Talpade and Amrita Rao enjoyed a good response.The film's music was provided by Shantanu Moitra, and produced by Chetan Motiwalla.
In March 2010, Benegal released the political satire 'Well Done Abba'. One of Benegal's future projects is a film based on Noor Inayat Khan - a descendant of Tipu Sultan, who served as a British-Indian spy during World War II.