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Posted on Dec 14, 09:10PM | IBNS
Veteran film director and screen writer Shyam Benegal turned 77 years on Friday.
Born in Trimulgherry, at Secunderabad, (Hyderabad), Benegal made his first amateur film at age of twelve, on a camera provided to him by his photographer father Sridhar B. Benegal.
Benegal has been awarded the Padma Shri in 1976 and the Padma Bhushan in 1991 and is the recipient of the highest award in Indian cinema for lifetime achievement, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2005.
He has also bagged the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi seven times.
Benegal has carved a niche for himself by creating a new genre, which is presently known as the "middle cinema" or "arthouse cinema" in India with his famous feature films like 'Ankur', 'Nishant', 'Manthan' and 'Bhumika' in the beginning.
Benegal has also authored three books based on his own films, 'The Churning with Vijay Tendulkar', based on 'Manthan'; 'Satyajit Ray', based on his biographical film, 'Satyajit Ray'; and 'The Marketplace' which was based on 'Mandi'.
Proving his excellence even in the 90's and 2000's, with his films like Mammo (1995), Sardari Begum (1996), and Zubeidaa (2001), Benegal made 'Welcome to Sajjanpur' in 2008.
Benegal, who prefers his work to be called New or Alternate Cinema, released the political satirical film 'Well Done Abba' in March 2010.
Married to Nira Benegal, the director is the proud father of a daughter named Pia, who is a costume designer for feature films.
Benegal is currently the president of the Federation of Film Societies of India and owns a production company called Sahyadri Films.