Balu Mahendra, 75, Cinematographer, director par excellence, died this morning due to cardiac arrest in Chennai. A Srilankan national by birth, he studied at Pune film institute and photographed and directed excellent films in Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu and Hindi. His early films were ‘Kokila’, Nellu’, ‘Olangal’ etc. He had won multiple awards for ‘Mondram Pirai” (Vasanta Kokila in telugu) for direction. Lead actors of the film Kamal Hasan and Sridevi too won acting awards for the film.
His other significant films ‘Nireekshana’, ‘veedu’, ‘Vanna Vanna Pookkal’ etc. Late last year, he had acted in and directed “Thalai Muraigal”, which explores relationship between a grand father and grand son.
Balu Mahendra worked with Mani Ratnam on his first film (in Kannada) “Pallavi anu Pallavi”. Chjiranjeevi’s film “Manavuri Pandavulu” was also photographed by Balu Mahendra.