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Shyam Benegal (born 14 December 1934, in Trimulgherry, near Secunderabad is a prolific Indian director and screenwriter. With his first four feature films Ankur (1973), Nishant (1975) Manthan (1976) and Bhumika (1977) he created a new genre, which has now come to be called the "middle cinema" in India although he himself has expressed dislike in the term preferring his work to be called New or Alternate cinema.
He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1976 and the Padma Bhushan in 1991. On 8 August 2007, he was awarded the highest award in Indian cinema for lifetime achievement, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for the year 2005. He has won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi seven times.
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