Selected works

Road, Movie

With the sumptuous landscape of India as his canvas, director Dev Benegal paints a delightfully original road movie. We meet young Vishnu (Abhay Deol) as he is being prepped to take over the family hair-oil business. Embarrassed by this prospect, Vishnu jumps at the chance to drive his uncle’s beat-up Chevy truck across India to its new owner. Along his journey, he picks up a young runaway, a wandering old entertainer, and a beautiful woman, and they embark on a magical journey together that will change Vishnu’s life.

Road, Movie may have all the components of a “road movie,” but Benegal injects such freshness into the film that it transcends the genre. Deol and the rest of the cast are splendid to watch as they navigate the breathtaking terrain of India, making Road, Movie both entertaining and touching.

Official Selection for Project: Atelier de Cannes, 2006

Opening Night Film: Berlin International Film Festival – Generation, 2010

Official Selection: Toronto International Film Festival, 2009

Tribeca Film Festival, 2010

Best Sound: Vikram Joglekar 17th Annual Star Screen Awards

Split Wide Open

From Dev Benegal, the hot young director of “English, August” comes this dynamic exposé of the underbelly of India’s great metropolis Mumbai (Bombay). Exploring the conflicts of modernization on the social and moral fabric of an India still rooted in tradition “Split Wide Open” is a fast-paced, ultra-hip mosaic unlike anything previously seen from India. Rahul Bose (“English, August”) is Kut Price (KP) a young water hustler, paid to unlock taps for the poor taps controlled by the local mafia. When KP lines up a deal on his own, his bosses punish him brutally. He returns home beaten only to find the young, pretty flower-seller in his charge, Didi missing. As the film progresses it cuts back-and-forth across several different storylines in a very sophisticated manner. Most of these stories focus around a television show Split Wide Open which provides a forum for anonymous citizens of Mumbai to share their secrets or their plights. The shows host is Nandita (Laila Rouass) a beautiful expatriate Indian from England who has returned searching for her roots. Inevitably the world of television and the mean streets of Bombay collide when Nandita and KP meet and find their own destinies inextricably linked to a web of corruption and predatory world of child prostitution. – 18th Vancouver International Film Festival.

World Premiere & Official Selection: Venice International Film Festival 1999

Official Selection: Toronto International Film Festival (1999), Tokyo Film Festival

GRAND PRIX: Belgian International Film Festival- Turnhout 2000

BEST ACTOR AWARD: Singapore International Film Festival

SPECIAL JURY AWARD: Singapore International Film Festival

English, August

The New York Times writes: In English, August, his first feature film, Mr. Benegal deftly manages the feat of using the scalpel of humor to lay bare a young man’s painful but edifying immersion in an alien culture within his own land and to deliver potent sociological and political messages. Irreverent humor, frustrated idealism and earnest compassion are blended with a keen sense of character, place and political reality in the auspicious ”English, August.” 

Silver Montgolfiere (Silver Grand Prix) : 16th Festival des 3 Continents, Nantes France, 1994

Gilberto Martinez Solares prize for the Best First Film : 16th Festival des 3 Continents, Nantes France, 1994

Special Jury Award : 12th International Festival, Torino, Italy, 1994

Best Feature Film (English) – National Film Awards 1995

Field of Shadows

There is no one Ramayana. There are many Ramayanas. Filmmaker Dev Benegal travels across India in search of the many Ramayanas and explores the rise of the right wing and its appropriation of the Indian epic tale for this film made for Channel Four’s program SOUTH.

Water and Ink

Art and atmosphere from the worlds of Islam

Set to the music of nature, curator Navina Haidar and filmmaker Dev Benegal weave a visual and sonic experience. In the galleries for Islamic art at Metropolitan Museum works of art are presented in cultural, historical and regional contexts. However this film unexpectedly immerses us in a natural soundscape through which the art is encountered.




  • Imaginary Maps (in post production)
  • Painting Exile (in post production)
  • Road, Movie (2009)
  • Split Wide Open (1999)
  • English, August (1994)


  • The Violet Hour (Feature, 2022)
  • A Love Supreme (Feature, 2021)
  • Lost River (Pilot for Limited Series, 2020)
  • Blink of an Eye (Pilot for Limited Series, 2020) 
  • Tempest (Feature, 2019)
  • The Revenge of the Non-Vegetarian (Feature, 2018)
  • Further to Fly (Feature, 2018)
  • Sacred Numbers (Limited Series, 2016)
  • Dark Fiber (Feature, 2015)
  • Citizen Unknown (Feature, 2014)
  • Stairway to Heaven (Feature, 2012)
  • Bombay Samourai (Feature, 2010)
  • Road, Movie (feature, 2009)
  • Spilt Wide Open (Feature, 1999)
  • English, August (Feature, 1994)


  • English, August (1994)


  • New Delhi Times (1986)


Water and Ink (2021)
Art and atmosphere from the worlds of Islam

Opening film at New York Film Festival’s tribute to legendary Indian film star Shabana Azmi (2003)

Merchants & Marxists
Stones of the Raj (Channel Four, UK)  (1997)

Field of Shadows
The many Ramayanas in India, Retelling a classic epic (Channel Four, UK) (1993)

Building for a New Life (1992)

The Tree of Life (1988)

Cloth of Gold (1987)

The Infinite Forms (1987)