Gopala Ratnam Subramaniam, better known by his screen name Mani Ratnam, was born on June 2nd, 1955. He is a renowned Indian film director, screenwriter, and producer whose primary work has been associated with Tamil cinema. Despite being born into a family who was already established with the production of films, the children were not allowed to watch films as the elders considered it a "taboo", but by the age of 15, Ratnam took a seriousness in his admiration towards films, but it was not until much later that he decided to pursue a career in films. After a few unsuccessful attempts, he managed to develop a script which he turned into a film with the help of his uncle and a few other prominent cast and crew of that time. Even though his film did not earn him much at the box office, he managed to win the Best Screenplay Award in 1983 from the Karnataka State Government. From there onwards, Ratnam went on to excel in his career as a director. Soon enough, his films started gaining him international recognition and awards.
Mani Ratnam grew up watching the films of K. Balachander, Guru Dutt and Sivaji Ganesan. He is significantly influenced by the film-making styles of Akira Kurosawa, Martin Scorsese, Krzysztof Kieślowski, Ingmar Bergman and J. Mahendran. Unlike most of his contemporaries, Mani Ratnam did not support anybody in film-making prior to entering the industry. He is recognized to have revolutionized the Tamil film industry and is credited for bringing new height to the South Asian cinema. Many of his films are characterized by a string of socio-political themes and as a result of his idea of combining art and commercial elements, most of his films garnered both critical acclaim and commercial success. Mani Ratnam handled screenplays for most of his films. Acclaimed for his casting in each of his films, he claimed in an interview that "I am not a director who performs and shows. I discuss the role, the scene with my actors and let them bring life to it". Right from the inauguration of his career, his works were prominent for their technical expertise in areas such as cinematography, art direction, editing and background score.
Ratnam first met his life partner Suhasini in 1988, a reputable actress in South Indian cinema back then and the two got married in the same year. The couple has a son named Nandhan with whom they reside in Chennai, from where Ratnam runs his production company, Madras Talkies.
Apart from the below mentioned awards, Mani Ratnam has won several other national and international accolades throughout his career.
1986 Mouna Ragam
2002 Kannathil Muthamittal
1995 Gala Award, Edinburgh International Film Festival
1998 NETPAC (Special Mention), Berlin Film Festival
2010 Jaeger-Lecoultre Glory To The Filmmaker (Honorary Award), Venice International Film Festival