Govind Nihalani began his career as a cinematographer, after graduating in cinematography from Shree Jaya Chamrajendra polytechnic, Bangalore, 1962.The first feature film photographed and co-produced by him was "Shantata! Court Chalu Ahe" (Silence! The Court is in Session) which was co-produced and directed by playwright and stage director Satyadev Dubey. Then followed the highly rewarding association with director Shyam Benegal, for whom he photographed several documentaries (including a feature length documentary on Satyajit Ray) and ten feature films including "Junoon", for which Nihalani received a National Award for Best Color Cinematography in 1979. He also photographed Girish Karnad’s celebrated Kannada film "Kadu" (The Forest)."Aakrosh" (The Cry of the Wounded)was Nihalani’s first feature film as director cinematographer. It immediately established his emergence as a serious film-maker. The film shared the Golden Peacock Award at the International Film Festival of India held in New Delhi, 1981. The same year director Richard Attenborough signed Nihalani on as a second unit director cinematographer for "Gandhi". "Vijeyta" (The Victor), set against the backdrop of the Indian Airforce, was Nihalani’s second film; It was completed in late 1982. "Ardh Satya" (Half Truth) followed in 1983. It was received with great critical acclaim and won the National Award for the Best Hindi Film. Om Puri, the leading actor of the film, received the Best Actor Award at Korlovy Vary Film Festival, 1984. "Party", Nihalani’s fourth film was the official Indian entry to the International Film Festival of India at New Delhi. It won the National Award for the Best Supporting Actress for Rohini Hattangadi at the 32nd National Film Festival of India, 1985 and the Best Actress award for Vijaya Mehta at the Asia Pacific Film Festival. "Aghaat" (Blood of Brothers) was Nihalani’s fifth film and was the competition entry at Montreal World Film Festival, 1986. "Tamas", a five hour epic set against the background of partition of India, was the sixth directorial venture. The film has participated in several International Film Festivals including at London, Montreal and New Delhi, 1989. Nihalani was invited to be a member of the jury at Montreal World Film Festival."Jazeere" produced for Doordarshan, is based on Henrik Sen’s play "Little Eyolf" Nihalani’s seventh film. "Pita" his eighth film is based on Stirndberg’s play "The Father"(in Hindi for Doordarshan)."Drishti", Nihalani’s ninth film received the National Award for the Best Hindi Film 1990, and also participated in the Indian Panorama of the International Film Festival of India, Madras 1991."Rukmavati Ki Haveli" (Rukmavati’s Mansion) is Nihalani’s tenth film. It is based on the Spanish play "The House of Bernarda Alba" by Federico Garcia Lorca. Apart from films, Nihalani has directed and/or photgraphed a number of documentaries on various subjects. He was invited to serve as member of International Jury for the competition section at the Montreal Film Festival, 1989."Droohkaal" was awarded the Best Director Award at the 9th Damascus Film Festival, 1995; and the National Award Winner for the Best Supporting Actor. Govind Nihalani was invited to serve as a member of International Jury at the Pyongang Film Festival 1996."Sanshodhan", a feature film produced for UNICEF and NFDC in the year 1996. "Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa" (Mother of 1084) is Mr. Nihalani’s latest feature film. This film is based on Mahasweta Devi’s Bengali Novel "Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa". The film won the National Award for the Best Hindi Film, 1997.
Date of Birth : 19 August 1940
Place of Birth : Karachi, British India (now Pakistan)