Santosh Sivan at his studio
8 February 1964 |
Trivandrum, Kerala, India
|Occupation||Cinematographer, film Director, actor & film producer|
Santosh Sivan (born 8 February 1964) is an Indian cinematographer, film director and producer in Indian cinema. Sivan graduated from the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) and has to date completed 45 feature films and 41 documentaries. He is a founding member of the Indian Society of Cinematographers (ISC) and is the most awarded Director of Photography (DP) in India. Sivan became the first Cinematographer in the Asia-Pacific region to be honored with American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) membership. As a cinematographer, he has won five National Film Awards – including four for Best Feature Film Cinematography. As of 2014, he has received 11 National Film Awards for his work in various films.
Early life and education
Sivan was born into a family of artists. His grandmother used to teach him painting and music in the palace and as a kid he accompanied her to the palace. These visits gave him an opportunity to become familiar with the paintings of Raja Ravi Varma, a nineteenth-century Indian painter whose renowned works were themes from Hindu mythology, and everyday life of his times.
His grandmother often narrated the mythological stories of the themes of these paintings, where in the postures, colors guided the imagination. This turned out to be his very first visual education ( later he made some of these into celluloid and also acted as "Raja Ravi Varma" in a feature! ).
His father used to make documentaries and during holidays he would excitedly, volunteer to help. These trips were very interesting. He loved sketching with charcoal, and was fascinated by details that you observe when you want to sketch. During these travels to remote areas in South India, He was fortunate to listen folklore's and stories of people of the land.
Sivan, a founder member of the Indian Society of Cinematographers and the most awarded Director of Photography in this country, graduated from the Film and Television Institute of India and went on to completing 45 features and 41 documentaries.
He was awarded the National Award for best Cinematographer for the films Perumthachan (Malayalam/1991), Kalapani (Malayalam / 1996), Mohiniyattam (Malayalam / 1991), Iruvar (Tamil/1998) and Dil Se.. (Hindi/1999).
Sivan was honored by the Japanese Society of Cinematographers and has been on the Jury for the Busan Film Festival. He is a “mentor” to students for Mira Nair’s “Maisha Film Lab: in Uganda and is a director to the Sivan Foundation of photography. He was also a governing council member at the Pune Film Institute.
Late 1999s and present
Sivan received worldwide accolades for The Terrorist (presented by John Malkovich), which won the Best Director, Best Actress Awards and the Golden Pyramid Award for The Best Film at the 23rd Cairo International Film Festival. It was awarded the National Award (1999) for The Best Tamil Film and was an Official Selection at the Sundance, Seattle and Toronto Film Festivals of that year. The film was also listed in Roger Ebert’s 100 Best Films (1999). the film was Quoted as being "a film scripted by the camera"
Following the success of The Terrorist, Sivan’s film MALLI won the National Award for Best Environmental Film in India (2000), the National Award in India for Best Child Artist (2000) and was honored at the 18th International Festival of Film for Children in Poznan, Poland where it won the Poznan Goat for Best Director, Best Child Actress & Best Music and the Best Film-Audience Award at the Indian Film Festival|Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles in Los Angeles.
Sivan’s subsequent films include ASOKA, which screened at the Venice and Toronto Film Festivals (2001) and Navarasa, which won the National Award for Best Tamil Film (2004) and the Monaco Award for Best Film & Best Supporting Actor awarded at the Lyons Film Festival. The latter also participated in the Pusan and Rotterdam Film Festivals. His debut Malayalam Language film, Anandabhadram (2005), went on to win several State Awards, including Best Director & Best Cinematographer. Sivan has worked as the Cinematographer in Gurinder Chadha’s Bride & Prejudice (2004) and Paul Mayeda Berges’ The Mistress of Spices (2005).
Sivan directed Before the Rains which is premiered as a Special Presentation at the Toronto International Film Festival (2007). In addition, his short film PRARAMBHA, which was created for the Bill and Melinda Gates AIDS Foundation, also premiered at the Mavericks section of the Festival. It won the National Awards 2007 for Best Producer and Best Director in the Educational and Motivational Film category.
His film, Tahaan, won a High Commendation in Children's Feature Film section at the 2009 Asia Pacific Screen Awards and UNICEF Award at 11th Olympia International Film Festival for Children and Young People in 2008 held at Greece. Tahaan won "The German Star of India award" at "Bollywood and Beyond" festival at Stuttgart Germany in 2009.
His latest Malayalam film, Urumi (2011) is to be screened at the Indian Panorama of the International Film Festival of India to be held in Goa 2012 and has already been to Busan and NHK film festivals. He was also the cinematographer for the Tamil movie Thuppakki, starring Vijay & directed by AR Murugadoss.
Sivan's documentary Farmers Portrait is near completion. He makes films on health and environment issues, like the Polio campaign with Amitabh Bachchan.
His 2007 release, Prarambha won the National Film Award for Best Educational/Motivational/Instructional Film at the 55th National Film Awards. The film dealt with the stigma attached to an HIV + person. It dealt with a little boy who had been ostracized from school only because he is diagnosed with HIV. This film highlighted the plight of the boy and highlighted the ignorance of the society towards this virus. It dealt with the myths surrounding HIV and aimed at educating the masses through an entertaining story weaved around the little boy. This was produced by the Bill and Melinda Gates Aids foundation and was shot entirely in Mysore.
|Ad Film for|
|Polio Camping with Amitabh Bachchan|
|Bhima jewelry etc.|
|Denotes films that have not yet been released|
|1988||Story of Tiblu||Yes||National Film Award for Best Short Fiction Film|
|1990||Sunday 7 PM||Yes|
|1996||Halo||Yes||Yes||Yes||National Film Award for Best Children's Film|
|1998||The Terrorist||Yes||Yes||National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Tamil|
|1998||Malli||Yes||National Film Award for Best Film on Environment Conservation/Preservation|
|1998||Kuch Kuch Hota Hai||Yes|
|2000||Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani||Yes|
|2001||Asoka||Yes||Yes||Yes||IFFA Best Cinematographer Award
|2004||Bride and Prejudice||Yes|
|2004||Meenaxi: A Tale of Three Cities||Yes|
|2005||Navarasa||Yes||Yes||National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Tamil|
|2005||The Mistress of Spices||Yes|
|2007||Prarambha||Yes||Short film for AIDS awareness campaign|
|2007||Before the Rains||Yes||Yes||WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival Grand Award for Best Theatrical Feature|
|2008||Tahaan||Yes||Yes||Best feature film award, CIFEJ Award (Centre International du Film pour l’ Enfant et la Jeunesse)
UNICEF Award at 11th Olympia International Film Festival for Children and Young People in 2008 held at Greece Hindi Film
|2011||Urumi||Yes||Yes||Yes||Best Director at the Imagineindia International Film Festival Madrid|
|2013||Kadal Kadannu Oru Maathukutty||Yes|
|2014||Arival Chuttika Nakshathram||Yes|
|2011||Makaramanju||Raja Ravi Varma|
|2012||Thuppakki||Special appearance in the song "Google Google"|
|Civilian honours||Padma Shri|||
- 1992 – Aham – Best Cinematography (Colour)
- 1996 – Kalapani – Best Cinematography
- 2005 – Anandabhadram – Best Cinematography
- 1994 – Pavithram-best cinematography
- 1999 – Dil Se.. – Best Cinematography
- 2001 – Halo – Critics Award for Best Movie
- 2002 – Asoka – Best Cinematography
- Filmfare Awards South
- IIFA Awards
- 2002 – Asoka – IFFA Best Cinematographer Award
- 2005 – Meenaxi: A Tale of Three Cities – Best Cinematography
- 1998 – Malli – Best Director at Cairo International Film Festival
- 1998 – Malli – Golden Pyramid at Cairo International Film Festival
- 1999 – Malli – Adult's Jury Award for Feature Film and Video (2nd Place) at Chicago International Film Festival
- 1999 – The Terrorist – Grand Jury Prize at Cinemanila International Film Festival
- 1999 – The Terrorist – Lino Brocka Award for Best Film at Cinemanila International Film Festival
- 2000 – The Terrorist – Poznan Goat for Best Director at Ale Kino International Young Audience Film Festival
- 2000 – The Terrorist – Panorama Jury Prize for Honorable Mention at Sarajevo Film Festival
- 2000 – Emerging Masters Showcase Award at Seattle International Film Festival Awards
- 2004 – Malli – Audience Award for Best Feature Film at Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles
- 2008 – Before the Rains – Grand Award for Best Theatrical Feature at WorldFest Houston International Film Festival
- 2001 – Malli – Independent Spirit Award for Best Foreign Film
- 2001 – The Terrorist – Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Foreign Language Film
- [dead link]
- Gulzar, Govind; Saiba Nihalani (2003). "Biography: Sivan, Santosh". Encyclopaedia of Hindi Cinema. Encyclopaedia Britannica (India). p. 633. ISBN 81-7991-066-0.
- "Padma awardees 2014". The Times of India. 25 January 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Santosh Sivan.|
- Official website
- Santosh Sivan's blog on PassionForCinema.com
- Santosh Sivan at the Internet Movie Database
- Director with a Focus
- Shana Maria Verghis of The Daily Pioneer (India) Interviews Santosh Sivan