M.V. Raghu is a renowned cinematographer, photographer, screenwriter, producer and director. He has worked in over 75 films, some of which won many awards. He has worked for both Hindi as well as Telugu cinema. He is also an academician and conducts many workshops. He is also visiting faculty for many institutions around Andhra Pradesh. His directorial debut “Kallu” won him 30 state awards. He has also won 2 Nandi Awards and 1 Filmfare award as the Best Director. The movie got nomination for the Oscars.
Born in Bhimavaram, since childhood Mr. Raghu was interested in photography. His father used to photograph with his antique wooden box camera which astonished Raghu as a child. He was very well acquainted with all the process of developing a picture for which he was thankful to his father. He was a science graduate from Vijayawada but wanted to pursue photography as his profession. His family opposed this decision and persuaded him to get a job. Despite all the opposition from his family, he found himself selected in a diploma course at Pune and Adyar Institute of Photography. His dream got shattered to study in these institutions as he was financially unstable.
Someone once said, “Luck has its way.” This theory came true for Raghu as one fine day he saw an advertisement of Government College of Fine Arts and Architecture which is now known as JNTU Hyderabad in a newspaper wrapped around some eatable along the roadside. He got admitted to that and secured 96 percent in the first year. To pay for his studies, he worked as a part-time photographer at many studios and also as a freelance photographer. M.V. Raghu’s first film was “Bhakta Kanappa” which was directed by Bapu Garu. He joined this movie’s team at last minute because of V.S.R. Swamy a renowned cinematographer. Mr. Raghu praises him as his idol. He worked as a camera apprentice. Under Swamy’s guidance, Raghu has worked in more than 25 films after Bhakta Kanappa.
He has also worked as an assistant for S. Gopal Reddy in about 20 films. The cinematographer debuted as an independent cameraman for “Maga Maharaju.” The director of the movie has earlier worked with him for a day and was impressed by his work garnering Raghu his first break. Mr. Raghu believes that time is changing and technology and graphics are killing creativity and making cinematographers and directors lethargic. He also feels that an actor, a camera person or a technician should learn a decent course about the technicalities and grammar and language of cinema. With that hope, he launched a school of cinematography in Vishakhapatnam.
He thinks that we should use technology as a tool to make films and not treated as the soul of the movies. He worked with different genres of cameras such as Kodak +6 and XX, RO 22 and 27 and the cinemascope. As a cinematographer, his latest movie Thanu monnea veli payindhi released in 2014. Between 2000 till 2014 he worked in 5 movies. His film Kshetram came in 2012, kofee bar in 2011 and Somberi in 2008. Two of his movies Bhajantreelu and Kocham touch to ante cheputhanu released in 2007.
Before that he made many movies, but 1988 proved to be his very successful year because along with his movies like Agni Keratalu and Maharshi, the year also saw two of his directorial releases Kallu and Arthnadam. Kallu, which has his first venture as a director gained him too much appreciation and many awards. Mr. Raghu has also written the screenplay for Deeksha. He started working in Hindi cinema in the year 1983 with Sitaara being his Bollywood debut. After that, he worked in two more films Mera pati sirf mera hai and Sansar.