|Nagesh Kukunoor Naidu|
30 March 1967 |
|Occupation||Film director, Actor|
Nagesh Kukunoor (born 30 March 1967) is an Indian film director and screenwriter known for his works predominantly in Bollywood and Parallel cinema. He is known for films such as Hyderabad Blues (1998), Rockford (1999), Iqbal (2005), and Lakshmi (2014). In 2003, he directed 3 Deewarein which was show cased among the Indian panorama section, at the 2003 International Film Festival of India. The film was also premiered at the Kolkata Film Festival. After having been screened at the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles, where it was well received, the film was screened at the Commonwealth Festival at Manchester, it was nominated as one of the top five films, at the gala presentation. In 2006, He has garnered the National Film Award for Best Film on Other Social Issues, for directing Iqbal.
Nagesh Kukunoor Naidu was born to Kusuma Sudarshan and KS Naidu in Hyderabad. As a child he loved watching Telugu, Hindi, and English films in the theatres of his neighbourhood, Narayanguda. He moved to Atlanta, Georgia in the United States in 1988, and completed his Master's degree in Chemical Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology. He studied Acting & direction at the Warehouse Actor's Theater in Atlanta.
He invested the money he made from his engineering career in USA in producing the movie Hyderabad Blues. It is based on a script that he wrote in Atlanta dealing with Indians returning home from the United States of America. He directed and acted in the movie. It was a budget of Rs. 1.7 million (roughly equivalent to US$40,000) and shot in 17 days. It was perceived by Sanjay Arora, an independent film maker, to be realistic and among one of the first movies to use Hyderabadi Urdu correctly. It became the most successful independent film in India. The film was featured at Peachtree International Film Festival in Atlanta and Rhode Island International Film Festival.
3 Deewarein (2003) was premiered at the Kolkata Film Festival. In contrast to his earlier work, it had a budget of 21 million (US$350,000) and featured established actors including Naseeruddin Shah, Juhi Chawla and Jackie Shroff.
In 2006, Nagesh KuKunoor wrote and directed Dor, a drama film featuring Ayesha Takia, Gul Panag and Shreyas Talpade as the lead actors. Nagesh also acted in the film, playing the role of businessman Chopra. The film is about two women who come from different backgrounds and how fate brings them together. Meera (Ayesha Takia), a young woman who becomes a widow shortly after marriage, is trapped by tradition. Zeenat (Gul Panag), on the other hand, faces the daunting task of saving the life of her husband, who is on trial for murder. A bahuroopiya (Shreyas Talpade) helps her reach Meera, who holds the "string" to Zeenat's hope. The companionship that develops between Meera and Zeenat results in redemption for both. The film, which is a remake of the Malayalam film, Perumazhakkalam (2004), was well received by both, the critics and film buffs.
It was however his film Iqbal, which was brilliantly written by Vipul K Rawal featuring Shreyas Talpade and Naseeruddin Shah which won him a lot of critical acclaim and recognition for the simple yet heart rendering script and the acting by all actors.
8x10 Tasveer (2009), features Akshay Kumar in the lead role and Ayesha Takia as the female lead it is a thriller with a touch of Hollywood style cinematography, but fared poorly at the box office. It is considered to be Nagesh's most self reflective work to date. "I like to cast characters who are close to me. And this one gets as close to me as possible. I was once an environmental consultant. Akshay plays the part of an environment protection officer," Kukunoor said in an April 2009 interview. His latest Marathi film Dhanak (Rainbow) which has Shahrukh Khan in a cameo role is being shot in Rajasthan. The film is said to be a remake of an Iranian film ‘Besak‘. Nagesh's last film released was Lakshmi in 2014.
- International Awards
- Audience Award for best film at the Peachtree International Film Festival in Atlanta, Georgia – Hyderabad Blues – 1999
- Audience Award for best film at the Rhode Island International Film Festival – Hyderabad Blues – 1999
- Best Film - Mercedes Benz Audience Award, for Best Narrative at the Palm Springs International Film Festival - Lakshmi - January 13, 2014 
- Other Awards
- Teacher's Achievement Award for Creative and Performing Arts – 2002
- One Culture at a time (1995) Short film
- Hyderabad Blues (1998)
- Rockford (1999)
- Bollywood Calling (2001)
- 3 Deewarein (2003)
- Hyderabad Blues 2 (2004)
- Iqbal (2005)
- Dor (2006)
- Bombay To Bangkok (2008)
- 8x10 Tasveer (2009)
- Aashayein (2010)
- Mod (2011)
- Lakshmi (2014)
- Dhanak (2015) Hindi Feature film
- Sircar, Subhra (14 November 2002). "Desi films draw bigger crowds than foreign films". The Times of India. Retrieved 22 September 2010.
- "Nagesh Kukunoor – Biography". Retrieved 6 May 2011.
- "My Inspiration -Directors » Filmmakeronline.com – Sanjay Arora Independent Filmmaker". Retrieved 23 September 2009.
- "Hyderabad Blues 2 : Box Office India". Retrieved 23 September 2009.
- "Hyderabad Blues". Retrieved 6 May 2011.
- Varghese, Nina (10 August 2003). "The White formula for crossover success". The Hindu Business Line. Retrieved 22 September 2010.
- "English dreams, Hinglish films...". The Hindu. 28 July 2003. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
- "Hackneyed themes, new nuances". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 8 November 2009.
- "Akshay plays a character close to me: Nagesh Kukunoor - Sify.com". Retrieved 8 December 2011.
- "Nagesh Kukunoor, From Chemical Engineering to Bollywood". Georgia Tech College of Engineering. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
- "Informals...". IITB. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
- "Lakshmi wins Audience Award". India West. Retrieved 2014-01-13.