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Shyam Benegal, film maker of Manthan (The Churning) churns one more award

MIFF 2018 to honour Shyam Benegal with V Shantaram Lifetime Achievement Award

The Movie poster of Manthan (The Churning) Movie made by Shyam Benegal and released in 1976, the film portrays on rural empowerment and is set against the backdrop of Gujarat's fledgeling dairy industry.
The V Shantaram Lifetime Achievement Award of the Mumbai International Film Festival for Documentary, Shorts & Animation Films - MIFF 2018 will be conferred upon veteran filmmaker Shyam Benegal.  The award carrying a Trophy, a shawl, citation and cash prize of Rs 1 million (Rs 10 lakhs) will be presented by the Governor of Maharashtra, Shri C Vidyasagar Rao at the MIFF 2018 Valedictory Function at NCPA on Saturday.

An independent committee comprising  Rahul Rawail, Kiran Shantaram, Prasoon Joshi, Bharathi Pradhan and Vinod Anupam unanimously recommended the name of Shri Shyam Benegal, taking note of his significant contribution to the growth and sustenance of documentary movements in India.

One of the leading and widely respected filmmakers of India, Shri Shyam Benegal is known for making thought-provoking films centre around contemporary Indian experience. He is credited with pioneering new cinema in the country.

While Shyam Benegal has made 28 feature films including landmark films like Ankur, Nishant, Mandi and Junoon,  his filmography also includes 41 documentaries covering a wide variety of subjects including cultural anthropology, sustainable growth,  biopic, art and culture.  His 1982 documentary 'Satyajit Ray' won the National Award for Best Biographical Film, while his 1985 film 'Nehru' won the award for Best Historical Reconstruction.The 1990s saw Shyam Benegal making a trilogy on Indian Muslim women, starting with Mammo (1995), Sardari Begum (1996) and Zubeidaa (2001). With Zubeidaa, he entered mainstream Bollywood, as it starred top Bollywood star Karishma Kapoor, Rekha, Manoj Bajpayee and Amrish Puri; having music composed by A. R. Rahman.

A keen follower of art filmmakers and an avid watcher of Shyam Benegal movies, Actor Hemu Shetty has also been a connoisseur of art movies believes, an actor can truly hone his skills by watching more of art movies which have been made by the numerous veteran art filmmakers innumerable times, couldn't help gushing and applauding said " Kudos to Shyam Benegal for getting this award, his contribution has been immense in creativity and introducing fine actors to Indian cinema and Television. He also has been influential with his contribution in creating a new genre of sensible and realistic filmmaking thereby inspiring a whole lot of filmmakers to carry this legacy forward. Many of his peers and followers through his inspiration have contributed and built this Indian cinema which has become one of the world's largest entertainment stage drawing professionals from across the world". Actor Hemu Shetty, also a  Speech Reformer and a well-known actor from Bollywood  and Tulu Cinema, (now coined as TULUWOOD) , he is also been nicknamed as the Tulu Actor,  with his long experience as an acting coach , overall a celebrated self-styled campaigner of Mithun Chakraborty , having an ability of a #HistrionicAnalyzer and penchant of an  #HistrionicWriter.
In 1985, Shyam Benegal stepped beyond traditional narrative films and took to a biographical material to achieve greater freedom of expression. His first venture in this genre was a documentary film based on Satyajit Ray's life, Satyajit Ray.
His work on television consists of several popular series including the 53 part series Bharat Ek Khoj, first broadcast on Doordarshan in 1988. He also made the much acclaimed 'Samvidhaan - The Making of the Constitution of India".

He has authored three books based on his own films: The Churning with Vijay Tendulkar (1984), based on Manthan; Satyajit Ray (1988), based on his biographical film, Satyajit Ray; and The Marketplace (1989), which was based on Mandi.

Born in 1934 in Hyderabad, Shyam Benegal completed his M.A. in Economics from the Osmania University and began working in an advertising agency, before venturing into filmmaking.  He made his first documentary film 'Gher Behti Ganga'  (Ganga at Doorstep) in Gujarati in 1963.  Shri Benegal credits his photographer father and cousin Guru Dutt ( Famous film director and actor Guru Dutt's maternal grandmother and Shyam's paternal grandmother were sisters) as early influencers for him taking up filmmaking as a career.

Shri Benegal also taught mass communication between 1966 and 1973 and later took an active role in shaping film education as Chairman of the Film & Television Institute of India (FTII) during the 1980s and early 90s. Recipient of many awards including 9 National Awards for his feature films,  Shri Benegal has been honoured by the Government of India with Padma Shri,  Padma Bhushan as well as the coveted Dadasaheb Phalke Award.

The V Shantaram Lifetime Achievement Award for contribution to the documentary movement is conferred on a veteran filmmaker at every MIFF organized by Films Division. The award is instituted in memory of legendary filmmaker Shantaram Rajaram Vankudre, known popularly as V. Shantaram, who was closely associated with the Films Division as Honorary Chief Producer during the 1950s.

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