Birthday: 07-04-1962
Age: 57
Star sign: Taurus

Ram Gopal Varma is a famed Indian film director and writer, critically acclaimed for his work in the Telugu cinema and Bollywood industry. He speaks a million messages through his films and has been widely appreciated for his realistic portrayal of characters that act as a mirror image of the Indian society.

He won the National Award in 1999 for his socio-political drama, ‘Shool’. After starting his career as a qualified Civil Engineer, Ram Gopal Varma, popularly known as RGV, went on to become a filmmaker. His foray into the film industry has been propelled by the video rental library he set up in Ameerpet, which was inspired from his brief stint in Nigeria.

Like many filmmakers, his film career too started as an assistant director to B. Gopal. After failing as an assistant filmmaker, Ram Gopal Varma decided to direct his own film and make his mark in the film industry. ‘ Siva’, the 1989 Telugu political action thriller, marked RGV’s official entry into the film industry as a director. In his interview to the Tehelka, RGV said that his obsession towards studying himself and people was what fascinated him to become a filmmaker.

A clear reflection of this is seen in the huge importance he gives to the portrayal of his characters in his film career, spanning over 40 films as a director. RGV’s career has its fair share of ups and downs, ranging from a national award for his political drama, ‘Shool’, to being accused of patent infringement with the film, ‘Aag’. He is also well known for his open commentary about people and events that sometimes even land him in trouble.

Apart from the National Award, RGV has also been awarded Filmfare awards, IIFA awards, and Nandi awards for quite a few films. Some of his very famous films include ‘Shool’, ‘Money’, ‘ Gulabi’, ‘Icecream’, ‘Bhoot’, ‘ Sarkar’, ‘ Darling’, ‘ Satya’, ‘ Rangeela’, and ‘Jungle’. Apart from films, RGV is also a part of the television industry through his talk show titled, ‘Ramuism’, and has also written quite a few books. He resides in Mumbai with his wife, Ratna Varma and child, Revathi Varma.

Another Version of this Bio...

Ram Gopal Varma is an Indian filmmaker, primarily known for his gritty, realistic films.

He was born on 7 April, 1962, in Hyderabad. He was a movie buff in his youth and grew up watching many Indian and American movies. He was a video store owner for some time and then shifted into filmmaking.

He made his directorial debut with Shiva (1989), and followed it with films like Kshana Kshanam (1991), Raat (1992), and Gaayam (1993). He entered the Hindi film industry with the blockbuster, Rangeela (1995), which starred Aamir Khan, Jackie Shroff and Urmila Matondkar. The film was a big success commercially and bagged seven Filmfare Awards.

In 1998, he made ‘Satya’, which is considered one of the best gangster flicks made in Indian cinema. Critics lauded it for its raw portrayal of the underworld. The movie had a successful run at the box office and won six Filmfare Awards.

In 1999, he made the suspense thriller, ‘Kaun’, starring only three actors. He returned to organized-crime-genre films with ‘ Company’ (2002), which was appreciated by critics and audiences alike. This movie is considered another masterpiece, at par with Satya.

He directed the political crime film, ‘Sarkar’ (2005), which was inspired from the Godfather, and starred Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan, Kay Kay Menon, Supriya Pathak, and Anupam Kher. It received positive reviews, and the film was a big hit. The sequel, Sarkar Raj, was released in 2008. It also starred Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Govind Namdeo and Dilip Prabhavalkar. This too was a critical and commercial success.

He directed ‘ Rann’ (2010), a political thriller revolving around the Indian media. It starred actors like Amitabh Bachchan, Paresh Rawal, Riteish Deshmukh, Rajat Kapoor and Mohnish Behl. He made the two-part crime movie, Rakhta Charitra (2010).

Ram Gopal Varma’s work has created a new kind of cinema: Mumbai noir.

Bapu

Bapu, a film director, screenwriter and illustrator, was born on 15 December 1933. With the birth name of Sattiraju Lakshmi Narayana, he is well-known around the industry as Bapu. He was born and raised in Narsapur, Andhra Pradesh. His father Sattiraju Venugopala Rao and mother, Suryakantham, moved from Chennai during the Japanese bombing and settled in Narsapur for three years. In Narsapur, Bapu went to Taylor High School, it was here he met Mullapudi Venkataramana and continued schooling at Kesari High School, Chennai. He holds a B.Com degree and graduated from the University of Madras with a BL degree in the year 1955. Bapu is also a painter, cartoonist, music artist and designer. Bapu endeavored as a political cartoonist for the newspaper, ‘Andhra Patrika’ in 1945. His artwork influenced the people of Telugu culture so much that a pretty Indian lady is referred to as ‘Bapu Gari Bomma’. Later on in his life, Bapu drew and painted various illustrations for numerous magazines in India and abroad. His work mainly revolves around mythological stories of Hinduism. He painted a pictorial story of the Hindu epic ‘Ramayana’. During the year  1945, Mullapudi Venkataramana submitted a story called as ‘Amma Maata Vinakapothe’ to a children’s magazine called Bala. To the story, Bapu offered illustrations and thus the two began their journey as a writer-illustrator duo. The duo offered rich cultural nativity with capturing storyline on-screen.  Bapu debuted as a director with the film, Sakshi, in the year 1967. The film was the first made by the writer-director duo of Ramana and Bapu. The movie starred Krishna, Vijaya Nirmala and Sakshi Ranga Rao. The combination of the two later went on to make films that stood out in the history of Telugu cinema. Movies like Sampoorna Ramayanam, Ramanjaneya Yuddam, Seetha Kalyanam, and Bhakta Kannappa bewitched the viewers and remained one of the best till date. Bapu’s films revolve around relationship issues and contain a pinch of fantasy with mythological characters assisting the narration in the background. The films revolve around female leads breaking away from the traditional approach of sustaining the female character to song or skin show. Bapu also worked with Satyam Sankaramanchi, for whom he drew 101 pictures for every story in Amaravati Kathalu.  For his enriching contribution to the Indian culture, Bapu was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India in the year 2013. He received Lifetime Achievement Award from the Indian Institute of Cartoonists in 2001 and President of India Rashtrapati Award from the Academy of Fine Arts in Tirupati. He won six Nandi Awards for Best Feature Film for Director, the latest being, ‘Sri Rama Rajyam’ in the year 2011. The movie starred Nandamuri Bala Krishna and Nayanatara. Bapu received the Raghupathi Venkaiah Award for Lifetime Achievement in Telugu Cinema in 1986. Bapu won two National Film Awards for Best Feature Film in Telugu for ‘Mutyala Muggu’ and ‘Mister Pellam’. He received various other honours including the Asthana Vidwan by Andhra Pradesh Academy of Arts, “Shiromani” award from American Telugu Association in the year 1992 and the Honorary Doctorate “Kala Prapoorna” from Andhra University in the year 1991. Bapu - Ramana combination left a signature impression on the Telugu film industry. To Ramana’s script and dialogue, Bapu would come up with suitable illustrations and vice versa. The duo received a Filmfare Award for Best Film - Telugu for the movie Mana Voori Pandavulu in 1978. Bapu directed well over 50 films including a few in Hindi and Tamil. Bapu died of a cardiac arrest on 31 August 2014 and was given a state funeral by the Government of Andhra Pradesh.   

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