Binod Pradhan

Occupation:
Cinematographer
Awards:
International Indian Film Academy Awards 2003 Won for the film Devdas, 2001 Won for the film Mission Kashmir, Filmfare Awards 2007 Won for the film Rang De Basanti, 2003 Won for the film Devdas
Binod Pradhan
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Binod Pradhan (native of Kalimpong, West Bengal) is an acclaimed Indian cinematographer whose creative visuals and cutting-edge imagery have left their mark on Indian cinema. Some his award winning works include 1942 A Love Story, Devdas, Rang De Basanti, Mission Kashmir, Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. and Puli (2010).

Biography

1 Binod grew up in the picturesque hill town of Kalimpong in West Bengal. Coming from a humble background, Binod got his first box camera in the early years from his father, H. K. Pradhan, who ran a photo studio. The love affair with camera started from thereon. Binod would shoot black-and-white pictures and try and color them using water-paints. He was often caught shooting unknown portraits and making prints of them. Displeased at first, his father recognized his work and most of Binod's images landed up on the display case of the studio and he was rewarded with a Asahi Pentax. Binod and his camera were pretty much inseparable and by the age of 14, he was running things at the studio.

Soon found the isolated life at Kalimpong was a hindrance for taking up photography as a career option. There was no formal forum to learn new techniques and share his experience. On hearing about FTII in Pune, he approached the institute with his portfolio and was admitted into a three year course on cinematography.

The break into films came when film director, Prem Sagar came to the Institute to judge the students work. Impressed with Binod's work, Prem Sagar immediately offered him the job of an assistant at Sagar Arts. He went on to assist Prem Sagar on the Dharam-Hema Malini starrers, Charas and Ram Bharose. Realizing that he was not making his identity in the huge industry, he started looking at options. Ace cameraman A K Bir, who was working on a film Gharonda offered him the job of assistant cameraman, in charge of the zoom and focus department. This proved to be a very useful internship.

Work soon dried up and he often found himself changing addresses very often. Few sporadic assignments like documentaries (for Durga Khote productions), ads and corporate films helped improve his technical skills.

During this period, he lived with a Kutchi family and this was when he met Dolly. He fell in love with Dolly, and was unable to convince her parents. Resorting to desperate measures, he eloped with her back to Kalimpong. They soon had their first-born, Binay. Out-of-work Binod devoted himself completely to raising him.

Slowly old friends approached him with work assignments. He worked with Mani Kaul on the celluloid version of Ghashiram Kotwal and did Jabbar Patel's Jait Re Jait. The assamese film, Apa Roopa happened.

The dry spell finally broke when Kundan Shah started gathering all his mates from FTII for the film Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro. This film went on to reach cult status.