Dev Benegal

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Dev Benegal
Dev Benegal Tokyo Intl Filmfest 2009.jpg
Born (1960-12-28) 28 December 1960 (age 58)
New Delhi, India
Occupationfilm director, screenwriter

Dev Benegal (Konkani: देव बॅनॅगल) (born 28 December 1960) is a New York based Indian filmmaker and screenwriter, most known for his debut film English, August (1994), which won the 1995 National Film Award for Best Feature Film in English.

Early life and education[edit]

Dev was born in Bombay to Som Benegal, a theatre director, and his wife Suman. He has one brother, Rahul. Suman Benegal is the sister of Snehlata Sanyal, wife of B. C. Sanyal and mother of Amba Ravindran

Dev Benegal grew up in New Delhi. In 1979, he left Delhi for Mumbai (then Bombay), to pursue a career in movies.[1] He studied Cinematography for two years at the Film School of New York University in the late 1980s.[1][2]


After serving as the assistant to Shyam Benegal in films like Kalyug (1980), Mandi (1983) and his famous documentary on Satyajit Ray, Satyajit Ray, Filmmaker (1984), Dev Benegal directed a series of short short films, Kalpavriksha: The Tree of Life (1988), Kanakambaram: Cloth: of Gold (1987), and Anantarupam: The Infinite Forms (1987). He directed several documentaries, including Shabana! (2003) with Indian film star Shabana Azmi and Abhivardhan: Building for a New Life (1992). In 1994 he wrote and directed his adaptation of Upamanyu Chatterjee's 1989 novel by the same name, based on the Indian Administrative Service, English, August (1994). The film received praise from critics for its modern and urban themes and was hailed as the cinematic counterpart to the later Anglo-Indian literary movement. It also won the Best Feature Film in English Award at National Film Awards,[3] and is now hailed as a landmark in contemporary Indian cinema as it ushered in a wave of independent Indian filmmakers, commonly known as "multiplex films" in India.[1][4]

Split Wide Open (1999), another Hinglish film, was also a critical success and won a Special Jury Prize at the 2000 Singapore International Film Festival. Benegal's latest film, Road, Movie (2009), about a travelling cinema troupe in Rajasthan, and starring Abhay Deol and Tannishtha Chatterjee as the lead, premiered at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival.[3][4][5]

His project Samurai was selected for the Hong Kong Asia Film Finance Forum (HAF),[6] but eventually was not screened.[7]

Dev Benegal is currently developing a film on the life of mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan.[8]



  • Shabana! (2003)
  • Merchants & Marxists: Stones of the Raj (1997)
  • Field of Shadows (1993)
  • Abhivardhan: Building for a New Life (1992)
  • Kalpavriksha: The Tree of Life (1988)
  • Kanakambaram: Cloth of Gold (1987)
  • Anantarupam: The Infinite Forms (1987)



External links[edit]