Santosh Sivan (born 8 February 1964) is a film director, producer, and cinematographer, of the Indian cinema. Santosh is an FTII (Film and Television Institute of India) graduate and has so far has done 41 documentaries and 45 feature films. Not only is he a founding associate of the Indian Society of Cinematographers (ISC), but also is the bigger of the highest number of Director of Photography (DOP) award in India. Sivan is the first ever Cinematographer in the Asia-Pacific area to achieve an American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) fellowship.
He has as many as five
National Film Awards for cinematography to his name, four of which are for Best Feature Film Cinematography. Till date, he has achieved 11 National Film Awards for his outstanding work in Indian cinema. He is the son of the prominent cinematographer and director Sivan. His elder brother is filmmaker
Sangeeth Sivan and younger brother
Sanjeev Sivan. His was taught painting and music by her grandmother. His grandmother frequently narrated the mythological stories of the themes of the paintings of Raja Ravi Varma.
The postures and colors of these paintings guided his creative imagination. During his travels to remote areas in South India with his father, he had the opportunities to listen to the native folklore. Santosh did his graduation in Mar Ivanios College, Trivandrum, India. He received the National Award for best Cinematographer for the films
Dil Se (Hindi/1999), Iruvar (Tamil/1998), Kalapani (Malayalam / 1996), Mohiniyattam (Malayalam / 1991), Perumthachan (Malayalam/1991). The Japanese Society of Cinematographers honored Santosh, and he is a Jury member for the Busan Film Festival.
He is also a "mentor" to the students of "Mira Nair's Maisha Film Lab". He is a director of the Sivan Foundation of photography. Pune Film Institute once had him as a council member.