Balu Mahendra


Name: Balanathan Benjamin Mahendran

Birth: 20 May 1939

Death: 13 February 2014

Profession:  Indian cinematographer, director, screenwriter and film editor

As director
Kokila
Azhiyadha Kolangal
Moodu Pani
Moondram Pirai
Olangal
Nireekshana
Oomakkuyil
Sadma
Neengal Kettavai
Un Kannil Neer Vazhindal
Yathra
Rettai Vaal Kuruvi
Veedu
Sandhya Raagam
Vanna Vanna Pookkal
Marupadiyum
Sathi Leelavathi
Aur Ek Prem Kahani
Raman Abdullah
En Iniya Ponnilave
Julie Ganapathy
Adhu Oru Kana Kaalam
Thalaimuraigal
As cinematographer only
Panimudakku
Maaya
Nirthasala
Sasthram Jayichu Manushyan Thottu
Abhimanavanthulu (
Kaliyugam
Chukku
Nellu
Rajahamsam
Chattakari
Jeevikkan Marannu Poya Sthree
Makkal
Raagam
Prayanam
Tourist Bunglow
Chuvanna Sandhyakal
Anuraagaalu
Cheenavala
Missi
Ponni
Chennaaya Valarthiya Kutty
America Ammayi
Tharam Marindi
Panthulamma
Lambadolla Ramadasu
Mullum Malarum
Manavoori Pandavulu
Sommokadidhi Sokokadidhi
Ulkatal
Sankarabharanam
Kaliyuga Ravanasurudu
Echchil Iravugal
Pallavi Anu Pallavi
Urangatha Ninaivugal


Awards:

Kerala State Film Awards
1. Best Cinematography for Nellu
2. Best Cinematography (black-and-white) Prayanam, Chuvanna Sandhyakal (Black-and-white)
National Film Awards
1. Best Cinematography (Black-and-white) - Kokila
Karnataka State Film Awards
Best Screenplay - Kokila
Nandi Awards
Best Cinematographer - Manavoori Pandavulu & Nireekshana
Filmfare Awards South
Best Director (Tamil)
Best Director (Malayalam) - Olangal
Best Story - Sadma
National Film Awards
Best Cinematography (Colour) - Moondram Pirai
Best Feature Film in Tamil - Veedu
Best Film on Family Welfare - Sandhya Raagam
Best Feature Film in Tamil - Vanna Vanna Pookkal
Best Feature Film on National Integration - Thalaimuraigal
Filmfare Awards South
Best Tamil Director - Thalaimuraigal
Lifetime Achievement Award – South
Vijay Awards
Vijay Award for Contribution to Tamil Cinema
Tamil Nadu State Film Awards
Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Scriptwriter - Thalaimuraigal

Brief profile:

Mahendra was born in 1939 into a Sri Lankan Tamil family in the village Amirthakali near Batticaloa, Sri Lanka. Born to a professor father, he did his schooling at Methodist Central College and St. Michael's College, Batticaloa. As a teenager, he was drawn towards films by his class teacher.

Mahendra's passion for cinema prompted him to leave for India and join the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune in 1966. As a fresh graduate from the FTII, Mahendra's early attempts to enter Tamil cinema were unsuccessful. He got his first break as a cinematographer in 1971 in the Malayalam film Nellu. As a photographer, Mahendra was inspired by the works of Néstor Almendros and Michael Chapman