|Physical Stats & More|
|Height (approx.)||in centimeters- 165 cm
in meters- 1.65 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 5”
|Weight (approx.)||in kilograms- 65 kg
in pounds- 143 lbs
|Debut||Film: Jalamarmaram (1999)
|Awards, Honours, Achievements||• The best cinematography award at the 23rd International Cannes Film Festival in France for Jayaraj's Malayalam film Shantham
• Filmfare Award for Best Cinematographer – South for Anniyan
• Best Cinematographer award at the Tamil Nadu State Film Awards for Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu
• ITFA Best Cinematographer Award for Dasavathaaram
• Best Cinematography awards at many awards shows like Star Guild Awards, Screen Awards, TOIFA Awards, and IIFA Awards for Barfi
• Zee Cine Awards for Best cinematography for Ramleela
• Best Cinematography award at many awards shows like Ananda Vikatan Cinema Awards, Vijay Awards, SIIMA Awards, and Behindwoods Gold Medals for Kaatru Veliyidai
• Power award for Best Cinematography for Jagga Jasoos
• The Most Admired Global Indian 2020 award by Passion Vista
• Best Cinematographer award for Ponniyin Selvan: I at MGR Sivaji Academy Awards
• Best Cinematographer (Tamil) at the 11th South Indian International Movie Awards (SIIMA) for the film ‘Ponniyin Selvan: I’ in September 2023
|Date of Birth||• Source 1- 31 December 1969 (Wednesday)
• Source 2- 3 May 1972 (Wednesday)
• Source 3- 9 May 1972 (Tuesday)
• Source 4- 5 October 1973 (Friday)
|Age (as of 2022)||• Source 1- 53 Years
• Source 2- 50 Years
• Source 3- 50 Years
• Source 4- 49 Years
|Birthplace||Poyyoundarkudikkadu, near Tanjore (Thanjavur), Tamil Nadu, India|
|Hometown||Tanjore (Thanjavur), Tamil Nadu, India|
|School||government school (Tamil medium)|
|Educational Qualification||He studied till 7th class at the government school in his village. The Hindu|
|Relationships & More|
|Wife/Spouse||His wife is an engineer.
Daughter- One (Name not known)
|Parents||His father was a politician who died soon after his birth, and his mother was a homemaker who passed away when he was 12 years old.|
Some Lesser Known Facts About Ravi Varman
- Ravi Varman is an Indian cinematographer who started his career mainly in the South Indian film industry and went on to work in many Bollywood films. He is considered one of the best cinematographers with many awards for his work. Despite being born in very humble surroundings, he learned the art of cinematography by himself and created many new techniques for shooting scenes in films.
- Ravi Varman studied in a Tamil-medium government school until 7th standard and dropped out of school due to poverty.
- After his mother passed away when he was 12, he attempted to commit suicide by jumping in front of a train; however, a police officer rescued him, who further framed him in a theft case. They jailed him and beat him for 15 days after which he was transferred to a juvenile home for 30 days. One of his relatives got him freed from there; however, when he returned to his village, villagers labelled him a thief. He felt dejected due to their behaviour towards him, and he left for Chennai (then Madras) via Rameshwaram Express, the same train he tried to come in front of, to commit suicide.
- After arriving in Chennai, he approached one of his father’s lawyer friends, who offered him a job cleaning toilets, which he rejected.
- After roaming in Chennai for a few days, he found work as a waiter at Amaravathi Hotel and earned a salary of Rs150 per month.
- Although he was interested in photography since his childhood, he could not afford any formal classes. Once, he went to Moore Market to buy the traditional dress Singapore Veshti, where he saw an old Russian camera Zenit 6 at an imported goods store. He bargained with the shopkeeper and bought the camera for Rs 120. He also bought a book to learn about the basics of photography.
- He wanted to learn English as well and bought the book Rapidex: English to Tamil. He also watched English movies regularly at the Alankar theatre in Chennai. The Hindu
- He often clicked photos of one of his friends, who wanted to become an actor and also accompanied him to movie sets to find work in the film industry.
- He got work at a production house and worked on the film Neram Nallairukku; however, he was removed from the job when the film flopped.
- He worked under the photographer K.V. Mani who later became his guru. Mani introduced Varman to the cinematographer V. Ranga, who was working on Rajinikanth’s movie Mappillai. Varman worked under Ranga for six years before Mappillai’s director Rajasekhar suddenly died, and he again lost the job.
- Later, he met the cinematographer Ravi K. Chandran on the advice of Balu Mahendra, a Sri Lankan-born Indian cinematographer and one of his friends and started working under him.
- In 1999, he made his debut in Malayalam films as a cinematographer with the film Jalamarmaram, which was directed by TK Rajeev Kumar. The film had a small budget of 11 lakhs. He followed the book American Cinematographer while shooting; however, the negative reel came out all white, which made the director very angry. He told the lab technicians to correct one-stop overexpose, which made the reel perfect, and he received appreciation for his work.
- In 2001, he worked on the Malayalam film Shantham and shot a scene in which a dragonfly sits on the sword of the actor. This scene won him rave reviews for his unorthodox cinematography approach.
- In 2003, he worked on the Bollywood film Armaan starring Amitabh Bachchan, Anil Kapoor, Preity Zinta, and Gracy Singh. He shot the maximum number of scenes of the film in natural light, a technique he later went on to use in many movies and described himself as a non-technical cinematographer.
- In 2004, he worked on the Bollywood film Phir Milenge starring Salman Khan, Abhishek Bachchan, and Shilpa Shetty.
- In 2005, he worked on the Tamil film Anniyan after cinematographer V. Manikandan quit the shoot midway. He already had the desire to work with the director S. Shankar, and when he got the opportunity to work with him, Varman became very happy. In an interview, he expressed his happiness about getting the chance to work with him and said,
I felt extremely happy when Shankar Sir offered me Anniyan. The first time I felt that happy was when I met Ravi K Chandran and joined him as an assistant. The next time I felt so happy was when I eloped with the girl I loved and got married to her. The third time I felt so happy was when my daughter was born. The fourth incident was when Shankar sir offered me Anniyan. I felt the same happiness when I won the international award for Santham too.” Rediff.com
- In 2007, he worked on the Tamil film Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu starring Kamal Haasan and directed by Gautham Vasudev Menon. He is an admirer of Kamal Haasan and worked on the Tamil film Dasavatharam starring Haasan in 2008. He posted a scene from the film in an Instagram post and described the details of the scene. He wrote in the post,
LIGHT IS A MAGIC ,EVERY SECOND IT MAKES WONDER!*Both of the shot is taken simultaneously with two cameras , one is kept on 3 feet with wide lens (12mm) for sun glare , & another one is kept on 6 feet with tele lens (75mm) for reflective flare . 3 minutes after the shot sunlight is like this in the second picture” Instagram – r_varman_
- In 2010, he made his debut as a director with the Tamil film Moscowin Kavery starring Samantha.
- In 2012, he worked on the Bollywood film Barfi directed by Anurag Basu and starring Ranbir Kapoor, Ileana D’Cruz, and Priyanka Chopra Jonas.
- In 2013, he worked on the Ramleela directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and starring Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone.
- In 2017, he worked on the Tamil movie Kaatru Veliyidai starring Karthi and won many awards for his work. In the same year, he worked on an English film Heartbeats and the Hindi movie Jagga Jasoos directed by Anurag Basu and starring Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif.
- In 2018, he worked on the Bollywood films Sanju starring Ranbir Kapoor and Mission Mangal starring Akshay Kumar and Vidya Balan.
- In 2022, he worked on the Bollywood film Ponniyin Selvan: I starring Vikram, Trisha Krishnan, and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, which became a massive hit. In an interview, he applauded the director Mani Ratnam for giving him the freedom to shoot as per his will and said,
He wants his DOP (Director of Photography) to contribute in a big way. Many times we would have gone to the location two to three times before deciding how to film and when to film. A simple palm tree in Pollachi looks spectacular with a hint of rainbow colors in the sky ponni nadhi song. We were lucky in such cases; Sunrise and light intensity are different on different days.” Bharat Times
- Ravi did not have the surname, Varman. He chose it as he was inspired by the rulers of the Chola dynasty like Arunmozhi Varman (King Raja Cholan) and Kulothunga Varman. Bharat Times
- He danced in the shower for one hour when the actress Seema Biswas informed him on the phone that he won the Best Cinematographer award at the 23rd Cannes Film Festival as his wife had gone to give her engineering exam, and he had no one else to share the good news.
- He has worked on more than 500 advertisements with famous cricketers and celebrities like Hardik Pandya, Siddharth Malhotra, and Mrunal Thakur.