Biography : Govind Nihalani
Famous Sindhi - Cinematographer Director - Padma Shri
Govind Nihalani is yet another Sindhi personality whose life went under the painful experience of 1947 partition, though Govind was at tender age of seven years, being born on 19th August 1940, but still this painful and very strong uprooting of Sindhis craved into his mind and got expression with his Popular [TV] television serial "Tamas".
This is the fact that beside the business talent God has blessed the Sindhis with unique intellectual talent for the language, literature and performing art. Govind Nihalani is one of best illustrations for this. He completed his graduation in cinematography from the "Shree Jaya Chamarajendra Polytechnic Bangalore" in the year 1962 and started working at Bombay [Mumbai] the dream city of Indian youth, as the cinematographer with Film Industry.
First major breakthrough of his professional career was "Shantata! Court Chalo Aahe" [ silence! Court in the Session] a Marathi feature film, in which he worked not only behind the camera eye but also was co-producer with famous director and play writer Satyadev Dubey. Govind's association with director Shyam Benegal can be said historic for Indian film Industry as this duo went to work in tandem for several documentaries including one long one on legendry "Satya Jit Ray" and more than ten feature films out of which "Junoon" brought most fame and "Best Cinematography" National Award for the Govind Nihalani in the year 1979. Another significant evidence for the unmatched talent Govind have for working behind the camera was illustrated when for Girish Karand he photographed Kannada film "Kadu" [The Forest].
His work was expanding wings and he came with "Aakrosh" for which he was cinematographer director. This film brought a double glory for him as at the International Film Festival of India held in the Delhi he was honored to share "Golden Peacock Award" , people started to look upon him as a serious film maker, his work was being noticed and appreciated on World level, Legendry Richard Attenborough approached him for working as the cinematographer director [Second Unit] for his dream project "Gandhi".
Those were the days of very high influence of angry young man image of Amitabh Bachan and under going the need for the parallel or art cinema. Govind with his off beat topics for his films was the front runner. In the year 1982 he came with "Vijeta" [The Victor] a film having back ground with Indian Air Force and in 1983 with "Ardh Satya" [Half Truth], which went on to prove a huge commercial success also, critics were also highly impressed with this film which went to be adjudged as the "Best Hindi Film" by the selection committee for the National Film Awards.
At the International film festival of India 1984, Govind's Party was the official Indian entry for the festival and Rohini Hattangadi went on to win the National Award for Best Supporting Actress. For the same Film Vijaya Mehta won the Best Actress at Asia Pacific Film Festival in the year 1985. Beside working behind the camera as the director and photographer Govind has also played a vital role in pre production of many films in the capacity of Story and screen play writer. "Takshak" released in 1999 [Story and screen play] and 1998 released "Hazar Chourasi Ki Maa" [screen play] are the best illustration for this unique talent of Govind Nihalani.
During the long career in Indian Cinema Govind has won many National and international awards. He is among rare class of Hindi Film Directors who were honored twice at Film fare awards with award for "Best Director".
Till date he won in all five Film Fare awards as listed below
1986 : Aaghat : Best Film - Critics
1984 : Vijeta : Best Cinematography
1984 : Ardh Satya : Best Director
1981 : Aakrosh : Best Director
1980 : Junoon : Best Cinematography