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Balanathan Benjamin Mahendran (20 May 1939 – 13 February 2014), commonly known as Balu Mahendra,[1] was an Indian cinematographer, director, screenwriter and film editor who worked predominantly in Tamil cinema. Born into a Sri Lankan Tamil household, he developed a passion for photography and literature at a young age. After witnessing the shoot of David Lean's The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) during a school trip in Sri Lanka, he was drawn towards filmmaking. He graduated from the London University
London University
and started his career as a draughtsman with the Sri Lankan Government. In 1966, he moved to India and gained admission to the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) to pursue a course in motion picture photography. Upon completion of his diploma, he entered Malayalam cinema as a cinematographer in the early 1970s. After working in over 20 films as a cinematographer, Mahendra made his directorial debut in 1977 with the Kannada
Kannada
film Kokila. Since then, he directed over 20 films in a span of 36 years. Along with P. Bharathiraja and J. Mahendran, he is regarded as a trendsetter in Tamil cinema. During the tail end of his career, he established a film school in Chennai, which offers courses in cinematography, direction and acting. Following a brief phase of poor health, Mahendra died of cardiac arrest in February 2014. Widely regarded as an auteur,[2][3] Mahendra usually scripted and edited his films apart from shooting them. He was the recipient of six National Film Awards (including two for Best Cinematography), three Filmfare Awards South
Filmfare Awards South
and several state government awards.

Contents

1 Early life 2 Film career

2.1 Debut as cinematographer 2.2 Entry into Tamil films 2.3 Mainstream cinema and tryst with art film genre 2.4 Final years

3 Personal life 4 Style and legacy 5 Awards and nominations 6 Filmography

6.1 As director 6.2 As cinematographer only 6.3 Television

7 Notes 8 References 9 Bibliography 10 External links

Early life[edit] Mahendra was born in 1939 into a Sri Lankan Tamil family in the village Amirthakali near Batticaloa, Sri Lanka.[4][5] Born to a professor father,[6] he did his schooling at Methodist Central College and St. Michael's College, Batticaloa.[1][7] As a teenager, he was drawn towards films by his class teacher.[8] It was during this time he happened to see Bicycle Thieves
Bicycle Thieves
(1948) and Battleship Potemkin (1925).[8] When he was at the sixth grade, he got an opportunity to witness the making of David Lean's The Bridge on the River Kwai
The Bridge on the River Kwai
(shot in Sri Lanka) during a school field trip.[9][10] Inspired by Lean's personality, Mahendra determined to become a film-maker.[8][10]

"I used to cut my cinematography classes and attend classes conducted in the departments of direction, screenplay writing and editing. However, I used to get the top rank in cinematography, so the professor did not mind my going to other classes. My main concern at that time was direction and scripting with a little bit of interest in cinematography."

—Mahendra in an interview with Frontline in 2013[11]

Right from his childhood, Mahendra was interested in fine arts and literature. Upon completion of school, he joined the London University and graduated with a bachelor's degree (honours) in science.[12] After his graduation, he returned to Sri Lanka and worked in Colombo
Colombo
as a draughtsman in the survey department for a brief period during which he edited a Tamil literary magazine titled Thyen Aruvi.[1] In Colombo, he worked as an amateur drama artist with Radio Ceylon
Radio Ceylon
and got acquainted with the Sinhala theatre groups.[1] Mahendra's passion for cinema prompted him to leave for India and join the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune
Pune
in 1966.[1] He had to take up cinematography as he could not gain admissions to other disciplines.[10][13] At the institute he was exposed to world cinema as he got an opportunity to watch films made by François Truffaut
François Truffaut
and Jean-Luc Godard, both associated with the French New Wave movement.[11] In 1969, Mahendra graduated from the institute with a gold medal.[10] Film career[edit] Debut as cinematographer[edit]

David Lean
David Lean
(left) and Satyajit Ray
Satyajit Ray
(right) are two of Mahendra's biggest inspirations to become a filmmaker.

As a fresh graduate from the FTII, Mahendra's early attempts to enter Tamil cinema
Tamil cinema
were unsuccessful.[1] He got his first break as a cinematographer in 1971 in the Malayalam film
Malayalam film
Nellu.[10][14] Ramu Kariat, the director of Nellu, was impressed by A View from the Fortress, Mahendra's diploma film at the FTII.[7][9] Though the filming of Nellu began in 1971, production delays postponed its release for three years.[14] Meanwhile, Kariat signed up Mahendra for another film titled Maaya which released in 1972. However, P. N. Menon's Panimudakku (1972) got released before Maaya, thus becoming Mahendra's first release.[15] He continued to work in Malayalam films such as Sasthram Jayichu Manushyan Thottu (1973), Kaliyugam (1973) and Chattakari (1974).[10] Nellu, shot in colour, won the Kerala State Film Award
Kerala State Film Award
for Best Cinematography after it was released in 1974.[10] Mahendra had continued successes with films such as Prayanam (1975) and Chuvanna Sandhyakal (1975), both fetching the state award for best photography to him for the second consecutive time.[15] Between 1971 and 1976, he worked in about 20 films—mostly in Malayalam—as a cinematographer.[15] The following year he made his directorial debut with Kokila. Made in Kannada, the film was a "triangular love story".[16] In addition to a Best Screenplay award from the Karnataka government,[17] Mahendra won his first National Film Award for Best Cinematography for the film.[18] The film was both critically acclaimed and commercially successful. It was equally successful in the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
and has the distinction of being the only Kannada
Kannada
film to complete 150 days in Madras (now Chennai) as of 2014.[16] Entry into Tamil films[edit] Despite being a Tamil, it was not until 1978 he worked in a Tamil film when he signed up as the cinematographer for J. Mahendran's directorial debut Mullum Malarum
Mullum Malarum
(1978).[19] Apart from handling the cinematography, Mahendra involved himself in other aspects such as screenwriting, casting, editing and direction in the film.[20] After completing Mullum Malarum, Mahendra decided to work on his second directorial venture, this time in Tamil. He named the film Azhiyadha Kolangal (1979), which according to him was "partly autobiographical".[21][22] Inspired from the 1971 American film Summer of '42,[23] Azhiyadha Kolangal
Azhiyadha Kolangal
was a coming-of-age film that dealt with the story of three adolescent boys who are in the awakening of sexuality.[21] Although it was controversial for its theme, it was a box-office success.[22] During this time he did the cinematography of K. Vishwanath's Telugu film Sankarabharanam
Sankarabharanam
(1979) which turned out to be a major critical and commercial success.[24] Mahendra's third film as director Moodu Pani
Moodu Pani
(1980) was loosely based on Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 film Psycho.[25] Moodu Pani
Moodu Pani
saw Mahendra collaborating with Ilaiyaraaja
Ilaiyaraaja
for the first time; Ilaiyaraaja
Ilaiyaraaja
was Mahendra's regular composer since then.[26] In 1982, Mahendra made Moondram Pirai
Moondram Pirai
which had Kamal Haasan
Kamal Haasan
and Sridevi
Sridevi
in the lead. The film told the story of a school teacher who looks after a girl suffering from amnesia. It had a 300-day run in the theatres and was labelled a "blockbuster". The film fetched two National Film Awards including an award for cinematography for Mahendra.[24] The same year he made Olangal (1982) which marked his directorial debut in Malayalam.[15] Inspired from Erich Segal's novel Man, Woman and Child, the film was a critical success.[27] At the end of the year, Mahendra won two Filmfare
Filmfare
trophies for directing Olangal and Moondram Pirai.[28] In 1983, Mahendra entered Hindi cinema with Sadma, a remake of Moondram Pirai, with Kamal Hasan
Kamal Hasan
and Sridevi
Sridevi
reprising their roles. Mahendra received a Filmfare
Filmfare
nomination for Best Story and became a well-known director with the Hindi audience with the film.[29] The same year, he worked as the cinematographer of the Kannada
Kannada
film Pallavi Anu Pallavi, Mani Ratnam's debut film.[30] During this time, he made his second film in Malayalam titled Oomakkuyil. Unlike Olangal, Oomakkuyil
Oomakkuyil
failed to create an impact among the audience.[15] Mainstream cinema and tryst with art film genre[edit] During the mid 1980s, Mahendra concentrated on mainstream films.[2] The first of which Neengal Kettavai (1984) was labelled an outright commercial picture. Later Mahendra noted that he made the film with a sole intention to prove critics that he could make commercial films.[26] The following year, he collaborated with Rajinikanth
Rajinikanth
to make Un Kannil Neer Vazhindal
Un Kannil Neer Vazhindal
which turned out to be a commercial failure.[2][31] He then worked on the Malayalam film
Malayalam film
Yathra (1985) with Mammooty
Mammooty
in the lead role as a forest officer. Made with "artistic values" the film earned ₹1.9 million (equivalent to ₹20 million or US$310,000 in 2017) and was the highest-grossing Malayalam film
Malayalam film
that year.[15][32] By this time, he declined an offer to direct the Kannada
Kannada
film Malaya Marutha (1986).[17] As a director who is known for making intense films, critics were surprised when he made Rettai Vaal Kuruvi
Rettai Vaal Kuruvi
(1987), a full-length comedy film. Closely based on the 1984 American film Micki and Maude, the film is regarded as one of the best comedies ever made in Tamil cinema
Tamil cinema
during the decade.[33] The film would serve as a base for his future films Marupadiyum
Marupadiyum
(1993) and Sathi Leelavathi (1995) which explored similar themes.[34] Towards the end of the decade, Mahendra made two low-budgeted films—Veedu (1988) and Sandhya Raagam (1989). While Veedu focused on the life of a lower middle-class urban woman and her struggle to build a house,[35][36] Sandhya Raagam dealt with "old age".[30][37] At the 35th, Veedu won two National Film Awards—including one for Best Regional Film—and Sandhya Raagam won the Best Film on Family Welfare two years later.[36] According to Mahendra, both the films were a tribute to his mother and father respectively.[37][30] He named these two films as his best works as they were made with fewest mistakes and compromises.[38] In 1992, Mahendra made Vanna Vanna Pookkal
Vanna Vanna Pookkal
which was produced by S. Dhanu. The film had a 100-day run and won the award for the "Best Regional Film" at the 39th National Film Awards.[25][39] During this time M. Night Shyamalan, then a newcomer, approached Mahendra to be the cinematographer for his directorial debut Praying with Anger
Praying with Anger
to which he refused.[40] The next year, he remade Mahesh Bhatt's Arth
Arth
in Tamil as Marupadiyum. Mahendra made the film as he felt it was close to his personal life.[30] He then came up with a full-length comedy Sathi Leelavathi in 1995 which was produced by Kamal Haasan.[34] The following year, he made a comeback in Bollywood
Bollywood
through Aur Ek Prem Kahani, a remake of his Kannada
Kannada
film Kokila.[16] He then made Raman Abdullah (1997), which deals with a friendship between two friends belonging to different religions. The film's shoot became the epicentre of a dispute that arose between the Tamil Film Producers Council and Film Employees Federation of South India (FEFSI).[41] It was reported that members of FEFSI had stopped the filming of Raman Abdullah as Mahendra was engaging outside cast members in the film. This led FEFSI to go for an indefinite strike which affected to the delaying of several Tamil films.[42][43] The film received negative reviews and failed at the box-office.[9] After Raman Abdullah, Mahendra took a break from films during which he made Kathai Neram, a television series based on different short stories, mostly by Sujatha.[44] It was aired in Sun TV during the early 2000s.[45] Final years[edit] Following a five-year sabbatical, he returned with Julie Ganapathi (2003). The film was based on the psychological thriller novel Misery by Stephen King. According to Mahendra, Julie Ganapathi was made on the lines of his previous films Moondram Pirai
Moondram Pirai
(1982) and Moodu Pani (1980).[46][47] A review from Rediff.com
Rediff.com
stated, " Balu Mahendra
Balu Mahendra
has kept the flag of sensible cinema within the commercial format once again in his latest offering Julie Ganapathy" and rated the film as one of the best thrillers ever made.[48] In spite of being a critical success, the film turned out to be a commercial failure. For his next film Adhu Oru Kana Kaalam (2005), he decided to cast Dhanush
Dhanush
in the lead role. Initially he stated that the film to be an extension of his 1979 film Azhiyatha Kolangal.[49] However, he ended up making a different film. The film was loosely based on his own Malayalam film Yathra released in 1985. When asked about the difference between the two films, he said "Yat[h]ra was the love story of two adults, this is the love story of two adolescents."[50] Shobha Warrier of Rediff.com wrote that the film was "extremely disappointing".[50] In 2007, he started a film school named "Cinema Pattarai" in Chennai. The institute offers courses in disciplines such as cinematography, direction and acting.[9] After a brief hiatus from films, he made a comeback through Thalaimuraigal
Thalaimuraigal
(2013), which marked his acting debut. Apart from acting, he also scripted, directed, edited and served as the cinematographer of the film. The film was about the relationship between an ageing man and his grandson.[9] The film received positive response with Mahendra's acting being well acclaimed.[51][52][53] Malathi Rangarajan of The Hindu
The Hindu
stated, "If Mahendra's aim was to make a film that can compete on a global level, Thalaimuraigal
Thalaimuraigal
is a concrete step in that direction."[54] Despite being critically acclaimed, the film was a commercial failure.[55] At the 61st National Film Awards, it won the Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration.[56] Personal life[edit]

P. Bharathiraja
P. Bharathiraja
and J. Mahendran
J. Mahendran
attending the funeral

Mahendra was married thrice. He was first married to Akhileshwari with whom he had a son.[31][57] His relationship with actress Shoba
Shoba
ended in 1980 after she committed suicide following their marriage.[1] Upon her death, the media speculated that Mahendra was responsible for her death. Following that, Mahendra wrote a series of "sentimental musings" in the Tamil magazine Kumudam
Kumudam
under the title Shobavum Naanum (lit. Shoba
Shoba
and me).[58] Their relationship was explored by K. G. George (Mahendra's junior at the FTII) in his 1983 Malayalam film Lekhayude Maranam Oru Flashback.[59] When the film was released, Mahendra said that the film had nothing to do with him and has not discussed about it with George.[60] In 1998, he married another actress Mounika and declared their marriage publicly in 2004.[61][62] Following a heart attack on 13 February 2014, Mahendra was admitted to Vijaya Hospital in Chennai
Chennai
where he was declared dead after six hours of cardiac arrest.[63][64] Shortly after the news of his death, members of the Indian film industry posted their condolences in Twitter and Facebook.[65] The Tamil film fraternity mourned the death and paid homage to him at his "film school" in Saligramam, Chennai,[24] and decided not to work on the following day as a sign of respect.[57] The last rites of Mahendra were performed at Porur crematorium on the same day.[66] Style and legacy[edit] As a photographer, Mahendra was inspired by the works of Néstor Almendros and Michael Chapman. Among his contemporaries, he admired the works of Ashok Kumar. Mahendra believed a "well-photographed movie is that which is very close to the script".[11] As a film-maker, he claimed himself as belonging to the realistic way of story-telling devised by Satyajit Ray
Satyajit Ray
and Vittorio De Sica.[37] Mahendra was drawn towards realistic cinema after watching Ray's Pather Panchali (1955).[24] He is credited as being one among the earliest filmmakers to bring "naturalism" in Tamil cinema
Tamil cinema
in the 1970s.[2][67] He usually photographed, scripted and edited all his films.[37] His films were characterised by strong "visual appeal" and minimal number of characters.[68] A majority of his films centre on the complexity of human relationships and are known to portray women as strong characters.[37][69] Although influenced by realism, his films Moodu Pani, Rettai Vaal Kuruvi
Rettai Vaal Kuruvi
and Julie Ganapathi heavily borrowed from American cinema.[37] Mahendra was equally praised for his cinematography and directorial finesse.[9] Described by the media as "one of the finest cinematographers of Indian cinema",[55][70] he was among the first to pioneer innovative colour in South India. Subrata Mitra, Satyajit Ray's cinematographer, presented a viewfinder to Mahendra acknowledging his talent.[9] Fellow cinematographer Madhu Ambat described that it was Mahendra who gave "fame" to those cameramen who came out of the FTII, and further noted that he was one of the few film-makers who effectively used romantic realism.[71] Lauded for usage of "natural lighting",[9][72] Mahendra was considered as "one of the few filmmakers in Tamil who believes in telling a story visually".[73] Kamal Haasan
Kamal Haasan
described that he was one of the few directors who balanced between art and popular cinema.[74] As a film-maker, he inspired contemporary actors and film-makers such as Mani Ratnam, Kamal Haasan
Kamal Haasan
and Sripriya,[75] He has mentored next generation film-makers including Bala, Ameer, Vetrimaaran, Ram and Seenu Ramasamy.[9] Cinematographers like Santosh Sivan,[76] Ravi K. Chandran,[77] Natarajan Subramaniam
Natarajan Subramaniam
and K. V. Anand have taken inspirations from him.[78] The negatives of his acclaimed films—Moodu Pani,[79] Veedu, Sandhya Raagam, Marupadiyum
Marupadiyum
and Sathi Leelavathi—are lost.[72] Awards and nominations[edit]

Awards and nominations received by Balu Mahendra

Year Award Category Work(s) Result

1974 Kerala State Film Award Best Cinematography (colour) Nellu Won[25]

1975 Kerala State Film Award Best Cinematography (black-and-white) Prayanam, Chuvanna Sandhyakal Won[80]

1977 National Film Awards Best Cinematography (black-and-white) Kokila Won[25]

Karnataka State Film Awards Best Screenplay Won[25]

1978 Nandi Awards Best Cinematographer Manavoori Pandavulu Won[81]

1982 National Film Awards Best Cinematography (Colour) Moondram Pirai Won[25]

Filmfare Awards South Best Director (Tamil) Won[28]

Best Director (Malayalam) Olangal Won[28]

1982 Nandi Awards Best Cinematography Nireekshana Won[81]

1983 Filmfare
Filmfare
Awards Best Story Sadma Nominated[82]

1987 National Film Awards Best Feature Film in Tamil Veedu Won[25]

1989 National Film Awards Best Film on Family Welfare Sandhya Raagam Won[25]

1991 National Film Awards Best Feature Film in Tamil Vanna Vanna Pookkal Won[25]

2013 National Film Awards Best Feature Film on National Integration Thalaimuraigal Won[56]

2013 61st Filmfare Awards South Best Tamil Director Thalaimuraigal Nominated[a][83]

Lifetime Achievement Award – South

Won[b][84]

2014 8th Vijay Awards Vijay Award for Contribution to Tamil Cinema

Won[b]

2017 Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
State Film Awards Best Story Writer Thalaimuraigal Won[b]

Filmography[edit] As director[edit]

Kokila (1977; Kannada
Kannada
film) Azhiyadha Kolangal
Azhiyadha Kolangal
(1979) Moodu Pani
Moodu Pani
(1980) Moondram Pirai
Moondram Pirai
(1982) Olangal (1982; Malayalam film) Nireekshana
Nireekshana
(1982; Telugu film) Oomakkuyil
Oomakkuyil
(1983; Malayalam film) Sadma
Sadma
(1983; Hindi film) Neengal Kettavai (1984) Un Kannil Neer Vazhindal
Un Kannil Neer Vazhindal
(1985) Yathra (1985; Malayalam film) Rettai Vaal Kuruvi
Rettai Vaal Kuruvi
(1987) Veedu (1988) Sandhya Raagam (1989) Vanna Vanna Pookkal
Vanna Vanna Pookkal
(1992) Marupadiyum
Marupadiyum
(1993) Sathi Leelavathi (1995) Aur Ek Prem Kahani
Aur Ek Prem Kahani
(1996; Hindi film) Raman Abdullah (1997) En Iniya Ponnilave (2001) Julie Ganapathy (2003) Adhu Oru Kana Kaalam (2005) Thalaimuraigal
Thalaimuraigal
(2013)

As cinematographer only[edit]

Panimudakku (1972; Malayalam film) Maaya (1972; Malayalam film)[85] Nirthasala (1972; Malayalam film; one song) Sasthram Jayichu Manushyan Thottu (1973; Malayalam film) Abhimanavanthulu (1973; Telugu film) Kaliyugam (1973; Malayalam film) Chukku (1973; Malayalam film) Nellu (1974; Malayalam film) Rajahamsam (1974; Malayalam film)[85] Chattakari (1974; Malayalam film) Jeevikkan Marannu Poya Sthree (1974; Malayalam film)[85] Makkal (1974; Malayalam film)[85] Raagam (1975; Malayalam film)[85] Prayanam (1975; Malayalam film) Tourist Bunglow (1975; Malayalam film)[85] Chuvanna Sandhyakal (1975; Malayalam film)[85] Anuraagaalu (1975; Telugu film) Cheenavala
Cheenavala
(1975; Malayalam film)[85] Missi (1976; Malayalam film)[85] Ponni (1976; Malayalam film) Chennaaya Valarthiya Kutty (1976; Malayalam film) America Ammayi (1976; Telugu film) Tharam Marindi (1977; Telugu film)[86] Panthulamma
Panthulamma
(1977; Telugu film) Lambadolla Ramadasu (1978; Telugu film)[87] Mullum Malarum
Mullum Malarum
(1978; Tamil film) Manavoori Pandavulu
Manavoori Pandavulu
(1978;Telugu film) Sommokadidhi Sokokadidhi
Sommokadidhi Sokokadidhi
(1979; Telugu film) Ulkatal
Ulkatal
(1979; Malayalam film) Sankarabharanam
Sankarabharanam
(1980; Telugu film) Kaliyuga Ravanasurudu (1980; Telugu film)[87] Echchil Iravugal
Echchil Iravugal
(1982; Tamil film)[88] Pallavi Anu Pallavi
Pallavi Anu Pallavi
(1983; Kannada
Kannada
film) Urangatha Ninaivugal (1983; Tamil film)[89]

Television[edit]

Kathai Neram (2000)

Notes[edit]

^ Nominated posthumously ^ a b c Awarded posthumously

References[edit]

^ a b c d e f g " Balu Mahendra
Balu Mahendra
was also a literary figure". Ceylon Today. 17 February 2014. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 20 February 2014.  ^ a b c d Rangan, Baradwaj (14 February 2014). "Naturalism was his signature". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 14 February 2014. Retrieved 14 February 2014.  ^ "Tamil cinema's auteur Balu Mahendra
Balu Mahendra
dead". Business Standard. 13 February 2014. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 14 February 2014.  ^ Prasad, Shiva (20 May 2013). " Balu Mahendra
Balu Mahendra
turns a year older!". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 13 September 2015. Retrieved 10 June 2013.  ^ Raghu, Sunita (17 September 2013). "I genuinely feel I can act: Balu Mahendra". The New Indian Express. Archived from the original on 21 September 2013. Retrieved 20 September 2013.  ^ Rajadhyaksha & Willemen 1999, p. 141. ^ a b K.S, Sivakumaran (21 March 2012). "Arts from far – Indian Tamil Cinema: Balu Mahendra". Daily News. Archived from the original on 7 April 2014. Retrieved 13 June 2013.  ^ a b c Mahendra, Balu (7 September 2012). "சினிமாவும் நானும்..." (in Tamil). filmmakerbalumahendra.blogspot.in. Archived from the original on 4 March 2014. Retrieved 26 February 2014.  ^ a b c d e f g h i N Venkateswaran (14 February 2014). "Balu Mahendra, who made his visuals speak, dies at 74". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 2 March 2014. Retrieved 14 February 2014.  ^ a b c d e f g "Balu Mahendra: True to the spirit of '60s,'70s, his stories were simple and visuals evocative". The Indian Express. 14 February 2014. Archived from the original on 14 February 2014. Retrieved 14 February 2014.  ^ a b c S.R. Ashok Kumar (18 October 2013). "Cinematography has changed, so also the way films are made". Frontline. Archived from the original on 23 February 2014. Retrieved 22 February 2014. (subscription required) ^ Dey 1982, p. 45. ^ B. Kolappan; Karthik Subramanian (13 February 2014). "Veteran filmmaker Balu Mahendra
Balu Mahendra
passes away". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 13 February 2014.  ^ a b "Kamal Haasan: " Balu Mahendra
Balu Mahendra
and I shared a very close relationship"". Desimartini.com. HT Media. 17 February 2014. Archived from the original on 21 February 2014. Retrieved 19 February 2014.  ^ a b c d e f Viswanath, Chandrakanth (14 February 2014). "Balu Mahendra – a Deft Director Who Wielded Candid Camera". The New Indian Express. Archived from the original on 3 March 2014. Retrieved 14 February 2014.  ^ a b c "The Best Films of Balu Mahendra". Rediff. 13 February 2014. Archived from the original on 5 July 2015. Retrieved 13 February 2014.  ^ a b "Kokila was Balu's first as director". The Hindu. 14 February 2014. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 14 February 2014.  ^ "Balu Mahendra: The method, the madness". Rediff.com. 7 January 2002. Archived from the original on 8 November 2012. Retrieved 13 February 2014.  ^ Kolappan, B.; Subramanian, Karthik (13 February 2014). "Veteran filmmaker Balu Mahendra
Balu Mahendra
passes away". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 13 February 2014.  ^ Mahendra, Balu (21 April 2013). "முள்ளும் மலரும் படத்தில் நான்" (in Tamil). filmmakerbalumahendra.blogspot.in. Archived from the original on 2 November 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2013.  ^ a b Warrier, Shobha (18 August 2003). "Sex and teenage fantasies". Rediff. Archived from the original on 30 May 2013. Retrieved 14 February 2014.  ^ a b Ajith Kumar, P.K. (26 August 2010). "A life in cinema". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 7 December 2013. Retrieved 13 February 2014.  ^ Babu Jayakumar, G (14 February 2014). "Visual Epics to Relive the Master Storyteller". The New Indian Express. Archived from the original on 14 February 2014. Retrieved 15 March 2014.  ^ a b c d Kolappan, B. (14 February 2014). " Balu Mahendra
Balu Mahendra
passes away". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 14 February 2014.  ^ a b c d e f g h i Venkateswaran, N (14 February 2014). "Balu Mahendra, who made his visuals speak, dies at 74". The Times of India. Retrieved 16 February 2014.  ^ a b G., Prasad (18 August 2007). "Off the beaten track". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 15 June 2016. Retrieved 11 June 2013.  ^ Ajith Kumar, P.K. (15 February 2014). "A fascinating journey in filmdom". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 28 February 2014. Retrieved 19 February 2014.  ^ a b c Reed 1984, pp. 234–235. ^ " Sadma
Sadma
Director Balu Mahendra
Balu Mahendra
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Thalaimuraigal
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Sadma
director Balu Mahendra
Balu Mahendra
dies at 74". The Hindustan Times. 13 February 2014. Archived from the original on 16 February 2014. Retrieved 16 February 2014.  ^ a b "61st National Film Awards Announced" (PDF) (Press release). Press Information Bureau (PIB), India. 16 April 2014. Retrieved 16 April 2014.  ^ a b Mathai, Kamini (14 February 2014). "To Balu sir with love". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 15 February 2014. Retrieved 15 February 2014.  ^ "Silk Route". Mint. 30 September 2011. Archived from the original on 16 April 2015. Retrieved 21 February 2014.  ^ Joy, Prathibha (13 February 2014). "Veteran director Balu Mahendra no more". The Times of India. Retrieved 21 February 2014.  ^ Pillai, Sreedhar (15 May 1983). "Imitation of Life". India Today. reprinted by bharatgopy.com. Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2014.  ^ "பாலு மகேந்திரா உடலுக்கு மெளனிகா அஞ்சலி". The Hindu
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(in Tamil). 14 February 2014. Archived from the original on 8 May 2014. Retrieved 7 May 2014.  ^ Shankar (14 February 2014). "கணவர் பாலு மகேந்திரா உடலைப் பார்க்க மௌனிகாவுக்கு 'ஒருவழியாக' அனுமதி" (in Tamil). Oneindia.in. Archived from the original on 1 March 2014. Retrieved 21 February 2014.  ^ "Veteran director Balu Mahendra
Balu Mahendra
dead!". The Times of India. 13 February 2014. Archived from the original on 14 February 2014. Retrieved 13 February 2014.  ^ "Balu Mahendra: Indian filmmaker dead". BBC News. 13 February 2014. Archived from the original on 6 March 2014. Retrieved 13 February 2014.  ^ "Celebrities mourn legendary Balu Mahendra's death". The Hindustan Times. 13 February 2014. Archived from the original on 15 February 2014. Retrieved 15 February 2014.  ^ Seshagiri, Sangeetha (14 February 2014). " Balu Mahendra
Balu Mahendra
Cremated: Suriya, Vijay, Kamal and Other Film Personalities Paid Last Respects to Acclaimed Director". Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 15 February 2014.  ^ Kumar 2000, p. 178. ^ "Visuals in Balu Mahendra's films speaks several emotions, says filmmaker K Vishwanath". IBNLive. Archived from the original on 19 April 2014. Retrieved 17 April 2014.  ^ Rajendran, Sowmya. "Balu Mahendra, master of complex relationships". Sify. Archived from the original on 16 April 2014. Retrieved 17 April 2014.  ^ "Farewell, Balu". Oman Tribune. Archived from the original on 4 December 2014. Retrieved 22 February 2014.  ^ "ബാലു ഛായാഗ്രാഹകര്ക്ക് മേല്വിലാസം നല്കി -മധു അമ്പാട്ട്‌". Mathrubhumi
Mathrubhumi
(in Malayalam). 14 February 2014. Archived from the original on 2 March 2014. Retrieved 2 March 2014.  ^ a b Krishnan, Rukmini (18 February 2014). "Balu Mahendra: A legend that lives on". Daily News and Analysis. Archived from the original on 5 December 2014. Retrieved 21 February 2014.  ^ "Style meets substance". The Hindu. 28 January 2006. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 28 November 2013.  ^ Haasan, Kamal (14 February 2014). "Kamal Haasan's tribute to Balu Mahendra". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 13 December 2014. Retrieved 14 February 2014.  ^ Sampath, Janani (15 January 2014). "Eighties Flavour Keen to Leave Imprint". The New Indian Express. Archived from the original on 13 December 2014. Retrieved 21 February 2014.  ^ "Awesome Few". Frontline. Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 1 December 2013.  ^ " Cinematographer
Cinematographer
who said no to Kamal five times". Behindwoods.com. Archived from the original on 12 November 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2013.  ^ Cineswami (13 February 2014). "The legacy of Balu Mahendra". India Webportal Private Limited. Archived from the original on 13 February 2014. Retrieved 14 February 2014.  ^ "The chronicler of Kollywood". The Times of India. 20 March 2011. Archived from the original on 19 September 2015. Retrieved 17 April 2014.  ^ "State Film Awards 1969 – 2011". Department of Information and Public Relations. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 16 February 2014.  ^ a b " Balu Mahendra
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Is No More". cinejosh.com. 14 February 2014. Archived from the original on 14 February 2014. Retrieved 16 February 2014.  ^ "The Nominations – 1983". Indiatimes. Archived from the original on 8 July 2012. Retrieved 16 February 2014.  ^ "Best Director". Filmfare. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 3 July 2014.  ^ "Veterans steal the show at 61st Idea Filmfare
Filmfare
Awards". The Times of India. 13 July 2014. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 13 July 2014.  ^ a b c d e f g h i "Balu Mahendra: Camera". Malayalam Music Movie Encyclopedia. Archived from the original on 21 February 2014. Retrieved 16 February 2014.  ^ Garga 1996, p. 292. ^ a b "Artist Profile: Balu Mahendra". aptalkies.com. Archived from the original on 12 August 2014. Retrieved 3 August 2014.  ^ Ramachandran 1982, p. 96. ^ "Urangatha Ninaivugal". Upperstall.com. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 16 February 2014. 

Bibliography[edit]

Baskaran, Sundararaj Theodre (2013). The Eye of the Serpent: An Introduction to Tamil Cinema. Westland. ISBN 978-93-83260-74-4.  Baskaran, Sundararaj Theodore (2009). History through the lens: perspectives on South Indian cinema. Orient Blackswan. ISBN 978-81-250-3520-6.  Dey, Ajoy Kumar (1982). IFSON, special issue, Filmotsav, '82. Federation of Film Societies of India.  Garga, Bhagwan Das (1996). So many cinemas: the motion picture in India. Eminence Designs. ISBN 978-81-900602-1-9.  Kindem, Gorham Anders (2000). The International Movie Industry. SIU Press. ISBN 978-0-8093-2299-2.  Kumar, Keval J. (2000). Mass Communication in India (4th Edition). Jaico Publishing House. ISBN 978-81-7224-373-9.  Rajadhyaksha, Ashish; Willemen, Paul (1999). Encyclopaedia of Indian cinema. British Film Institute.  Ramachandran, T.M. (1982). Film World. 19.  Reed, Sir Stanley (1984). The Times of India
The Times of India
Directory and Year Book Including Who's who. The Times Group. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Balu Mahendra.

Balu Mahendra's official blog (in Tamil) Balu Mahendra
Balu Mahendra
on IMDb

v t e

Films directed by Balu Mahendra

Kokila (1977) Azhiyatha Kolangal
Azhiyatha Kolangal
(1979) Moodu Pani
Moodu Pani
(1980) Moondram Pirai
Moondram Pirai
(1982) Nireekshana
Nireekshana
(1982) Olangal (1982) Oomakkuyil
Oomakkuyil
(1983) Sadma
Sadma
(1983) Neengal Kettavai (1984) Un Kannil Neer Vazhindal
Un Kannil Neer Vazhindal
(1985) Yathra (1985) Rettai Vaal Kuruvi
Rettai Vaal Kuruvi
(1987) Veedu (1988) Sandhya Raagam (1989) Vanna Vanna Pookkal
Vanna Vanna Pookkal
(1991) Marupadiyum
Marupadiyum
(1993) Sathi Leelavathi (1995) Aur Ek Prem Kahani
Aur Ek Prem Kahani
(1996) Raman Abdullah (1997) En Iniya Pon Nilavae (2001) Julie Ganapathi (2003) Adhu Oru Kana Kaalam (2005) Thalaimuraigal
Thalaimuraigal
(2013)

v t e

National Film Award for Best Cinematography

1967–1980

Black-and-white

Ramachandra (1967) Nariman Irani (1968) K. K. Mahajan
K. K. Mahajan
(1969) K. K. Mahajan
K. K. Mahajan
(1970) Nando Bhattacharya (1971) Mankada Ravi Varma (1972) Apurba Kishore Bir
Apurba Kishore Bir
(1973) K. K. Mahajan
K. K. Mahajan
(1974) B. S. Lokanath (1975) P. S. Nivas (1976) Balu Mahendra
Balu Mahendra
(1977) Shaji N. Karun
Shaji N. Karun
(1978) Kamal Nayak (1979) Sivan (1980)

Color

M. N. Malhotra (1967) K. S. Prasad (1968) Marcus Bartley
Marcus Bartley
(1969) Radhu Karmakar (1970) Ramachandra (1971) K. K. Mahajan
K. K. Mahajan
(1972) Soumendu Roy (1973) Soumendu Roy (1974) Ishan Arya (1975) S. Ramachandra
S. Ramachandra
(1976) Soumendu Roy (1977) Govind Nihalani
Govind Nihalani
(1978) Rajan Kinagi (1979) Ashok Kumar (1980)

1981–2000

Black-and-white

Shripati R. Bhat (1981) No Award (1982) B. Bindhani and Raj Shekharand (1983) Discontinued after 1983

Color

Ashok Mehta (1981) Balu Mahendra
Balu Mahendra
(1982) Madhu Ambat (1983) Jehangir Choudhary (1984) Subrata Mitra (1985) Venu (1986) P. C. Sreeram
P. C. Sreeram
(1987) Apurba Kishore Bir
Apurba Kishore Bir
(1988) Virendra Saini (1989) Santosh Sivan
Santosh Sivan
(1990) Apurba Kishore Bir
Apurba Kishore Bir
(1991) Venu (1992) Venu (1993) K. V. Anand (1994) Santosh Sivan
Santosh Sivan
(1995) Mrinal Kanti Das (1996) Santosh Sivan
Santosh Sivan
(1997) Santosh Sivan
Santosh Sivan
(1998) Anil Mehta (1999) Ashok Mehta (2000)

2001–present

Ramachandra Halkare (2001) Abhik Mukhopadhyay (2002) Abhik Mukhopadhyay (2003) Mahesh Aney (2004) Madhu Ambat (2005) Goutam Ghose
Goutam Ghose
(2006) Shanker Raman (2007) Abhik Mukhopadhyay (2008) Anjuli Shukla (2009) Madhu Ambat (2010) Satya Rai Nagpaul (2011) Sudheer Palsane (2012) Rajeev Ravi (2013) Sudeep Chatterjee (2014) Sudeep Chatterjee (2015) Tirru (2016)

v t e

Kerala State Film Award
Kerala State Film Award
for Best Cinematography

1969–1980

Black-and-white

Ashok Kumar (1969) Mankada Ravi Varma (1970) Melli Irani (1971) Mankada Ravi Varma (1972) Ashok Kumar (1973) Mankada Ravi Varma (1974) Balu Mahendra
Balu Mahendra
(1975) Vipindas
Vipindas
(1976) Ashok Kumar (1977) Madhu Ambat (1978) Hemachandran (1979) Sivan/Mahesh (1980)

Color

E. N. Balakrishnan (1972) — (1973) Balu Mahendra
Balu Mahendra
(1974) Masthan (1975) Ramachandra Babu
Ramachandra Babu
(1976) Shaji N. Karun
Shaji N. Karun
(1977) Ramachandra Babu
Ramachandra Babu
(1978) Shaji N. Karun
Shaji N. Karun
(1979) Ramachandra Babu
Ramachandra Babu
(1980)

1981–2000

Black-and-white

Vipin Mohan (1981) — (1982) — (1983) Mankada Ravi Varma (1984) Discontinued after 1984

Color

Vasanth Kumar (1982) Mankada Ravi Varma (1983) Jayanan Vincent (1984) Venu (1985) Shaji N. Karun
Shaji N. Karun
(1986) Madhu Ambat (1987) Sunny Joseph
Sunny Joseph
(1988) Ramachandra Babu
Ramachandra Babu
(1989) Madhu Ambat (1990) S. Kumar (1991) Santosh Sivan
Santosh Sivan
/ Venu (1992) P. Sukumar (1993) Hari Nair (1994) Santosh Sivan
Santosh Sivan
(1995) M. J. Radhakrishnan (1996) Hari Nair (1997) Azhagappan (1998) M. J. Radhakrishnan (1999) Sunny Joseph
Sunny Joseph
(2000)

2001–present

K. G. Jayan (2001) Mankada Ravi Varma / Sunny Joseph
Sunny Joseph
(2002) Venu (2003) S. Kumar (2004) Santosh Sivan
Santosh Sivan
(2005) Manoj Pillai
Manoj Pillai
(2006) M. J. Radhakrishnan (2007) M. J. Radhakrishnan (2008) K. G. Jayan (2009) M. J. Radhakrishnan (2010) Shahanad Jalal (2011) M. J. Radhakrishnan (2012) Madhu Neelakandan (2013) Sujith Vaassudev (2014) Amal Neerad
Amal Neerad
(2015) Jomon T. John (2016) M. J. Radhakrishnan (2017)

v t e

Filmfare
Filmfare
Award for Best Tamil Director

1972–1990

P. Madhavan (1972) A. C. Tirulokchandar (1973) K. Balachander
K. Balachander
(1974) K. Balachander
K. Balachander
(1975) S. P. Muthuraman
S. P. Muthuraman
(1976) S. P. Muthuraman
S. P. Muthuraman
(1977) Bharathiraja (1978) J. Mahendran
J. Mahendran
(1979) K. Balachander
K. Balachander
(1980) K. Balachander
K. Balachander
(1981) Balu Mahendra
Balu Mahendra
(1982) A. Jagannathan (1983) K. Balachander
K. Balachander
(1984) Fazil (1985) Mani Ratnam
Mani Ratnam
(1986) Bharathiraja (1987) (1988) K. Balachander
K. Balachander
(1989) Mani Ratnam
Mani Ratnam
(1990)

1991–2000

Mani Ratnam
Mani Ratnam
(1991) K. Balachander
K. Balachander
(1992) Shankar (1993) Shankar (1994) Mani Ratnam
Mani Ratnam
(1995) Agathiyan
Agathiyan
(1996) Cheran (1997) Cheran (1998) Bala (1999) Rajiv Menon (2000) Cheran (2001) Mani Ratnam
Mani Ratnam
(2002) Bala (2003) Cheran (2004) Shankar (2005) Vasanthabalan
Vasanthabalan
(2006) Ameer Sultan
Ameer Sultan
(2007) M. Sasikumar
M. Sasikumar
(2008) Priyadarshan
Priyadarshan
(2009) Vasanthabalan
Vasanthabalan
(2010)

2011–present

Vetrimaaran
Vetrimaaran
(2011) Balaji Sakthivel
Balaji Sakthivel
(2012) Bala (2013) AR Murugadoss
AR Murugadoss
(2014) Mohan Raja
Mohan Raja
(2015) Sudha Kongara (2016)

v t e

Filmfare
Filmfare
Award for Best Malayalam Director

1972–1990

K. S. Sethumadhavan (1972) K. S. Sethumadhavan (1973) K. S. Sethumadhavan (1974) Bharathan
Bharathan
(1975) Sreekumaran Thampi (1976) I. V. Sasi
I. V. Sasi
(1977) I. V. Sasi
I. V. Sasi
(1978) Bharathan
Bharathan
(1979) Bharathan
Bharathan
(1980) K. S. Sethumadhavan (1981) Balu Mahendra
Balu Mahendra
(1982) (1983) (1984) (1985) Hariharan (1986) Pratap Pothan (1987) Padmarajan
Padmarajan
(1988) (1989) Bhadran (1990)

1991–2010

Sibi Malayil
Sibi Malayil
(1991) Sibi Malayil
Sibi Malayil
(1992) Shaji Kailas
Shaji Kailas
(1993) Hariharan (1994) Bhadran (1995) Sathyan Anthikad (1996) Jayaraj (1997) Sreenivasan
Sreenivasan
(1998) Shyama Prasad
Shyama Prasad
(1999) Jayaraj (2000) Vinayan (2001) Lal Jose
Lal Jose
(2002) Sathyan Anthikkad (2003) Blessy
Blessy
(2004) Blessy
Blessy
(2005) Roshan Andrews (2006) Babu Thiruvalla (2007) Ranjith (2008) Hariharan (2009) Ranjith (2010)

2011–present

Blessy
Blessy
(2011) Lal Jose
Lal Jose
(2012) Shyamaprasad
Shyamaprasad
(2013) Anjali Menon
Anjali Menon
(2014) R. S. Vimal (2015) Dileesh Pothan
Dileesh Pothan
(2016)

v t e

Filmfare
Filmfare
Award South for Lifetime Achievement

1983–1989

S. P. Balasubrahmanyam
S. P. Balasubrahmanyam
(1983) Sowcar Janaki
Sowcar Janaki
(1984) Sivaji Ganesan
Sivaji Ganesan
(1985) Thikkurissy Sukumaran Nair (1986) Bhanumathi Ramakrishna
Bhanumathi Ramakrishna
(1987) Akkineni Nageswara Rao
Akkineni Nageswara Rao
(1988) Ilaiyaraaja
Ilaiyaraaja
(1989)

1990–1999

Padmini (1990) M. T. Vasudevan Nair (1991) L. V. Prasad
L. V. Prasad
(1992) Gemini Ganesan
Gemini Ganesan
(1993) K. Balachander, Kasinathuni Viswanath, B. Saroja Devi, Madhu, Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Soumitra Chatterjee
Soumitra Chatterjee
(1994) Nagesh & Manorama (1995) Krishna & Sharada (1996) Nedumudi Venu
Nedumudi Venu
& S. Janaki
S. Janaki
(1997) Allu Rama Lingaiah & Lakshmi (1998) Pandari Bai
Pandari Bai
& Mugur Sundar (1999) D. Ramanaidu & Sheela (2000)

2001–2010

M. S. Viswanathan
M. S. Viswanathan
& Dasari Narayana Rao
Dasari Narayana Rao
(2001) Kovelamudi Raghavendra Rao & Vishnuvardhan (2002) K. J. Yesudas
K. J. Yesudas
& Vijayashanti (2003) K. R. Vijaya & Ramoji Rao (2004) Thilakan
Thilakan
& Sukumari
Sukumari
(2005) Krishnam Raju
Krishnam Raju
& P. Susheela
P. Susheela
(2006) Sivakumar
Sivakumar
& Jaya Prada
Jaya Prada
(2007) Veturi Sundararama Murthy
Veturi Sundararama Murthy
(2008) Ambareesh & KPAC Lalitha (2009) Chiranjeevi
Chiranjeevi
& Jayasudha (2010)

2011–present

S. P. Muthuraman
S. P. Muthuraman
& Seema (2011) Bapu & Vani Jairam
Vani Jairam
(2012) Balu Mahendra
Balu Mahendra
& Jayabharathi
Jayabharathi
(2013) I. V. Sasi
I. V. Sasi
& Raadhika (2014) Mohan Babu (2015) Vij

.