Ram Gopal Varma is an Indian film director, screenwriter and producer, known for his works in Telugu cinema, Bollywood, and television.
Varma directed films across multiple genres, including parallel cinema and docudrama noted for their gritty realism, technical finesse, and craft.
Regarded as one of the pioneers of new age Indian cinema, Varma garnered the National Film Award for scripting the political crime drama, Shool (1999).
In 2004, he was featured in the BBC World series Bollywood Bosses.
In 2006, Grady Hendrix of Film Comment, published by the Film Society of Lincoln Center cited Varma as "Bombay’s Most Successful Maverick" for his works on experimental films.Varma is known for presenting the Indian Political Trilogy, and the Indian Gangster Trilogy; film critic Rajeev Masand had labeled the series as one of the "most influential movies of Hindi cinema.
The first installment of the trilogy, Satya, was also listed in CNN-IBN's 100 greatest Indian films of all time.
Varma's recent avant-garde works include hits such as the dramatized re-enactment of "Rayalaseema factionism" in Rakta Charitra (2010), the "2008 Mumbai attacks" in The Attacks of 26/11 (2013), the "Operation Cocoon" in Killing Veerappan (2016), and the "Vijayawada riots" in Vangaveeti (2016).Starting his career as a civil engineer, he made an entry into Telugu cinema with the path-breaking crime thriller, Siva (1989) screened at the 13th International Film Festival of India, and has garnered Varma, the state Nandi Awards for Best direction, Best first film of a director, and the Filmfare Award for Best Film – Telugu.
Subsequently, the film was included in CNN-IBN's list of 100 greatest Indian films of all time.
Varma's next movie Kshana Kshanam (1991) was screened at the Ann Arbor Film Festival.
The sleeper hit won him another Nandi Award for Best Direction, and the Nandi Award for Best Screenplay Writer.
The 1993 political drama, Gaayam received six state Nandi Awards.
In 1999, he directed Prema Katha for which he received his third Nandi Award for Best Director.