Filmmaker Shyam Benegal Part-IIBy kamla bhatt • Oct 3rd, 2010
Category: Bollywood, Entertainment, Hyderabad, India, Mumbai, People
Mr. Shyam Benegal is one of India’s best known film directors, and was part of the Hindi parallel or art cinema of India during the 1970s and 1980s. A prolific filmmaker he has made feature and TV films and documentaries along with hundreds of advertisement films in India.
In part 2 of our conversation Mr. Benegal discusses how his interest in films began. As a six-year old boy he got hooked to films and that developed into a life-long passion. The first film that left an indelible impact on him was Cat People, a horror film that he saw as a six-year old boy. He confesses that he got nightmares after watching the film. But, that did not preclude him from watching films, and he sometimes watched two films a week at his local cantonment theatre. At home his still photographer father dabbled in making films of his family and also showed short films that he bough from Kodak. So, in a way he was surrounded in an atmosphere of films and photography.
By the time he was in college Mr. Benegal’s cousin Guru Dutt had started to make a fame for himself in Hindi films, now known as Bollywood. So, after completing his studies Mr. Benegal decided to move to Bombay since ce there was no film industry in Hyderabad during that time. Instead of joining his cousin’s Guru Dutt’s film production company he decided to work in the advertisement industry.
He spent about a decade in the advertisement industry before he made his first feature film Ankur. After the success of Ankur, Mr. Benegal went on to make films like Mandi, Nishant, Bhumika, Junoon, Manthan, Kalyug, Zubeida and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero
This is part-2 of a 6-part interview with Mr. Benegal.