Govind Nihalani

Profession: Producer , Cinematography, Dialogue, Director, Lyricist, Screenplay, Story Writer
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Personal Details

  • Also Know as :- Govind Nihalani
  • Profession:- Producer , Cinematography, Dialogue, Director, Lyricist, Screenplay, Story Writer
  • Gender :- male
  • Birthdate:- 19 Dec 1940
  • Debut Year:- 1980
  • Active Years:- Till Today

Physique Details

Family Details

Govind Nihalani is a brother-in-law to Shatrughan Sinha His style of cinematograph has been the adopting the Dark style. His films revolved around intense and drama surrounding political and police force. Govind Nihalani has penned the Encyclopaedia of Hindi Cinema along with Saibal Chatterjee and Gulzar for the publishers Popular Prakashan in 2003.

Govind Nihalani was born in Karachi in Sindh province which is now called Pakistan. His family migrated to India during partition of 1947. He graduated in cinematography from Shree Jaya Chamrajendra Polytechnique which is now referred to as the Government of Film and Television Institute. In 1962 Govind Nihalani assisted the legendary V. K. Murthy, who was specialist cinematographer of legendary filmmaker Guru Dutt’s film. Hence he understood the art of filmmaking better. Later his association with Shyam Benegal boosted his skills in cinema. He also had the rare honour of working as cinematographer with Sir Richard Attenborough in his epic Gandhi which went on to become an Oscar winning film.

Govind Nihalani had clearly displayed his political connection and affiliation on various occasions during the general elections of 2014. He had also produced a campaign video called ' Har Har Modi Ghar Ghar Modi' thus making his stand clear. Though not much is known otherwise about Govind Nihalani's involvement in the Political scenario.

Govind Nihalani started his career in Indian films as a cinematographer, director, screen writer and producer. His first directorial venture was with Om Puri, Naseeruddin Shah, Smita Patil and Amrish puri for the film Aakrosh. The film tackled with intense theme and was portrayed tastefully. The script of the film was by the noted Marathi writer Vijay Tendulkar. The film went on to be the best film at the International Film Festival held in India at New Delhi in 1981 and they shared the Golden Peacock Award. In 1997 Nihalani produced the film Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa adapted from the Bengali novelist Mahasweta Devi's acclaimed novel with the same name. Nihalani is well known for his hard-hitting cult classic Ardh Satya, that expose the corruption in police machinery in India. The film starring Om Puri received critical acclaim for depicting the involvement of police, politician and criminal nexus. It was based on a true short story by S. D. Panwalkar. It was made engrossing and taut by the brilliant screenplay by Vijay Tendulkar. Some of his other films were Party, Drishti, Takshak and Dev that received great recognition as well. In 1979 Govind Nihalani won a series of awards starting with the National Award for the Best Cinematography for his film Junoon. He also went on to receive the Filmfare Awards for Best Director for the film Aakrosh, Best Film Critics for Award for Aghaat, Best Cinematography for Vijeta and Best Director for Ardh Satya. He was also the recipient of six National Film Awards and five Filmfare Awards. A Padma Shri recipient and a pioneer of Indian Parallel Cinema, Govind Nihalani has a history of producing some of the cult classic films. His films always made an attempt to uncover the hypocritical and profound extremes which kind of set his concept of making films. Though they were not all very popular at the box office yet they were well received by critics and thinking audience. One of the examples is his film Party released in 1984, the film aimed at the urban elites who pretend to be interested in art and fail to show any empathy towards the society they live in. The film was based on a playwright by Mahesh Elkunchwar. The film was showcased at the 32nd International Film Festival of India. The Indian Film Festival was held in Delhi then and all filmmakers had a two minute interaction with the then Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi. Govind Nihalani had asked her if there is a serious film being made on Partition of India based on the novel; will the Government approve and support it? Indira Gandhi had replied by saying, ' When do you want to make it? Nihalani had replied, ' Jab Aap Paise De Dein'( Whe you give the money!!) . Though the government’s NFDC did not lend him money but Govind Nihalani himself produced and directed Tamas, a hard hitting film set in backdrop of non-stricken Pakistan during the partition. The film was aired on DD and not had theatrical release. The film is still shown at film festivals or on some channel around the Indian Independence day. Govind Nihalani received the Nargis Dutt Award for the Best Feature film on National Integration for his film Tamas In 1996 Govind Nihalani once again had an intense script for Drohkaal which was remade in Tamil language with the name Kuruthipunal by the veteran actor Kamal Hassan which went on to become India's official entry to the Oscar nomination under the Foreign language films category. His last film Dev was with megastar Amitabh Bachchan, which was released in 2004. The film handled the sensitive theme of communal riots and secularism. After Dev, Govind Nihalani did not direct any more films for about 10 years. However after the long break he made his comeback in the year 2014 with an animation film for kids called the Kamlu Happy Happy. A film about a baby camel who dreams of flying. Govind Nihalani's most recent video was 'Mera Desh Hai Mahaan' that was played in the interval during the screening of Prem Ratan Dhan Paayo. People called it a spoof or criticised the video as it showcased visuals of foreign countries to portray India and had showed our Prime Minister Narendra Modi meditating on the top of a mountain. The film depicted the vision that Modi dreamt for New India. Govind Nihalani was not disturbed and said he was proud of what he was able to achieve by broadcasting that short film. It reached out to the masses through the theatres. Some facts:- Govind Nihalani recalling his early days when he began his career in the film that he was inspired by the Bengali trio Mrinal Sen, Satyajit Ray and Ritwik Ghatak . The three had a great influence on him and had a warm relationship. A special soft corner for the vetaran actor Late Om Puri and his name brings a smile on the face of the director and writer Govind Nihalani. Om Puri gave some of his best performances in the films helmed by Govind Nihalani. Their first association together was about 36 years back when he had just moved to Mumbai and was struggling to start his career.. Govind Nihalani's good friend Ram Mohan who had pioneered Modern Indian animation was in the process of making a black and white documentary film which was being brainstormed for new ideas and to decide on the star cast. During that time we had heard about the then director of FTII Girish Karnad who was one of the finest actors of FTII and had recommended two fine actors of the Institute to him. One was Om Puri and the other was Naseeruddin Shah. Both came and met Govind Nihalani. Both didn't have the actor's look and he had even joked that they looked like labourers. Nihalani recalled that thereafter he went on to make six films and a television miniseries (Tamas) with Om Puri in the span of 25 years. That's how Om Puri came into his life and their first meeting triggered off in a very close friendship between the two. The two had grown so close that he decided to cast him in his most of his film that began with his first film Aakrosh in 1980. His fondness for Om Puri , he described him as someone who touched his life in every way, every aspect of his life. Om Puri's death recently has left a void in Govind Nihalani's life In 1997 during the making of the film Thakshak, he was making a choice between a commercial film or a parallel cinema. Reluctantly Nihalani had selected the mainstream. The result was reflected in the film that weighed heavily on his conscience. He followed his heart and made films like Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa and Deham . But as they say dreams remain unfulfilled. For 20 years Govind Nihalani tried his best to work with Amitabh Bachchan but for some reason or the other it did not materialise. However in 2003, Govind Nihalani got a script which was approved by Amitabh Bachchan . The film was Dev, his very first project with the superstar and his last collaboration with the last Om Puri. Nihalani considers that as privilege to work with both stalwarts of the film industry. Both highly professional and both had their own style that he was familiar with.. Govind Nihalani has a record of films from 1977 to 2004.

# Released Date Type Credited As Movie
1 21 Jul 2017 Film DirectorCinematography Ti Ani Itar
2 14 Jun 2013 Film Cinematography Anumati
3 11 Jun 2004 Film ProducerDirectorLyricistDialogueCinematography Dev
4 03 Dec 1999 Film ProducerDirectorStory writerCinematography Thakshak
5 20 Mar 1998 Film DirectorStory WriterScreenplayCinematographyProducer Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa
6 05 Jan 1996 Film Director Sanshodhan
7 23 Oct 1995 Film Story writer Kuruthipunal
8 01 Jan 1995 Film ProducerDirectorStory writerScreenplayCinematography Drohkaal
9 19 Jul 1991 Film DirectorStory WriterScreenplayCinematography Jazeere
10 01 Jan 1991 Film DirectorScreenplay Pita