Shyam Benegal was born in Trimulgherry in Andhra Pradesh. He made his first amateur film, with his father’s camera, when he was 12 years old. Benegal was inspired by the peasant unrest during the 1970s which reflected in his early work set in rural environs. Ankur, his first directorial venture, came in 1973 and Nishant was made in 1975. Bengal spawned a new sector of filmmaking known as `middle cinema which was neither art nor commercial cinema. His work was an aesthetic expression of the aspirations of rural Indian and it helped to mould government policy towards our villages.


Givind Nihalani, born in Karachi, fled with his family to Delhi during the partition of India in 1947. He began his career in cinema as a cameraman in the Marathi film Shantata! Court Chalu Aahe. His first directorial venture came in 1980 with the film Aakrosh which dealt with urban crime and Drishti in 1990. His films are based on politically relevant topics and the moral dilemmas that individuals are faced with.


Ritwik Ghatak was born in Dhaka. In 1946, his family migrated to Calcutta where Ghatak became a political activist. He joined IPTA (Indian people’s Theatre Association) as a playwright, director and actor where he was associated with Bengali Productions. Ghatak launched his career in Mumbai with the scripting of Madhumati (1958). He collaborated with Hrishikesh Mukherjee on Musafir. His classics in Bengali are Meghe Dhaka Tara (1960) and komal Gandhar (1961).


Shekhar kapur, born in Lahore, gave up his career as a chartered accountant and management consultant to enter Indian films. His first directorial debut was Masoom (1982) in which he used techniques derived from advertising films. It was followed by Mr. Indian in 1987, noted for its side effects. Kapur became known internationally as a director with the controversial Bandit Queen (1994) Elizabeth (1999).


Mani Ratnam was born in Chennai. He worked as a management consultant for a while, before embarking on his career as a director. His first success was (1987). Nayakan relocated Hollywood’s The Godfather in our underworld. He used features inspired by music vides in Agni Nakshatram (1988), Geetanjali (1989) and Anjali (1990). Ratnam’s biggest hits were Roja in 1992 and Bombay in 1995. This film music director is AR Rehman. Now he is a great Hollywood director.


*the film and television institute of India was established in 1974 at Pune to provide training in acting, directing and production.

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