|Other names||R. Balakrishnan|
|Occupation||Former Group Chairman Lowe Lintas, film director, screenwriter|
R. Balakrishnan, popularly known as R. Balki, is an Indian filmmaker, screenwriter and former Group Chairman of the advertising agency Lowe Lintas (India). He is best known for directing Cheeni Kum (2007), Paa (2009) and Pad Man (2018).
He started, his career with Mudra at the age of 23. His passion had always been filmmaking. After college, he even applied to the Chennai Film Institute to do a course in direction. However, he did not like the panel that interviewed him, so he walked out. Not knowing what to do and having always been interested in Computers, he joined the newly begun Masters in Computer Application course at the Guindy College of Engineering, close to the film institute. After studying there for three years, he didn't complete the course due to lack of attendance. According to him, this was mainly because he spent his time playing cricket and watching films.
One day, he saw an advertisement in the papers by Mudra Communications. He had no idea about the company except the fact that their logo appeared after every episode of Buniyaad. And so he thought it was Ramesh Sippy's (the maker of Buniyaad) company. The advert asked people to send in 100 words describing who they were. He was selected for the first creative training programme by the agency. A programme that was like testing model for the agency for the creation of MICA years later.
Balki was soon addicted to advertising. Balki's ideas have included "Daag Achche Hain" for Surf Excel, "Jaago re" ads for Tata Tea, "What an idea sirji" Idea Cellular advertising campaign, Havells, Tanishq, ICICI Prudential, Saint-Gobain glass, Hamara Bajaj, Britannia, Pepsodent and many more.
Balki has written and directed the much enjoyed Cheeni Kum (2007), which starred Amitabh Bachchan and Tabu. His second feature film was the critically acclaimed and commercially successful Paa, (produced by Sunil Manchanda and Abhishek Bachchan), released on 4 December 2009, starring Amitabh Bachchan, his son Abhishek, and Vidya Balan. Shamitabh was his third Bollywood venture starring Amitabh Bachchan, southern superstar Dhanush and Akshara Haasan, who made her debut in the film. The film released on 6 February 2015. He then wrote and directed Ki and Ka which was released on 1 April 2016 starring Kareena Kapoor and Arjun Kapoor. His next was Pad Man, released February 2018, based on the life of Arunachalam Muruganantham, which he co-produced, wrote and directed. In 2019 Balki coproduced and wrote Mission Mangal where he also played the role of creative director.
Ilaiyaraaja, the noted Indian composer, is his favourite composer. Balki once commented, "My biggest inspiration has been Ilaiyaraaja's music; it was his music that got me interested in cinema in the first place." He has collaborated with P. C. Sreeram, India's premier cinematographer in all his films, an association that Balki cherishes deeply.
|2007||Cheeni Kum||Yes||No||Yes||starring Amitabh Bachchan, Tabu, Paresh Rawal|
|2009||Paa||Yes||No||Yes||starring Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan, Vidya Balan|
|2012||English Vinglish||No||Yes||No||starring Sridevi, Priya Anand|
|2015||Shamitabh||Yes||Yes||Yes||starring Amitabh Bachchan, Dhanush, Akshara Haasan|
|2016||Ki & Ka||Yes||Yes||Yes||starring Arjun Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor|
|2018||Pad Man||Yes||Yes||Yes||starring Akshay Kumar, Sonam Kapoor, Radhika Apte||First film without Ilaiyaraaja|
|2019||Mission Mangal||No||No||Yes||starring Akshay Kumar, Vidya Balan, Taapsee Pannu||also creative director|
|2021||Untitled Project||Yes||Yes||No||Dulquer Salmaan, Sunny Deol, Pooja Bhatt, Shreya Dhanwanthary||First film in thriller genre.|
Awards and nominations
Paa received 14 nominations at the 16th Star Screen Awards and won five awards of those. It also won National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi.
- R Balki quits Mullen Lowe Lintas, advertising for films
- "Kamal Haasan's younger daughter Akshara to jump into Bollywood arena". Tamilstar.
- CF (4 September 2013). "Akshara to follow Shruti's footsteps into tinsel town". KOLLY TALK.
- R Balki: Gauri can hurt me and Amitji can hurt me tremendously
- Ep 3 R Balki on Storytelling, Tech and Creativity
- Daag Acche Hai – A Lowe Lintas brainchild that changed the face of Surf Excel’s brand identity
- Bye bye Bajaj
- "'Cheeni Kum' clocks 13 years: R.Balki shares his experience on making a 'coming of age' film - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 8 February 2021.
- "Even after three films with Amitabh Bachchan, it's never easy to get him to sign on, says R Balki". Hindustan Times. 11 February 2020. Retrieved 8 February 2021.
- "Revealed – Kareena Kapoor's Look As 'KI' In R. Balki's 'Ki And Ka'". 29 July 2015.
- Vijayakar, Rajiv (19 January 2018). "Inspired Much". Deccan Herald. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
- R Balki dedicates Pad Man National Award win to Arunachalam Muruganantham: It belongs to him
- Raman, Sruthi Ganapathy (24 July 2019). "'Mission Mangal' film about 'ordinary people setting out to do extraordinary things', says director". Scroll.in. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
- LUNCH WITH BS: R Balki, Business Standard, Shobhana Subramanian.
- It’s Akshay Kumar for PC Sreeram and Balki this time
- "The accidental couple: The unconventional marriage of R Balki and Gauri Shinde". Hindustan Times. 24 March 2018. Retrieved 8 February 2021.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 14 August 2012. Retrieved 14 August 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link), Hindustan Times, 14 August 2012.
- Nominations for 16th Star Screen Awards, Star Screen Awards.
- "Akshay Kumar's 'PadMan' wins National Award for being best social film". Business Standard. 23 December 2019. Retrieved 29 April 2020.
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