B. R. Vijayalakshmi

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B. R. Vijayalakshmi
OccupationCinematographer, screenwriter, director
Spouse(s)S. Sunil Kumar
Parent(s)B. R. Panthulu (father)

B. R. Vijayalakshmi is an Indian cinematographer. She started her career as an assistant to cinematographer Ashok Kumar and made her feature film debut in 1985 through the Tamil film Chinna Veedu. Known for being Asia's first woman cinematographer, Vijayalakshmi has worked in 22 feature films. In addition to her film career, she has also worked on many Television series. She is known to be the best friend of actress/film maker Suhasini. Suhasini being close childhood friend of B.R.Vijayalakhmi and Manirathnam being a close teenage friend of B.R.Ravi {B.R. Vijaya Lakshmi's brother} is seen as the reason for Suhasini-Manirthnam'S romantic marriage. Vijay Lakshmi's brother B.R.Ravi is a IIT graduate. He dropped himself into cinema after the demise of his father B.R.Panthulu. Manirathnam has himself stated in his book "Conversations with Manirathnam" that he discovered his passion to cinema only when he made routine chit chat's and film making debates with his friend B.R.Ravi during their early 20s. According to a speech from suhasini, Manirathnam is acclaimed to have assisted only one movie in his life time, which is a B.R.Ravi's Directorial.


Vijayalakshmi was born to B. R. Panthulu, a director and producer in South Indian films.[1] Her brother B.R. Ravishankar is a film-maker in Kannada cinema.[1][2] She worked as an interior designer before entering into films. Vijayalakshmi was interested in pursuing a cinematography course in a film school, but was persuaded by cinematographer Ashok Kumar who took her as a camera assistant citing that practical experience would give more exposure to her.[3] She joined Ashok Kumar in the 1980 Tamil film Nenjathai Killathe and continued to work under him for nearly 30 films over a period of three years.[1][2] During this time she did "Clash work" for films such as Kai Kodukkum Kai (1984) and Pillai Nila (1985).[2]

Vijayalakshmi got her break as an independent cinematographer through K. Bhagyaraj's Chinna Veedu in 1985. The film made her Asia's first woman cinematographer.[1][2][4] Between 1985 and 1995, she worked in about 22 films including Aruvadai Naal (1986), Sirai Paravai (1987) and Iniya Uravu Poothathu (1987) for directors like C. V. Sridhar and G. M. Kumar. She also wrote the script for Sangeeth Sivan's Malayalam film Daddy (1992). In 1995, she made her directorial debut through Paattu Padava for which she also wrote the script and handled the cinematography.[5][6] The film was screened at the International Film Festival of India in 1996 and it was well known for the songs tuned by Ilaiyaraaja.[3]

Vijayalakshmi is married to Sunil Kumar, a sound recordist and has a son with him. Post marriage she left films and entered television.[3] Vasantham Colony her first attempt at TV was a children's serial.[1] Maya Machindra (Vijay TV) and Velan (Sun TV) are among the other prominent television series that she has worked in.[5] While directing Velan, she was appointed as the creative head of Saregama, an Indian music company. In September 2005, she became the business head of the TV Software Division of the company.[4]

Partial filmography[edit]

As cinematographer[edit]

As writer[edit]

  • Daddy (1992)
  • Paattu Padava (1995)

As director[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "An Interview with B.R. Vijayalakshmi (Cinematographer)". Chennai Online. January 2004. Archived from the original on 31 January 2004. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d ராஜா, செந்தில் நாதன். "உதிர்ந்தது ஓர் உதிரிப் பூ!". Cinema Express (in Tamil). Retrieved 18 November 2014.
  3. ^ a b c Khajane, Muralidhara (25 August 2011). "The lens view". The Hindu. Retrieved 9 November 2014.
  4. ^ a b Umashanker, Sudha (13 June 2006). "As candid as her lens". The Hindu. Retrieved 9 November 2014.
  5. ^ a b Rangarajan, Malathi (27 March 2000). "Success for the asking". The Hindu. Retrieved 9 November 2014.
  6. ^ Rangarajan, Malathi (2 May 2002). "A winning combination". The Hindu. Retrieved 9 November 2014.