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Dev Benegal Biography

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Dev Benegal Biography

Dev Benegal grew up in the cinema theatres of Delhi on a diet of American and British imports.

His first feature English, August (1994) ignited the next generation of Indian cinema and is acknowledged as a landmark in contemporary Indian cinema. A humorous and irreverent study of bureaucracy and the Indian Generation X, English, August won the Silver Grand Prix and the Gilberto Martinez Solares prize for the Best First Film at the Festival des 3 continents, Nantes and the Special Jury Award at the Torino International Film Festival.

English, August became the first Indian independent film to break the stranglehold of mainstream Indian Bollywood cinema when it was acquired by 20thCentury Fox and became a theatrical success in the country. This has set of a trend of movies, which are part of the next generation of Indian cinema.

Split Wide Open Dev Benegal's second feature film is about the water wars in Bombay and looks at subversive sexuality in modern India and how notions of morality are challenged when sex and poverty collide. The Official Selection at the Venice International Film Festival the film also won the Grand Prix at the Turnhout, Belgium International Film Festival 2000, the Best Actor and Special Jury Award at the Singapore International Film Festival 2000.

His screenplay for Ravan & Eddie was the first Indian script to be selected for the famous eQuinoxe tbc script workshops in France.

Benegal's films are set in contemporary India. An India most people never see on film. The strength of his films has been their humor, his characters and his unique style combining Indian narrative and western genre. His films are about people caught between many cultures, speaking seventeen languages and still making sense.

Benegal is acknowledged as a pioneer in digital technology; his was the first Indian feature film to adopt digital post production from picture editing on the Avid to sound design & delivery. His passion for technology and movies saw the birth of his pioneering production program 24×7 Making Movies.

Benegal has produced over 60 short feature films in his pioneering production program 24×7 Making Movies, which invites anyone below 24 years to make a short feature film in 24 hours. Variety and the Cannes International Film Festival have acclaimed the films. He has also curated Stories R Us, an Indian Diaspora Seminar and Film Festival for the British Council, which ran to, packed houses in Bombay and across the country with a focus on how narrative and storytelling is shaped and interpreted by the Indian Diaspora.

He is script advisor to the eQuinoxe tbc script workshops in France and Germany.

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