Govind Nihalani
Nihalani in 2006
Born (1940-12-19) 19 December 1940 (age 83)
Karachi, Sindh, British India
(in present-day Pakistan)
Years active1962–present

Govind Nihalani (born 19 December 1940) is an Indian film director, cinematographer, screenwriter and producer, known for his works in Hindi cinema, particularly the movement of parallel cinema. He has been the recipient of six National Film Awards, and five Filmfare Awards.[1][2]

Early life

Nihalani was born on 19 December 1940 in Karachi, Sindh province (now in Pakistan) and his family migrated to India during the partition of 1947.

He graduated in cinematography from the Shree Jaya Chamrajendra polytechnic (the present Government Film and Television Institute)[3] in Bangalore in 1962.


He started his career as an sssistant cinematographer to V. K. Murthy, post which he made his debut as a cinematographer. He was associated with all the earlier films of Shyam Benegal and with the cinematography of Richard Attenborough's Oscar-winning period biographical drama Gandhi (1982). Nihalani and Benegal are well known for their socially relevant films.[4][5]

His first directorial venture was the legal drama Aakrosh, starring Om Puri, Naseeruddin Shah, Smita Patil and Amrish Puri in lead roles. The film was scripted by noted Marathi playwright Vijay Tendulkar. The film won the Golden Peacock for best film at the International Film Festival of India held in New Delhi in 1981. [6][7] He then directed Ardh Satya, a 1983 film based on a story by S. D. Panwalkar.

In 1996, his script for Drohkaal was adapted by Kamal Haasan for its Tamil remake, Kuruthipunal, which subsequently became India's official entry for the 68th Academy Awards Best Foreign Language Film category.[8]

In 1997, he adapted Bengali novelist Mahasweta Devi's acclaimed novel by the same name to Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa.[9][10]

Literary works


Civilian honor
National Film Awards
Filmfare Awards


Year Title Director Cinematographer Writer Notes Ref.
1974 Ankur No Yes No
1975 Nishant No Yes No
1976 Manthan No Yes No
1977 Bhumika No Yes No
1978 Kondura No Yes No Hindi-Telugu bilingual film
1978 Junoon No Yes No
1980 Aakrosh Yes Yes No
1981 Kalyug No Yes No
1982 Vijeta Yes Yes No
1982 Arohan No Yes No
1983 Ardh Satya Yes Yes No
1983 Godam No Yes No
1984 Party Yes Yes Yes
1985 Aghaat Yes Yes No
1988 Tamas Yes Yes Yes
1990 Drishti Yes Yes Yes
1991 Pita Yes Yes Yes
1991 Rukmavati Ki Haveli Yes Yes Yes
1991 Jazeere Yes Yes Yes Television film
1994 Drohkaal Yes Yes Yes
1996 Sanshodhan Yes Yes Yes
1996 Kuruthipunal No No story Tamil language remake of Drohkaal
1998 Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa Yes Yes Yes Also producer
1999 Thakshak Yes No Yes Also producer
2001 Deham Yes Yes Yes
2004 Dev Yes Yes Yes Also producer
2017 Ti Ani Itar Yes Yes Yes Marathi language film [13]
2019 Up Up and Up Yes No No Animated film


  1. ^ "Govind Nihalani interview". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 14 June 2006.
  2. ^ "Rediff On The NeT, Movies: The Govind Nihalani interview". Archived from the original on 28 August 2022. Retrieved 28 August 2022.
  3. ^ "GFTI alumni". Archived from the original on 21 August 2014.
  4. ^ "An interview with Govind Nihalani". Chowk. Archived from the original on 7 June 2007. Retrieved 27 March 2006.
  5. ^ "Entertainment News: Latest Bollywood & Hollywood News, Today's Entertainment News Headlines". Archived from the original on 16 May 2007. Retrieved 29 March 2006.
  6. ^ "The Hindu : Metro Plus Bangalore : 'Digital video is liberating'". Archived from the original on 11 March 2007. Retrieved 29 March 2006.((cite web)): CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  7. ^ "Govind Nihalani on Dev". India FM. Archived from the original on 10 January 2006. Retrieved 29 March 2006.
  8. ^ "Rediff on the Net, Life/Style: The silence that speaks". Archived from the original on 9 October 2017. Retrieved 14 January 2022.
  9. ^ Through her writing, you get to hear the voice of a community that is otherwise voiceless' Archived 31 December 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "A film must appeal to all people". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 1 March 2005.
  11. ^ "Vedams eBooks". Archived from the original on 19 March 2006. Retrieved 29 March 2006.
  12. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 October 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  13. ^ Gahlot, Deepa (29 July 2017). "Govind Nihalani on his first Marathi movie 'Ti Ani Itar': 'It's about living between guilt and fear'". Archived from the original on 28 August 2022. Retrieved 28 August 2022.