Nagesh Kukunoor

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Nagesh Kukunoor (Hindi: नागेश कुकुनूर) is a Bollywood filmmaker and actor. He is often described as a "maverick" as his movies do not follow the usual style of Indian films. He is known for making crossover movies and employing Hinglish.


[edit] Early life

Nagesh was born and brought up in Hyderabad. Birth Date : March 30. He moved to Atlanta in 1988 and studied Chemical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He worked as an environmental consultant in Atlanta before returning to India in 1997 to pursue his dreams in film making. In the interim, he had attended workshops in film and television. He studied acting at the Warehouse Actor's Theatre in Atlanta and in 1995, co-produced and directed a short film, One culture at a time.

[edit] Movie Career

He spent a year in Mumbai to understand the working of Bollywood industry before deciding that his style would not fit in that milieu.

[edit] Hyderabad Blues

He invested the money he made from his engineering career in USA in producing the movie Hyderabad Blues. It was based on a script that he wrote in Atlanta and dealt with Indians returning home from the United States of America. He directed and acted in the movie. It was made on a shoe-string budget of Rs. 1.7 million (roughly equivalent to U.S. $ 40,000/-) and shot in 17 days. It was perceived to be realistic and was one of the first movies to use Hyderabadi Urdu correctly. It became the most successful independent film in India. Apart from being featured in ten international film festivals, it had theatrical performances that ran for more than six months in Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore.

[edit] Other movies

After the success of his first movie, he went on to work with well-known actors and experimented in several genres. Rockford was a coming-of-the-age movie set in a boarding school and co-starred Nandita Das. Bollywood Calling was a satirical look at the Bollywood industry through the eyes of a failed Hollywood actor and co-starred Om Puri, Navin Nischol and Perizaad Zorabian. His next movie, Teen Deewarein was a thriller, loosely inspired by The Shawshank Redemption; it had actors such as Naseeruddin Shah, Juhi Chawla and Jackie Shroff. His next venture supposed to star Amitabh Bachchan in the role of a chef and tentatively titled Tandoor has been put on hold for undisclosed reasons. He made a sequel to Hyderabad Blues but it was not successful. Unlike in his earlier movies, he did not star in his 2005 movie Iqbal. So far, he himself has written the story and screenplay for all his movies and hopes to continue the same in future too.

He believes that the primary purpose of movies is to serve as a medium of entertainment and opposes the idea that films must teach; though he would consider it all the better if even the latter happens. This belief of his found expression in his movie Iqbal, which looks at the story of a deaf and dumb cricketer hailing from a poor Muslim family who wants to make it to the Indian cricket team.

Nagesh Kukunoor's movie Dor (film) (2006) got rave reviews in India. Dor tells the moving story of love, loss, friendship, hope and redemption. It is a tale of two women from two different worlds. The emphasis is on spirit and emotions.

[edit] Future projects

Nagesh Kukunoor has entered into a partnership with Percept Picture Company to direct two films in 2007. The first has been named as Aashayein and the second will be called Bemisal. John Abraham has been selected as the lead actor for Aashayein where he will play a compulsive gambler who discovers new meanings of life through a dramatic turn of events.

[edit] Awards

  • Audience Award for best film at the Peachtree International Film Festival in Atlanta for the film Hyderabad Blues.
  • Audience Award for best film at the Rhode Island Film Festival for the film Hyderabad Blues.
  • Teacher's Achievement Award for Creative and Performing Arts in 2002.
  • Best Story award at the 2003 Filmfare awards for the film Teen Deewarein.

[edit] Filmography

  • Hyderabad Blues (1998)
  • Rockford (1999)
  • Bollywood Calling (2001)
  • Teen Deewarein (2003)
  • Hyderabad Blues 2: Rearranged Marriage (2004)
  • Iqbal (2005)
  • Dor (2006)

[edit] See Also

[edit] External Links

List of Telugu Films (1931-2008)

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