P. C. Sreeram
Sreeram in 2015
26 January 1956|
|Other names||P. C, P. C. Sriram|
|Occupation||Cinematographer, Film Director|
|Relatives||P. R. Sundaram Iyer (grandfather)|
P. C. Sreeram (born 26 January 1956) is an Indian cinematographer and film director who works mainly in the Indian film industry. He is an alumnus of the Madras Film Institute. Apart from his cinematographic works, he was much appreciated for his directorial venture Kuruthipunal which was submitted by India as its official entry to the Oscars in 1996. Sreeram is well known for his association with Mani Ratnam and received critical acclaim for his work in films such as Mouna Ragam, Nayakan, Agni Natchathiram, Geethanjali, Alaipayuthey, O Kadhal Kanmani. He has worked as a cinematographer in over 30 films spanning across Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada and Hindi language, besides directing three films and a few TV commercials.
Early life and family
Sreeram was born on 26 January 1956 in Madras, (now Chennai, Tamil Nadu). He was the third child in the family and has two sisters. Sreeram's aspiration towards films grew much during his childhood days. He was educated at the Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School, Mylapore, Chennai. As a student he was not interested in studies and barely managed to pass the exams. He had a passion for photography and after many years of struggle he joined the Madras Film Institute to pursue a course in cinematography. Together with his friends Kamal Haasan, C. Rudhraiya, Santhana Bharathi, Radharavi, R. C. Sakthi and few others they were called "sanmac" group where they used to join together at a hotel in Chennai and share their learnings about cinema and future dreams of making a perfect cinema.
Sreeram is married and had a daughter named Swetha who died in 2010. His son Skanda is pursuing his studies in Australia. His niece Preetha Jayaraman, a cinematographer in the Tamil Film industry, was inspired to her calling largely by her uncle's work in the field.
Sreeram received his diploma in motion picture photography from the Madras Film Institute in 1979, and made his cinematic debut in the early 1980s. One of his earlier works, Meendum Oru Kaathal Kathai (1985), won the Indira Gandhi Award for Best Debut Film of a Director in 1984. Following a few commercially unsuccessful releases, he worked with Mani Ratnam for the first time in Mouna Ragam (1986). The film gave a much needed breakthrough for both of them. Following the film's success, the pair went on to work in Nayagan (1987). The film went on to win three National Film Awards at the 35th National Film Awards; Sreeram was awarded that year's National Film Award. He used new techniques in the camera for their next film Agni Natchathiram and was praised very much for his work. Sreeram shot all of Ratnam's films until Geethanjali (1989). The film was both critically acclaimed and commercially successful besides winning the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment and seven Nandi Awards—including the Best Story and Best Cinematography awards for Ratnam and Sreeram, respectively.
During the early 1990s, Sreeram worked in Gopura Vasalile (1991) and Thevar Magan (1992). He made his directional debut in 1992 with Meera, starring Vikram and Aishwarya in the lead roles. The film had a delayed release and was a poor grosser at the box-office. The following year, he renewed his association with Ratnam in the latter's Thiruda Thiruda.
Sreeram directed his second film Kuruthipunal (1995), a police story based on the Hindi film Drohkaal (1994). The film was India's official entry to the Oscars in 1996. It was showcased at the Rotterdam International Film Festival under the category "Director in Focus" eight years after its release. In 2004, he directed Vaanam Vasappadum, the first Indian film to make use of high-definition digital technology. The film was screened at the Mumbai International Film Festival and the ninth International Film Festival of Kerala. In 2007, Sreeram made his Bollywood debut with R. Balki's Cheeni Kum. Since then, Sreeram has shot all of Balki's films—Paa (2009), Shamitabh (2015), Ki & Ka (2016) and Pad Man (2018).
Sreeram is well known for his longtime association with Mani Ratnam, Moulee and Kamal Haasan. He received critical acclaim for his work in films such as Mouna Ragam, Nayakan, Geetaanjali, Thiruda Thiruda and Alaipayuthey. He has mentored some of the prominent cinematographers in the Indian film industry including Jeeva, M. S. Prabhu, Ramji, Chezhiyan, K. V. Anand, Tirru, Balasubramaniem, K. V. Guhan and Nirav Shah. In January 2016, Sreeram was elected as the president of South Indian Film Cinematographers Association.
- Vaa Indha Pakkam (1981)
- Oru Varisu Uruvagiradu (1982)
- Nandri, Meendum Varuga (1982)
- Meendum Oru Kaathal Kathai (1985)
- Koodum Thedi (1985; Malayalam film)
- Poove Poochudava (1985)
- Mouna Ragam (1986)
- Nee Thana Antha Kuyil (1986)
- Nayakan (1987)
- Dhoorathu Pachai (1987)
- Agni Natchathiram (1988)
- Apoorva Sagodharargal (1989)
- Geethanjali (1989; Telugu film)
- Idhaya Thamarai (1990)
- Gopura Vasalile (1991)
- Meera (1992)
- Amaran (1992)
- Thevar Magan (1992)
- Thiruda Thiruda (1993)
- May Madham (1994)
- Subha Sankalpam (1995; Telugu film)
- Kuruthipunal (1995)
- Shanti Shanti Shanti (1998; Kannada film)
- Mugam (1999)
- Kadhalar Dhinam (1999)
- Mugavaree (2000)
- Alaipayuthey (2000)
- Kushi (2001; Telugu film)
- Vaanam Vasappadum (2004)
- Kanda Naal Mudhal (2005)
- Cheeni Kum (2007; Hindi film)
- Keka (2008; Telugu film)
- Dhaam Dhoom (2008) (Partly completed)
- 13B (2009; Hindi film)
- Yaavarum Nalam (2009)
- Paa (2009; Hindi film)
- Ishq (2012; Telugu film)
- I (2015)
- Shamitabh (2015; Hindi film)
- O Kadhal Kanmani (2015)
- Ki and Ka (2016; Hindi film)
- Remo (2016)
- Pad Man (2018; Hindi film)
- Naa Nuvve (2018; Telugu film)
- Praana (2018 Malayalam film)
- Psycho (2018)
- Meera (1992; Tamil film)
- Kuruthipunal (1995; Tamil film)
- Vaanam Vasappadum (2004; Tamil film)
- Drohi (Telugu)
- 1987 – National Film Award for Best Cinematography for Nayakan
- 1990 – Nandi Award for Best Cinematographer for Geethanjali
- 2000 - Filmfare Award for Best Cinematographer - South for Alaipayuthey
- 2006 – Vijay Award for Best Cinematographer (Special Jury)
- 2013 – CineMAA Award for Best Cinematographer for Ishq
- 2013 – CineMAA Award for Life Time Contribution
- 2013 – Nominated: SIIMA Award for Best Cinematographer for Ishq
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