Balu Mahendra Family Marriage Wife Photos Biography Profile Biodata Age Height Details
Name Balu Mahendra
Date of Birth:12-05-1939
Wife: Mounika , Shobha
Occupation Cinematography, Editor, Screenplay, Writer
Died 13 February 2014
Balanathan Benjamin Mahendran (20 May 1939 - 13 February 2014), commonly known as Balu Mahendra, was an Indian cinematographer, director, screenwriter and film editor who worked predominantly in Tamil cinema. Born into a Sri Lankan Tamil household, he developed a passion for photography and literature at a young age. After the shooting of David Lean's The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) during a school trip in Sri Lanka, he was drawn towards filmmaking. He graduated from the London University and was a draughtsman with the Sri Lankan Government. In 1966, he moved to India and gained admission to the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) to pursue a race in motion picture photography. Upon completion of his diploma, he entered Malayalam as a cinematographer in the early 1970s.
After working as a cinematographer, Mahendra made his directorial debut in 1977 with the Kannada film Kokila. Since then, he directed over 20 films in a span of 36 years. Along with P. Bharathiraja and J. Mahendran, he is regarded as a trendsetter in Tamil cinema. During the course of his career, he has a film school in Chennai, which offers courses in cinematography, direction and acting. Mahendra died of cardiac arrest in February 2014.
Widely regarded as an author, Mahendra usually scripted and edited his films apart from shooting them. He was the recipient of six National Film Awards (including two for Best Cinematography), three Filmfare Awards South and several state government awards.
Mahendra was born in 1939 to a Tamil family in Sri Lanka in the Amirthakali village near Batticaloa, Sri Lanka. During a professor father, he studied at Methodist Central College and St. Michael's College, Batticaloa. As a teenager, he was drawn towards the films of his class teacher. It was during this period that he saw bicycle thieves (1948) and the battleship Potemkin (1925).  When he was in grade six, he had the opportunity to witness the construction of the David Lean Bridge on the Kwai River (shot in Sri Lanka) during a field trip. Inspired by the personality of Lean, Mahendra decided to become a filmmaker.
"I used to cut out my cinematography classes and attend courses in the executive departments, script writing and editing. However, I used to get the best rank in cinematography, so the teacher did not mind going to other classes. at the time was the direction and script with a little interest in cinematography ".
-Mahendra in an interview with Frontline in 2013
From his childhood, Mahendra was interested in the fine arts and literature. At the end of the school, he joined the University of London and obtained a Bachelor of Science degree. After graduating, he returned to Sri Lanka and worked in Colombo as a survey designer for a brief period during which he published a Tamil literary magazine Thyen Aruvi. In Colombo, he worked as an amateur drama artist with Radio Ceylan and became familiar with the Sinhalese theater groups.
Mahendra's passion for cinema led him to leave for India and to join the Institute of Cinema and Television of India, Pune in 1966. He had to take the cinematography because he could not go in other disciplines. At the institute, he was exposed to the world cinema since he had the opportunity to watch movies directed by François Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard, both associated with the French New Wave movement. In 1969, Mahendra graduated from the institute with a gold medal.
Mahendra was married thrice. He was first married to Akhileshwari with whom he had a son. His relationship with actress Shoba ended in 1980 after she committed suicide following their marriage. Upon her death, the media speculated that Mahendra was responsible for her death. After that, Mahendra wrote a series of "sentimental musings" in the Tamil magazine Kumudam under the title Shobavum Naanum (Shoba and me). Their relationship was explored by KG George (Mahendra's junior at the FTII) in his 1983 Malayalam movie Lekhayude Maranam Oru Flashback. When the film was released, Mahendra said that the film had nothing to do with him and had not discussed about it with George. In 1998, he married another actress Mounika and declared their marriage publicly in 2004.
Following a heart attack on 13 February 2014, Mahendra was admitted to Vijaya Hospital in Chennai where he was declared dead after six hours of cardiac arrest. Shortly after the news of his death, members of the Indian film industry posted their condolences in Twitter and Facebook. The Tamil film fraternity mourned the death and paid homage to him at his "film school" in Saligramam, Chennai,  and the last rites of Mahendra were performed at Porur crematorium on the same day.
Kokila (1977; Kannada film)
Azhiyadha Kolangal (1979)
Moodu Pani (1980)
Moondram Pirai (1982)
Olangal (1982; Malayalam film)
Nireekshana (1982; Telugu film)
Oomakkuyil (1983; Malayalam film)
Sadma (1983; Hindi film)
Neengal Kettavai (1984)
Un Kannil Neer Vazhindal (1985)
Yathra (1985; Malayalam film)
Rettai Vaal Kuruvi (1987)
Sandhya Raagam (1989)
Vanna Vanna Pookkal (1992)
Sathi Leelavathi (1995)
Aur Ek Prem Kahani (1996; Hindi film)
Raman Abdullah (1997)
En Iniya Ponnilave (2001)
Julie Ganapathy (2003)
Adhu Oru Kana Kaalam (2005)