sanjayjhamastan.com filmmaker.

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Location: bombay, India

Son of a soldier, I was born in Sultanganj in Bhagalpur district, Bihar. My childhood days were spent in an earthy rural life. I was deeply inspired by the rich folk culture of Buddha’s own land, Bihar. Right from the beginning, I Grew up with real images of Melas, Ramleelas, Bahuripiyas, incredible rituals, strong religious milieu and the vibrant Mithila Art. Natural calamities like flood and drought gifted unforgettable images. Changing seasons of rural life on the bank of river Ganga matured into a sense of poetry and language. Wonder years passed chasing steam trains that passed through the fields of my native village. Listening to radio programs made for defense personals was my only window to the outside world. With such a treasure of inspirational experiences a story teller evolved. I am a practicing film maker in Bombay today.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Now I am at sanjayjhamastan.com!

Friday, August 22, 2008

October 5th 2007 - Cut to ...- August 23rd 2008

I am back ... !!! after some dramatic gap.It is really a 'cut to..' feeling !!
I have lots to share.My entire journey into my third film making..my vision 'MUMBAI CHAKACHAK' in progress and more!!
For now I am on the way to Advanced Acting Skills Training Workshop in Delhi.I will be a distinguished Professor there. Looking forward to these sessions with students here. Hope to have a great time !!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Film Camp - Banglore

“FilmCamp”, a platform to encourage and promote independent film makers. Also to share, learn and appreciate the art of film making. This event is the first of its kind this season happening at the Center for Management Studies, Jain Group of Institutions, Bangalore, where independent film makers get to showcase their works to a wider audience which includes other film-makers, professionals and critics from the film industry.

I am looking forward to this event tomorrow.
Details are here.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Hello Bombay bloggers !!!

1. As the invite says, we need for you to confirm your attendance to us via email.

2. You can come if you’re a veteran blogger / a new blogger / a blog reader / a blog commentator / a blog stalker (though we will kill you) or just a friend of a blogger (though I know most of us have few of these).

3. Entrance is @ Rs. 150/- per head and covers the entrées and NOT booze.

and last and most importantly…..


Believe me, this is going to be one heck of a meet you don’t wanna miss.

I am looking forward to this meet,it will be my first such meet.I read this invite here , here and here

All are invited.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Talent Campus in India with Berlinale Talent Campus


Osian's Cinefan is proud to announce the 4th edition of Talent Campus India organised in collaboration with the Berlin International Film Festival, the Berlinale Talent Campus and Max Mueller Bhawan, New Delhi.

Talent Campus is a 6-day workshop where up to 60 young aspiring filmmakers will be invited to New Delhi to interact with renowned filmmakers and film professionals from India and abroad.
The aim of the workshop is to provide Indian and South Asian youth a forum for learning and sharing the process of filmmaking. The application is open to India, its neighbouring countries as well as Iran. Participants will benefit not only from the calibre and experience of the professionals involved, but also from the exchange of ideas among themselves. Areas of discussion will range from screenplay writing, cinematography, direction and understanding key issues such as audience and genre.

The 4th Talent Campus India will take place at the Siri Fort Auditoria Complex from 22 to 27 July, 2007. It will run along side Osian's Cinefan, 9th Festival of Asian and Arab Cinema (20-29 July), within the framework of the programme ?Infrastructure Building for Minds and Markets ? IBM2.

In addition to attending workshop session, the selected talents will have the opportunity to see the very best of Asian and Arab cinema being showcased during Osian's Cinefan 9. We would be grateful if you would circulate this information among students and those who you feel may benefit from this initiative. The application can be downloaded from our website www.osians.com/cinefan.html .

This year we are introducing another exciting way of applying for Talent Campus India!

Along with the application, applicants are required to submit one of the following

A one minute film. This can also be a one minute excerpt of a longer film. Any entry that is longer than 60 seconds will NOT be considered.

OR New!

A five minute film. This should be directed by the applicant especially for Talent Campus India specifically on the subject of THE FINE LINE IN ART. The film should be NO LONGER than five minutes. This is a competitive section. The best two of the selected five minute films will be awarded a Certificate of Appreciation.


Film Script within 3500 - 4500 words. Make sure that it is a film script! The language of the script needs to be English. It can be a translation of a script written in any other language and the original can also be sent along with the English version. The script needs to be a typed printout and not handwritten.

Subject of the Five minute film
The Fine Line in Art - The regions of Asia have a long-standing history of architecture, painting, sculpture, textiles and ceramics amongst other fine arts. Simultaneously popular art has also existed as folklore, mythologies and legends. However the commodified production and consumption of culture in the post industrial world, through advertising, television, radio, film, comics, books and in more recent years video / computer games and internet have blurred the boundaries between the fine and the popular in Art. It is this crossroads of the arts we want reflected in your five minute films! It could be your experience of the complex and constantly changing visual and the aural landscape. Your films can explore any genre ? funny, sad, grim, ponderous. They can be fiction or documentary or even experimental.

You can send us the one minute or five minute films on a VHS, VCD or a DVD.
(We will not accept multi- media video formats like AVI, windows media format (WMF), mpeg, quick time, real video or shockwave (flash) format)

An independently constituted Committee will select up to 60 Talents to attend the final workshop. We look forward to meeting these participants from around the country and neighbouring countries.

The deadline for applications is 20th May 2007.

Friday, April 27, 2007

so many 'schools'...so many 'Acting Gurus' in 'bollywood' today...so many 'ACTING' ...so many 'DRAMA'

I remember my Drama School Days [National School of Drama - 1991-1994]and a major concern of my batchmates specializing in Acting used to be about Acting Faclity in the school...Surprisingly school of such repertua and one of the best schools in theatre in ASIA had no official Acting Faculty!! With lots of hulla-balloo we use to get only Acting Workshops with visiting faculties. We the Design and Direction students use to only console them and do our best in our exercises together. Later our school did grant us a boon by asking us to pick the best teacher we all had in mind and that they will try and organise that teacher for us [may be by then the faculty had understood our plight and wanted to come out of the guilt].
We were also in third year by then,all ready as 'FUTURE' of 'Indian Theatre'.My batchmates did ask for the best as they thought and optioned for Naseeruddin Shah who came for a workshop the second time. however, he refused to join the acting faculty as his commitments in other theatre and bollywood projects had him occupied already...

Today I wonder, here in Bollywood every corner is filled with Acting Gurus and trying to be one Brand Name Etc..,
I wish if they could have given their concerns and support then and saved frustrating and disatisfied moments of ours during our training process in such formating and forming years of our professional life...
Thank god today most of my batchmates are succesful actors in Bollywood and theatre on their own preseverance and talent...
I am waiting for them to start an acting school themselves...ha ha ha !!

To find out about such schools and their pupose and economics involved in them can be a good blog post material for any bollywood-blog lover. I leave this area for research loving 'bloggers'.

Anupam Kher's Actor Prepares
Barry John Acting Studio
Subhash Ghai's whistling woods
Roshan Taneja's Bombay ACTORS STUDIO
Asha Chandra's Film Acting Course
Kishore Namit Kapoor Acting Lab and many more...

Sunday, March 18, 2007

National Seminar on Cinema and Society in India,at Jawaharlal Nehru University. 24 – 27 Feb 2007

24th February Inaugural Session: 9.30 - 11.00 A.M.

Concept Note: Amit Kumar Sharma: Cinema represents civil society, not controlled by state, it’s a private domain and functions like temples, people see films to rejoice and heal. This seminar is an attempt to bring together film makers, film academicians, film critics/ journalists and enlightened audiences to engage in a strategic dialogue on cinema.

Welcome Address: Avijit Pathak (Chairperson CSSS): Issues on interface between society and cinema, sociology of cinema is essential for critical learning, films seek to reconcile history and myth

Guest of Honour: Amitabh Kundu (Dean SSS) Issue of accountability, and building consensus among institutions about cinema and its study.

Chair: Arun Kaul – Need to use the film as pen and paper, the value of telling a story in a film.

Speaker: Vinay Shukla- He traced the history of popular Hindi cinema, subjective/ selective historical evolution, need to look at films more closely like how Devdas is a metaphor of the weak self in all of us who cannot fight injustice. Two unique features of our films- music and melodrama.

Tea Break 11.30-11.45

Session One: 11.45-1.00

“The Nature and History of Indian Cinema”
Chair: Riyaz Punjabi: Asian cinema accentuation, He spoke about Nehruvian socialism in Hindi Cinema


Udayan Vajpayee: Anthropology proposed by popular Hindi cinema, archetypal images of Pathan, Sikh, Tribal. The archetypical characters that this cinema tries to portray inevitably proposes an anthropology which by and large is the product of the mannerism inherent in the making of this cinema. What are its manifestations and implications? Also market industry of Bombay films needs to be questioned.

Jayprakash Chaukse: Commercial cinema started in USA in factory godowns, escapist films were made for factory workers. Spoke about corporatization of film production and how formula cinema was successful and how new theatres of B.N. Sarkar brought films and literature together.

Arun Kaul: He spoke on the future of Indian Cinema and how the history and form of cinema holds a clue to its future.

Discussant: Roddur De

Lunch 1.00 - 2.00

Session Two: 2.00 - 4.00

“Future of Indian Cinema”
Chair: Jayprakash Chaukse: New developments in cinema, like how in the US film makers offer audiences choices of climax of a film, this could affect the director’s creative liberty and change the way cinema is made and looked at.


Vinod Anupam: History of Indian Cinema reflects the history of India. There is no rigid grammar in our cinema and the art is capital intensive.

Sanjay Jha: Cinema is a costly medium. Market for cross over films has developed with the emergence and spread of multiplexes.

Pradeep Tiwari: Film makers like Rituparno Ghosh, Ram Gopal Verma and Mani Ratnam are from regional centers and are making Hindi films to get noticed. The emergence of the “brand” in screenplay writing eg Krishh and bournvita, yaadein and Coca Cola.

Vinay Shukla: Formula of pan Indian cinema has crumbled down with the emergence of multiplexes and the expansion of NRI audiences. In order to ensure sustainance of the industry we need to develop the audiences.

Ajay Brahmatmaj

Discussant: Devendra Chaubey

Tea Break 4.00 - 4.30

Evening 4.30 onwards

Movie Screening: “Pran Jaaye Par Shaan Naa Jaaye” Directed by: Sanjay Jha.

Discussion: Sanjay Jha, Amit Kumar Sharma, Sanjay Pathak (Aaj Tak)

25th February

Morning Session 10.00 - 1.00

Panel Discussion

“Changing Stereotypes in Indian Cinema”
Chair: Sanjay Jha


Anup Kumar: Bollywood has brand visibility in the global market. Changes due to global cultural flow affected the stereotype. Films are now made for urban Indians and global cities.

Chetan Katoch: Swades discourse on Nation, parallel between SRK as Mohan and Gandhi ji. The idea of moving from global to local. NASA to a village. The film interrogates the idea of the nation. And discusses the idea of the mother- real and foster. It questions the stereotypes, myths and traditions through the voices of Mohan and geeta.

Vivek Kumar: Spoke on lack of caste consciousness in our films. The hero is shown as an omnipotent figure who takes away all the pain, he represents patriarchy. Cinema has lead to confusion in understanding of Indian society; it has created simplistic stereotypes and has neglected reality. Pain and agony of Dalits not represented in films so far.

General Discussion

Tea Break 11.30 - 11.45

Lunch Break: 1.00 - 2.00

Afternoon session 2.00 - 4.00 P.M

“Portrayal of Traditional Institutions in Indian Cinema”

Chair: M N Panini: Media dominates and orchestrates social life. There is a complex relation between society and cinema. Bollywood has to ignore or down play caste so as to cater to lager audiences. So caste issue was converted into a class issue.

Wagish Shukla

Udyan Vajpayee: He spoke on the Myth that Indian Cinema Reflects Indian Reality.

Harish N Das: Spoke on the film “Benam Badshah” starring Anil Kapoor and Juhi Chawla and its original southern film. He brought into light the issues of patriarchy, family, marriage, motherhood, orphanage, rape, and life of the poor as portrayed in cinema.

Samarpita Ghosh Ray: Spoke on the portrayal of the village in films and how it is represented as a homogenous entity that is not complex, but simple.

General Discussion

Tea Break 4.00 - 4.30

Evening 4.30 onwards

Movie screening: Diksha, directed by Arun Kaul

Discussion: Arun Kaul, Amit Kumar Sharma, Pramod Kumar Dubey

26th February
Morning Session 10.00 -1.00

“Unity and Diversity in Indian Cinema”

Chair: Ehsanul Haq: Can we evolve any methodology to examine the relationship between society and cinema? Cinema is perpetuating hierarchy so how do we evolve unity in diversity.


Pramod Dubey: Schism between education and aesthetic/ creative pursuits. There is unity at the level of appealing to basic instincts and desire.

Mirnal Kant Pandey: Spoke about the “toy theory” of P. Harren and related it to bigger rewards like recognition. Films give us different toys – mass reality – toys of material acquisition. The issue of empowerment of audience is not addressed. There is a need to do away with the song and dance routines and the excessive emotional passions. Cognitive branding is required to make empirical assessments and here JNU and its film society will play a major role.

Maitreayee Chaudhuri: Unity and diversity within the framework of nation and state, Conscious part of our development agendas and modern projects, Central to freedom movements. Imagined community of nation is intrinsically related to modern media that binds us. Unity also emerges due to the historical forces that are at work.

G.Srinivas: Telegu started with mythological movies, for 30 to 40 years they were the dominant genre. Shift in themes from mythological films to social films. Movies from Hong Kong dubbed in Telegu and shown. Now the commercial and economic aspects are blending.

Renuka Singh: There is both good and bad cinema, the need is to evolve aesthetic sensibility to discern the good from the bad. She also spoke on youth and cinema talked about films like Dil Chahta Hai and the young Turks in Mumbai.

K.Krishna Shankar: Manoj Tiwari is like the Amitabh Bachchan of Bhojpuri cinema. The Bhojpuri cinema is a Rupees 100 crore industry. It has patrons in Fiji, Ghana, Surinam and Philippines. But it is still not recognized in academic world.

Discussant: Arvind Shankar: If Telegu cinema has its influence beyond Andhra Pradesh and Bhojpuri cinema has its audience beyond UP and Bihar then we can say that cinema has drawn the contours of a kind of linguistic cultural nationalism and does it in anyway question borders of state.

Discussion: Pradeep Tiwari, Amit Kumar Sharma, Nilika Mehrotra

Tea Break 11.30 -11.45

Lunch Break: 1.00 - 2.00

Afternoon session 2.00 - 4.00 P.M

“Political Economy of Indian Cinema”

Chair: Anup Kumar


Pravin Jha: Cinema is a powerful metaphor of the interplay between politics and economics. Films of 50’s 60’s have showed images of nationalism, idealistic optimism; the period of 70’s onwards showed hesitant nationalism. Now we also see a celebration of hedonism and sexualism.

Arun Kumar: Relative autonomy of artists- though financed by capital were made by IPTA. Filmmakers like Benegal and Nihlani made films challenging the state, even though their films were financed by NFDC.

Satish Jain: Complications are there as the cultural products (collective aspect) are heterogeneous. Labour Market in films- some actors charge in crores and extras are made very less. Dominance of market paradigm affects cinema too

Ajay Brahmatmaj: The image of hero – fair, tall, sharp featured, pathan type physique became popular as a result of which the other types did not become popular. The need for popular stars like Dilip Kumar and Meena Kumari to change their names on coming to Bollywood-the politics behind that? Also the forces/ politics behind success and flops.

General Discussion

Tea Break 4.00 - 4.30

Evening 4.30 onwards

Movie Screening: Who Subah Kidhar Nikal Gayi, Directed by Tripurari Sharan Discussion: Tripurari Sharan, Amit Kumar Sharma, Somnath Sen, Arun Kaul

Movie Screening: Floating Lamp Of The Shadow Valley, Directed by Rajesh Jala

Discussion: Rajesh Jala, Amit Kumar Sharma, Arun Kaul, Sanjana Sharma

27th February

Morning Session 10.00:1.00

“Sociology of the Blockbuster

Chair: Tripurari Sharan

There is a need to configure lowest common denominator of receptivity of audiences

across geographical territories. There has been a paradigm shift in assessing the success

of a film, from audience to returns. The focus has shifted to multiplexes and overseas audiences. It is no longer projected to the hinterland.


Pradeep Tiwari: Spoke on the way art is consumed by the market and how various strategies are now used to market the film as a product. He also discussed about the need to differentiate between a real blockbuster and a sponsored blockbuster. The thrust was earlier on audience responses, now superhits are “made” superhits strategically, by the use of the media, products like T-shirts, coffee mugs, special jewelry, toys etc.

Shubhangi: The way the disabled are shown in Hindi cinema leaves a lot to be desired. The representations create responses to reality. We often see the one-eyed villain who is seen to represent the moral disorder in society. In the recent past some of the biggest hits / blockbusters like “Koi Mil Gaya”, “Iqbal” and “Black” have had as their main protagonists a disabled person. The success of these films raises legitimate questions on the representation of the disabled in cinema today.

Chetan Katoch: There are two kinds of blockbusters, one is within India and the other is outside India (NRI). Bollywood has crossed borders and has still retained its indigenous character while emerging as a challenge to Hollywood. The two criteria for declaring films as blockbusters are revenue and popularity. Some do well in one aspect and the rest in the other.

Rakesh Kapoor: Films today target a different kind of market and follow a different strategy to ensure success. There is a need to look at why some films are absolute hits and why some fail miserably inspite of being “good” according to people.

Discussant: Vinod Anupam

Tea Break 11.30 - 11.45

LUNCH BREAK 1.00 - 2.00

Afternoon session 2.00 - 4.00 P.M

“Contemporary Concerns in Indian Cinema”

Chair: Anand Kumar


Tripuari Sharan: There is a need to look at where the film industry is headed and how can we ensure that the future holds good for the industry and its audiences.

Vinod Anupam: The concern today is one of how the audiences today are accepting certain films and ideas which were not acceptable to Indian people about 5-10 years ago. Had “Fanna” been made in the last decade Kajol would have succeeded in reforming Aamir and they would have lived happily, but in today’s time and age love is important but so is the mission you have in hand. The themes and storylines have changed in the last few years and so has the taste of the audience. Surely there is a concern about where our cinema is headed.

Sanjay Jha: He spoke about the concerns of a film-maker. He elaborated on how as a film-maker who has made two films despite not having a “godfather” in the industry, what are the issues and concerns he feels Indian cinema will have to deal with. These issues and concerns relate to the financial aspects of film making – getting finances to make a film. Then the lack of good stories, which are vital to making a good film. Also the problems of the “star system” and getting the dates of big names.

Discussant: V. Sujatha

Tea Break 4.00 - 4.30

Valedictory Session

Chair: Anand Kumar: He spoke on how this seminar had brought together the film world and the academic world and such an effort was praise worthy.

Key note speaker: Shyam Benegal: Films are a medium of telling a story and that’s what we do as film-makers. He also spoke about his experiences of making the film “Ankur” and how his producer told him, after the film got great reviews, that, “I’m going to be rich and you are going to be famous.” He also spoke about the great film makers like Satyajit Ray and Ritwik Ghatak and their films and the way they got funding from the government agencies and made films that questioned and problematised the government machinery.

Vote of Thanks: Amit Kumar Sharma: There is a need to realize that Indian society can be studied through our films. Cinema in India is a very powerful medium and its true potential must be tapped to raise India to new heights. The real and only challenge to the supremacy of Hollywood films is from our cinema and our way of story-telling via films.

High Tea

Movie screening: Ankur, Directed by Shyam Benegal

Discussion: Shyam Benegal, Amit Kumar Sharma


Saturday, March 03, 2007


Happy Holi to all from india.

Monday, February 19, 2007

STRINGS in patna film festival

पटना, जागरण ब्यूरो : फिल्म फेस्टिवल में स्टि्रंग दिखाये जाने के पूर्व फिल्म के निर्देशक संजय झा दर्शकों से मुखातिब हुए और कहा मेरे लिए यह भावुक क्षण है क्योंकि अपनों के बीच अपना काम दिखाने खड़ा हूं।
संवाद कार्यक्रम के तहत स्टि्रंग पर हुई चर्चा के क्रम में संजय ने कहा कि यह फिल्म स्वतंत्र सिनेमा के तौर पर बनी है। हम जैसे लोग जो अपनी विद्या को अपने ढंग से जीते हैं उनके लिए यह फिल्म है। उन्होंने कहा कि वह अपनी अगली फिल्म का निर्माण इसी कड़ी में करेंगे। यह फिल्म न तो किसी कामर्शियल दबाव में बनी है और न ही अपना दर्शन लोगों पर थोपने की कोशिश की गयी है। श्री झा ने कहा कि उनकी यह कोशिश है कि इंडिपेंडेंट सिनेमा जिंदा रहे। उन्हांेंने कहा कि इलाहाबाद जैसे शहर में उनकी फिल्म में मंत्र कविता का इस्तेमाल किए जाने पर जनहित याचिका दायर की गयी है जबकि ट्रायल में एक साधु तक नहीं पहुंचे। संजय ने कहा कि फिल्म में धर्म कहीं नहीं है बल्कि उन्होंने आस्था को दिखाया है जो व्यक्तिगत होती है। उन्होंने कहा कि इस फिल्म का निर्माण मेरी लिए चुनौती से भरा था। मैंने इस क्रम में बहुत ही ईमानदार कोशिश की है। चर्चा में सूचना एवं जनसंपर्क विभाग के निदेशक सुनील कुमार सिन्हा, एनएन पांडेय व विनोद अनुपम शामिल थे।

Sunday, February 18, 2007

ओम डालर, ओम रुबल, ओम पाउंड.. और फिर नासिक का कुंभ

ओम डालर, ओम रुबल, ओम पाउंड.. और फिर नासिक का कुंभ
पटना, जागरण ब्यूरो : अंतिम चरण की ओर बढ़ रहे पटना फिल्म फेस्टिवल के पांचवें दिन संजय झा द्वारा निर्देशित व निर्मित स्टि्रंग आकर्षण का केंद्र रही। स्टि्रंग का देखना लोगों के लिए कई मायने में अद्भुत रहा। फिल्म निर्माता ने फिल्म को बाबा नागार्जुन को समर्पित किया है। बिना किसी सेट के बनी इस फिल्म में बाबा नागार्जुन की कविता मंत्र को गीत के स्वरूप में फिल्माना भी फिल्म का बड़ा पक्ष है। बाबा नागार्जुन की कविता ओम डालर, ओम रूबल, ओम पाउंड, ओम साउंड.. पर इलाहाबाद में जनहित याचिका भी दर्ज की जा चुकी है। लेकिन फिल्म में इस कविता को जिस परिपेक्ष्य में उपयोग किया गया है वह विवाद से परे है।
फिल्म में कई जगहों पर कामर्शियल सिनेमा का टच भी है। बारिश में फिल्माया गया गीत रिमझिम-रिमझिम बारिश.. को भी दर्शकों ने खूब सराहा। फिल्म का संगीत जुबीन गार्गट का है। फिल्म पटना के सिने प्रेमियों के बीच पहली बार दिखायी गयी थी। कहानी वारेन हेस्टिंग्स नाम के एक ब्रिटिश युवक के नासिक के कुंभ में आने से शुरू होती है। वारेन के दादा अंग्रेजी हुकूमत में भारत में थे और उनकी डायरी को पढ़कर वह नासिक चला आया है। नासिक में वह एक पुजारी के घर ठहरता है। पुजारी की बेटी कृष्णा से उसे प्रेम हो जाता है और एक दिन दोनों के बीच.। फिल्म में कुंभ के कई दृश्यों को काफी बेहतर अंदाज में फिल्माया गया है। नागा साधुओं के स्नान और शोभा यात्रा के दृश्य देखते ही बनते हैं। इसी तरह मेले में घूमने वाले बहुरुपिए को भी बड़े ही रोचक तरीके से दिखाया गया है। धार्मिक दृष्टि से महत्वपूर्ण शहरों का यह संस्कार की छोटे-छोटे लोग किस अदा में विदेशी पर्यटकों से अंग्रेजी में बात करते हैं, भी फिल्म में बखूबी दिखा है। यूं कहे हनुमान जी भी अंग्रेजी बोलते हैं। फिल्म फेस्टिवल में सोमवार को तेलगू फिल्म शंकर भरनम भी चर्चा में रही। इसके अतिरिक्त विमल राय की बंदिनी भी दिखायी गयी।


Wednesday, February 07, 2007


STRINGS has been invited to PATNA FILM FESTIVAL.
For the first time my home state will view my film. I wish Allahabad High Court dismisses the P.I.L lodged by the sadhu's of Allahabad on the poem 'MANTRA' by Baba Nagarjun, and I am able to release the film through out the country.

Hope the holy dip in the river Ganga in Allahabad-kumbh recently has strengthened the Sadhu's spritual quests to review the understanding of the poem .

the journey continues...

Sunday, December 31, 2006

happy new year

happy new year to all blogger friends

Friday, November 17, 2006

Marketing God and recycling bollywood







Inspite of promoting the film on such loud and negative idea of faith, I just wonder after three weeks what must be the marketing team of ‘percept’ thinking about the business of the ‘rediscovering faith’ and ‘marketing god’…

Not a single remake has taken the vision of the old film forward and I think finally Remakes is not supported even by gods …
So its proved -Remakes are human- it has to do with 'ego' and 'personal achievement', it has nothing to do with the 'craft' and 'vision of cinema'...

Lets think of some creative titles/films list of films which can be 're-cycled' .

[Except ‘munna bhai’ and ‘krish’ whose remake rights is being already negotiated by the producers and a lead super star of Bollywood…]

Friday, October 20, 2006

happy bolly-blogging in festive india

happy dipavali and ramadan...
mubarakbaad and subhkaamnaye to all.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

celebrating weekend with BOLLY-BLOGGING


This event kept a lot of buzz on,through the entire month...
It was an exciting and a much awaited weekend for me.Enjoyed reading the reviews that kept comming one after another all through the day.

I have always wanted to make an Oscar style speech. This is it.

Thank you Michael for considering my request to review my film and to initiate this event and make it successful. I am honored and feeling very special. This is a unique event of its own kind in Blogging , and this first effort and initiative of yours in ‘Bolly-blogging’ has opened a new chapter in Bollywood film reviews.

Ten international reviews from such prolific avid bloggers can be a dream chapter in any film’s biography, and a huge learning experience for a debut director like me.
Oh I have to read them all again and again and again…

This event is going to be with me for a long time, and I will never forget the joy and honour I have received from it, it’s like being in an international film festival.

Thank you beth , Babasko , Filmiholic , Kaddele , Marco , Maria , Mirie , oliver , and ''totally basmatic'' .

I will respond to all the film reviews individually, and try and answer all the questions asked to me.
I am going to share this joy with all my cast and crew of the film, it’s a special event equally for everyone.
On this special occasion I would like to take permission from all the participants to publish their reviews with due respect and reference on ‘PRAAN JAYE PAR SHAAN NA JAYE’

[Oh…I can hear Oscar award winning background score music from music-pit ]

Thank you all and cheers,
Happy blogging

Friday, September 29, 2006


Bollybloggers from four different countries [GERMANY, SWITZERLAND, AUSTRIA, and USA]will take part in this event and post their reviews on my film at the same time tonight on their own respective blogsites.
This is first such event on any bollywood film, I am honoured that its happening with my debut film 'PRAAN JAYE PAR SHAAN NA JAYE'.

These 'bollybloggers' are my favourites and very popular among bolly-bloggers [blogywood] and are often found in favourite links of bollywood-lover blogs.
I have been reading their reviews and enjoying very human and interesting approach in understanding of bollywood-films.

They are ,Beth Watkins from USA popularly known as ''beth loves bollywood'', oliver from Germany ,Babasko from Austria popularly known as ''baba aur bollywood'' , kaddele from Germany , filmiholic from USA , maria from Germany, marco from Switzerland, mirie from Germany , Bridget from USA popularly known as ''totally basmatic'' and michael from Germany.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

looking forward to this weekend...

these days when i am in mid of the most crucial part of my film making process...
writing screenplay,pitching it to producers,meeting actors,deciding on team,feeling lost and lonely...scared...insecured...talking to invisible charachters...listening to unheard music...feeling high...
after making two films yet not familiar and comfortable with these emotions...
but some how i have got addicted to these feelings and crave for them too...

crashing on box office twice has strengthen my will to follow my gritty vision of trying to find a different way of story telling...
also in trying to find a balance between hard work and public relations in which i find my self very poor...
discovered blogging and a new world full of wonderful people,friends,thoughts...

in result, my debut film is yet to be discovered by many bollywood film lovers...

a wonderful idea in bollyblogging initiated by michael on his group site bollywoodbloggersin' bloggers meet director' ,and...

... on this weekend i am going to read the review of my debut film 'PRAAN JAYE PAR SHAAN NA JAYE' on ten different blogsites across the globe by bollybloggers and lovers of bollywood films...
just dont have words to express my joy...
and i am looking forward to this weekend...
this would be so unwinding and what can happen to a filmmaker better than this...
that people are watching and reacting to his film...

when asked about' bollyblogging ' by a blogging friend DJ from bollywood blogs network my reply was-
...since we all bollybloggers know 'bollywood' through its music,films,performances reviews,news,buissness analysis star glamour and their gossips and its anthropological significances along with its artistic values,so we all know 'bollywood'and enjoy on a common platform-blogging,'bollyblogging'...it keeps me updated with its real reviews, very human and personal reactions towards a film,unbiased views about story,performances,music and healthy gossips...
as a filmmaker from bollywood i have lost faith in media and critics of bollywood today-it seems all is business deal here,in such a case blogger comunity is only hope,and i call upon all bollywood lovers to join bollyblogging and keep alive the spirit of BOLLYWOOD
thank you michael for making blogging such a meaningful experience ...
thank you mainifor making me feel that language is not a barrier...
also looking forward to such experiences with other bollywood films...
happy bollyblogging...

Friday, September 01, 2006

avant garde blogging

bloggers meet director is avant garde in bollywood blogging.
today i am very happy for my debut film "PRAAN JAYE PAR SHAAN NA JAYE" as it is going to be a part of such a wonderful idea.
my struggle of six years to become a film director in bollywood is a story in itself,and making of my debut film is another.it wasn't smooth.
also film recieved very strong and critical reviews from bollywood critics when it was released in may 2003.
when i got introduced to blogging and discovered bollywood among bloggers,i decided to be a part of this new world and make new friends.
and when i requested my blogger friend michael to review the film he pleasantly surprised me by taking such an initiative.
now i am looking forward to some fresh reviews.
this initiative will add a new page to the biography of the film.

Monday, August 28, 2006







"What is wrong with Indian script writing?" - in bollywood "ishtyle"


if the "hyped problem"of screenplay writing in bollywood is not clear to you then sequel of this "script-film"is on the way.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Echoes of the Shehnai

salute to a master from a filmmaker!!!

silence in' jalsaghar ' (The Music Room)


Indian music's soulful maestro Ustad Bismillah Khan - one of India's most prolific musicians, gaining worldwide acclaim for playing the shehnai for more than eight decades.

Ustad in bollywood and indian cinema...

Ustad had his brief association with movies. He played the Shehnai for Dr.Rajkumar's role of Appanna in the movie Sanaadi Appanna. He acted in Jalsaghar, a movie by Satyajit Ray and provided sound of Shehnai in Goonj Uthi Shehnai. Noted director Goutam Ghose directed Sange Meel Se Mulaqat, a documentary on life of Ustad himself. He also played Shehnai in the 2004 Hindi movie Swades for the song Ye Jo Des Hai Tera and an instrumental version of the same song.


Documentary film on Ustad and his music.
The unique and exceptional music of Ustad Bismillah Khan. Recognized throughout the world as one as the greatest musicians of Indian Raga, his fame is due to his astounding work with the Shanaï oboe whose status he trancended from that of a common court instrument to that of a classical solo instrument. Along the banks of the Ganges, the mythical city of Banaras is the setting of our film, providing a visual counterpart to the musical creation of the maestro’s genius.


jindabaad khan saheb and jai hind!!!


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

power of blogging/blog connections/new friend

Noch zwei kleine Links
Regisseure und Filmmacher sieht man ja eher selten als Blogger. Doch während ich mal wieder die mit Bollywood getaggten Beiträge bei Technorati scanne, um neue Blogs für meine, äh unsere Sammlung zu finden, stoße ich heute früh auf Sanjay Jhas Blog und denk mir noch: Wieder so eine gescheiterte Traumexistenz wie der Bollywoodwriter. Bis ich eben aus Langeweile, äh Arbeitseifer auf ein weiteres Blog von Jha zu seinem Film String the Movie stoße. Ups, hat sich da wirklich einer der Blogger als Könner hervorgetan? Die Sabberbilder haben jedenfalls durchaus was. Muss mal nach mehr Infos suchen gehen…

Keine Kommentare August 16th, 2006 um 07:35pm michael 126 Views
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Saturday, August 19, 2006

Chiffon dreams RIP

THIRD EYE/ Barkha Dutt
August 19, 2006

‘I can’t believe you liked that film.” Have you also had to hear that after watching Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna? Some people look at you with the disapproval that’s reserved for the depraved. Though I am allergic to gender generalisations, I have to concede that this outrage emanates mostly from women. These are the mothers and daughters who come to the movies to find the cinematic equivalent of their favourite Mills and Boon romance. Instead, they find that their chiffon dreams of love have been thrown into a washing machine, spun around in the roughness of real life, and then, hung out to dry. What they are left holding is not the soft, pastel pink of dream sequences, but the sturdy gray of everyday life.
Others, and these are mostly my friends, are caught up in the craft of the film. Too long, too tedious, too confused: that’s their verdict. When I tell them that I enjoyed the film, they look at me with the disdain reserved for girls who are first, ditzy enough to read Cosmopolitan and then, quote chapter and verse from ‘How to keep your Man’. In short, they think I’ve lost it.
But here’s the truth. Not only did I have fun watching KANK, I actually thought that for a mainstream film, it had at least a few moments that challenged convention; moments that cajoled us out of our comfort zones.
By now, even those of you who haven’t seen the film probably know the story. It’s a tale of two marriages gone wrong for no apparent reason — no abuse, no malevolent mother-in-law, and no infidelity (to begin with). Yet, one half of each couple feels an acute emotional alienation and a sharp sense of drift within their relationships; and they begin looking for love outside their marriages. Presiding over this universe of chaos is ‘Sexy Sam’, a philandering patriarch played by Amitabh Bachchan.
In many ways — and depending on your point of view, this can be good or bad — the film is still trademark Karan Johar. So, as always, it’s a world peopled only by the super-rich. The houses are palaces; the women are wrinkle-free; the car can only be a Ferrari. Central Park may as well be Lodhi Garden because, in Johar’s imagined New York, there are only Indians (and a few white blondes to drape themselves around the brown men). In this wonderland, women wear Versace to vacuum-clean their floors and lipstick to brush the lint off their sofas.
But remember, this is a filmmaker who virtually created the persona of the Urban Conservative. His earlier films have always glamorised tradition and chosen duty over desire. The entire plot of his second film revolved around an authoritarian father who stopped talking to his son for daring to marry the woman he loved.
It’s ironic that it was Amitabh Bachchan who played that dictatorial parent because, in this film, his is the voice of gentle tolerance. His character has the wistful wisdom of a man who has lived long enough to understand the innate complexity of human relationships. Amitabh’s Sam catches his daughter-in-law cheating on her husband. Yet, in the final moments before he dies, he gently encourages her to walk out on his son, her husband; otherwise, he says, she will be depriving them both of a chance of genuine fulfillment. There’s no judgment, no recrimination, just sadness at the inevitability of it all. That one scene, I thought, was pretty radical not just for Johar, but for popular cinema anywhere, anytime.
Sure, there are problems with many of the characterisations and plot resolutions. For a film that claims to be all about the conflict between passion and friendship, the director seems far too defensive about setting the stage for the adulterous affair. And eventually it’s not as if the grandeur of love obliterates the duties of domesticity — neither lover walks out of their marriages; instead they are thrown out and left with no option.
But, for God’s sake, it is a Hindi film, with its usual share of melodramatic absurdities. Why should it be otherwise?
If you don’t go looking for ponderous art, you may find yourself surprised by many of the moments. There’s the embittered darkness of the Shah Rukh Khan character who vents his anger on his child; there’s his feisty wife who is so consumed by her career that she forgets to show up for their son’s school functions; there’s the illicit relationship of the couple who check into a motel for sex; and at the end of it all, instead of judgment, there is forgiveness and friendship.
On a recording of We the People, Shah Rukh Khan made an interesting point: he said he had chased other men’s wives in more than 35 films, so he couldn’t understand why this film has evoked this kind of scrutiny. He wondered if it was because KANK isn’t just about the greedy, perennially hungry, male libido and the ever-suffering wife. Were we all so hot and bothered, he asked, because we weren’t quite ready to believe that the wife could be just as restless and dissatisfied?
Listening to the other panelists on the show, I wondered if the film was somewhat confused in its resolution, precisely because we too are confused. Writer Shobhaa De, for instance, argued that infidelity was a “non-issue” for today’s generation, but the institution of marriage was just as entrenched as it ever was. Others proclaimed on national television that “everybody cheats”. And then there were the husband and wife who said they still held hands after 25 years of marriage, and that was, quite simply, good enough for them. Needless to say, there was a collective sigh of envy and the show ended with only one conclusion — there is no singular truth that defines our relationships anymore.
Modernity has simultaneously created more freedom and more fear; we like the space to write our own rules, but sometimes wish we had a roadmap for life; we shun social norms but still look for security; and we like the adventure of a restless life but still want to be rooted.
One in every hundred marriages in India ends in divorce. But the search for a suitable boy is still a national pastime.
And somewhere in the conflict zone between the head and the heart lie all our lives.

The writer is Managing Editor, NDTV 24x7

Saturday, August 19, 200603:45 IST

HindustanTimes.com » Editorial » The Big Idea » Story

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The new Bollywood: Love, marriage... and infidelity
By Anupama Chopra
The New York TimesFRIDAY, JULY 28, 2006

'Leave my son," a dying man tells his daughter-in-law from a hospital bed. "You don't love him. By staying with him you are denying him of someone else's love and yourself of true love. These unfulfilled relationships won't make anyone happy." The man had stumbled upon his daughter-in-law nuzzling her lover in a public space. Now he confronts her in a moment fraught with ache and regret.
As Bollywood's leading stars, Amitabh Bachchan and Rani Mukherjee, act out the scene, the director, Karan Johar, anxiously watches the monitor. He has reason to be nervous.
For the past decade Johar, 34, has had a dream run at the box office, directing glossy family dramas in which the united Hindu family is unabashedly celebrated and propagated. "I have always played safe," Johar said in an interview here during filming last March, "and therefore never been sorry." But with "Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna" ("Never Say Goodbye"), he enters alien, high-risk territory: the modern Indian marriage.
The film, set in New York, is the story of Dev, a man whose shining career as a soccer player is cut short by an accident that leaves him with a limp. He is unfulfilled, embittered and quietly resentful, especially of his wife, who enjoys a soaring career at a fashion magazine. He meets Maya, whose marriage seems similarly sparkless, through no fault of her adoring husband. The two endeavor to help each other fix their fractured marriages but end up falling in love. The plot is an emotional roller coaster, with confrontations, disappointed parents, wounded spouses and, inevitably, divorce.
"Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna" will have the typical Johar trademarks: overblown set-piece songs, designer styling and A-list stars. Set for release worldwide on Aug. 11, with a budget of more than $10 million, it is one of Bollywood's most expensive and awaited films this year.
And as such, it still treads carefully when it comes to depicting infidelity by Indian cinema's favorite romantic idol, Shahrukh Khan, as the faltering husband. "Shahrukh Khan has to be a screen virgin," Johar said. "For him to cheat with somebody else's wife is blasphemy." But increasingly realistic portrayals of marriage - happy and otherwise - are very much on the mind of Bollywood these days. Most Hindi films have culminated with a happily- ever-after snapshot of a bride and groom surrounded by a doting family. Few directors dared to explore the morning after. Filmmakers preferred to portray young love, which was usually childlike in its innocence and naïvely disconnected from complications, emotional or sexual.
Through much of the 1990s, Hindi films successfully peddled the fantasy of the joint family, in which not only did the husband and wife love each other, but the in-laws, aunts, uncles, servants and even pets also seemed inordinately cheerful. This extended family was posited as the moral center of Indian culture.
The last film Johar directed, "Kabhi Kushi Kabhie Gham" ("Sometimes Happiness, Sometimes Sorrow") was marketed with the tag line: "It's all about loving your parents." (In contrast "Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna" is being sold as "a love that broke all relationships.") The author Shobhaa De, whose book "Spouse: The Truth About Marriage" has sold a record 47,000 copies, called such cheerleading movies "a panic attack," adding, "These films re- emphasized and underlined that the family is paramount when actually everything around us was crumbling."
The institution of marriage was radically redefined in urban India after the nation's liberalization movement began in 1991. So much so that, as Dr. Rajesh Parikh, a neuropsychiatrist at the Jaslok Hospital and Research Center in Mumbai, put it: "The modern marriage barely reveals its lineage from the traditional marriage of decades ago. Today marriage covers the entire gamut from altered gender roles, satellite relationships, geographical separations and divorce."
There are no national records available, but experts agree that divorce rates have risen significantly. Over the years much media coverage has been devoted to urban stress, the new empowered Indian woman, the phenomena known as DINK (double income no kids) and DINS (double income no sex), the emergence of marriage counseling and, of course, high-profile celebrity break-ups. "Beyond a point," the director Rajat Kapoor said, "we couldn't look away from the reality of modern marriage."
Kapoor's most recent film is "Mixed Doubles," about a young couple in Mumbai whose passion for each other is lost in the grind of grocery shopping and child rearing. Both are educated, English-speaking, upper-class professionals. The husband, affectionate but bored (they haven't had sex for 40 days), suggests to his wife that they spice up their lives by swinging with another couple. The film is funny and poignant. At one point the four sit around pondering the logistics of their night out (what to do with one couple's son?) while the child scampers about the room.
When "Mixed Doubles" was released in February, Kapoor, who works outside the mainstream with small budgets, was afraid of a backlash. But the film, which cost $370,000 to make, went on to gross about $730,000 and made the rounds at several festivals.
Bollywood's biggest hit of 2005 was a comedy of errors, "No Entry," in which several husbands try to cheat on their wives. Marriage has become prime fodder for fun - a slew of comedies including "Shaadi No.1" ("No.1 Marriage"), "Shaadi Se Pehle" ("Before Marriage") and "Shaadi Ke Baad" ("After Marriage") have been released or are being made.
Meanwhile filmmakers like Johar are struggling with questions of intimacy (will the audience accept their screen idols sleeping together?), morality ("I can't be sanctioning infidelity," Johar said) and language (conversations about sex are difficult to have in Hindi because the words are either too archaic or too uncouth). Johar solved the last problem in "Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna" by having his characters break into English.
The box office prospects for "Kabhi Alvida" are tricky to predict. The star, Khan, has a global following, and Indians abroad are a key constituency for these family epics. Those viewers tend to be more conservative than audiences at home and prefer heroes who are heroic in the traditional sense.
"Dev is more real and flawed than the characters I've done before," Khan wrote in a phone text message. "He has the weakness to fall out of love with his marriage but the strength to accept the guilt that comes with doing that. So is he finally happy? Even he doesn't know."
The success or failure of "Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna" will test how much audiences are willing to let go of the favorite family fantasy. As De points out: "'Mixed Doubles' is art house. We think, 'It's not about us, it's about them.' But a Karan Johar film is definitely about us."


Monday, August 14, 2006

jhaji congratulations !!!

jhajji congratulations for second film's d.v.d cover.cheers!!!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Kerala - Thiruvananthapuram

Weeklong film festival begins
Staff Reporter

Baby releases festival book, copy handed over to Sanjay Jha.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Watching new films is like exploring new continents, Minister for Culture M.A. Baby has said.
He was speaking after inaugurating the 11th Trivandrum International Film Festival (TIFF), organised by Chalachitra, in the city on Friday.

"A director wields the camera like a writer uses his pen," the Minister said. There is no art form in the world that cannot be manifested through films. Film is the art form of this century, Mr. Baby said, referring to the famous saying of the Russian leader Lenin.
"It will take several days to finish reading a good book. But a good cinema unveils a world of fantasy before the audience in just two hours," he said.
The Minister later released the festival book by handing over a copy to Sanjay Jha, director of `Strings,' a travelogue love story.
Director T.V. Chandran, who presided over the function, said the quality of Malayalam film had been deteriorating over the years. "Though the popular perception is that conducting international film festivals will benefit regional films, the concept is inversely true of Malayalam films," he said.
Architect G. Shankar, who recently won the `man of the year award' instituted by a private television channel, was felicitated on the occasion.
The inaugural function was followed by the screening of the Steven Spielberg movie `Munich.'
The weeklong festival will conclude on August 3.



Thursday, August 10, 2006

PIL against use of "Om"

Friday, July 14, 2006 Subscribe to Newsletter Allahabad (UNI):

Allahabad High Court asked Uttar Pradesh government, Central Censor Board and others to file a counter affidavit within 10 days in a PIL seeking stay on the exhibition of a film titled Strings.
The petitioner claims in this film the pious word 'Om' had been misused and it hurt the sentiment of crores of Hindus. A division bench comprising Justices S R Alam and Sudhir Agrawal yesterday, however, did not grant relief to the petitioner so far as stay on the exhibition of the film was concerned.
The PIL has been filed by Swami Angad Giri of Allahabad. He said the film was being released today. The court also issued notices to film producer Mathew Varghese, director Sanjay Jha and Zubeen Garg in this case to file their reply.



Tuesday, August 08, 2006


No Strings attached

Bihar will be in the news for all the good reasons if Sanjay Jha realises his dream. The film-maker from Bhagalpur is hoping that his Strings will make it to the Cannes in 2005. It took him 10 years of hard work to reach where he is now.
Sanjay, 34, started as an assistant to Mahesh Bhatt and Tanuja Chandra for the teleserial Zameen Aasmaan. Later, he worked with Sanjay Leela Bhansali for Khamoshi and assisted Vidhu Vinod Chopra in Mission Kashmir. His maiden film, Praan Jaye Par Shaan Na Jaye, sunk without a trace. Sanjay has no regrets, though.
He grew up enjoying melas and ramlilas in the villages of Bihar. Mithila paintings and the changing moods of the Ganga inspired his language and poetry. He says he was lucky to be a soldier’s son as he could travel a lot.
Lured by the stage, he ventured into street and folk theatre after graduation. The next step was a course in film direction at the National School of Drama, Delhi.
Strings, an English film which is in the post-production stage, is set in the backdrop of the Mahakumbh at Nasik. The story revolves around Warren Hastings, whose grandfather served the Raj. Warren is smitten by Lord Krishna at the Kumbh. "We made the film on a shoestring budget," he says. "Everything was created on the spot. We feel proud of it."
Sanjay also conducts art workshops and is the Mumbai coordinator for UNICEF’s project on HIV/AIDS. His motto: to contribute to society, one need not grow old.

Vijaya Pushkarna

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Special Issue: Indian Cinema 1995-2005-OUTLOOK

The Defanged Love Story
It may be a many-splendoured thing, but in Hindi cinema love is marred by a regressive streak.

There has been a regressive streak in Hindi commercial cinema. After all, it was made by men who worshipped their mothers, did not question the idea of patriotism, and were dreaming of a house out of Yash Chopra's Waqt. We forgave them because they were of their time and were surprised when they made films like Dhool ka Phool, a sympathetic look at illegitimacy; or Lamhe, which teetered on the edge of incest.

That was B.R. Chopra and Yash Chopra, elder and younger brother. The next generation, represented by Aditya Chopra, gave us Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge. Now DDLJ, as it became popular in its phenomenally successful run, had all the makings of a Chopra film. It had a sumptuous visual feast as the leading lady, a likeable leading man, a mustard field and Switzerland. But here's what turns my stomach. In all mainstream cinema, we are expected to follow the hero's interests. We must empathise with him. He must stand for us, so that we can vicariously live out our fantasies—winning the pretty lady, beating up the goons, spritzing politicians with a machine gun—through him. Now, what fantasy is it where the hero says he won't whisk off his heroine and marry her without his father-in-law's permission? Where is the anarchic potential of love that was always celebrated in Hindi films? Where's Majnu's howling protest, Mahiwal's death wish or Ranjha's passion? This version of the hero would never marry a lower-caste girl or someone convicted of murder or a prostitute as the heroes of Sujata, Bandhini and Pakeezah did. This version of the hero is a toddler at heart, still seeking parental approval. In Trishul, Yash Chopra gave us the first hero who succeeded in his Oedipal quest. The Bachchan hero does not back down when his father's empire is in his grasp. He takes away everything. He does not even pay for his rebellion with his life like in other films (Shakti, for instance). That was in 1978.

In DDLJ, his son turned back the clock. Where the Bachchan figure in Trishul mocked love—"yeh bekaar, bedaam ki cheez hai" (It's a useless thing)—we were slightly shocked. When Aditya Chopra defanged its power, we hummed along.

When did we decide to make love another commodity? To circumscribe it in the family, in society? To package it with the right background and designer clothes? It didn't stop at ddlj, it couldn't. The year before, Hum Aapke Hain Koun? had established that Hindi films did not need villains and that if you did not have a Pomeranian of extracanine intelligence, you might as well marry your sister's widower. Take a big hit at random. Mohabbattein? The girl kills herself due to her father's intransigence but the father is a figure of authority against which Shah Rukh Khan must thump his head endlessly to get him to allow some poppets and moppets to have a prom night. Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam? The boy loves the girl but gives her up as guru dakshina to her father. Her father marries her to another man. When offered her freedom, she sticks by her husband.

Last month, Imtiaz Ali's Socha Na Tha reminded me that you don't have to be a greybeard to produce a regressive film. The hero loves a Catholic girl. Of course, her parents live in a house with a hundred candles burning under a picture of the Sacred Heart. Sure, her father tanks him up on alcohol. Sure, he wears suspenders and is a Portuguese Raj relic. But that's not depressing even if it does play to stereotypes. The depressing bit is: the hero doesn't really love her, see? He falls in love with the girl his parents chose. All the early rhetoric about how demeaning arranged marriage is, how dim-witted it is to assume that two people can meet and decide whether to marry or not is dismissed in the way it all works out. Actually, your parents know best.

Okay, what's going on?

This is a bunch of people who have had the best of both worlds. Most of these guys would not know a struggle if it was marked with a big red X. Their dynastic lineages assure them of the best of everything, the biggest stars, the finest distribution, the best marketing, the works. Their lives have been cosmopolitan, free-wheeling, unfettered by the constraints of tradition with "the winds of the world blow through the doors and windows" of their houses but it has not changed them.

But what can one expect of the rich? If you think about it, the rich have become rich on the way things are. Why would they want to change things? Why would they want to do anything except keep everyone in stasis? Why not make big family dramas in which everyone is gorgeous and the mustard fields are in bloom and Lata didi still sings in the lower reaches of her geriatric voice?

Why take risks? Which is why Hindi cinema will have to look beyond these midgets who walk in the footsteps of giants.
Which is why I will still go and see a hatke film by a new director—unless it is Nagesh Kukunoor who has never made a film, only some amateur representations of cinema—because that's where I'm going to find the new voices and the rewriting of cinema. Which is why it takes an Onir (My Brother Nikhil) and Anurag Kashyap (Paanch and Black Friday) and a Ruchi Narain (Kal-Yesterday and Tomorrow) and a Sanjay Jha (Pran Jaaye Par Shaan Na Jaaye) and Shashanka Ghosh (Waisa Bhi Hota Hai Part II) and Tigmanshu Dhulia (Haasil) or even that old warhorse Sudhir Mishra (Hazaaron Khwaahishein Aisi) to make me want to go back to a cinema.

The rest of the big names, I'll see on DVD, thank you. And keep my finger on the fast forward button.


Tuesday, June 27, 2006


Son of a soldier, Sanjay Jha was born in Sultanganj in Bhagalpur district, Bihar. Childhood days were spent in an earthy rural life. Right from the beginning, he was deeply inspired by the rich folk culture of Buddha’s own land, Bihar. Grew up with real images of Melas, Ramleelas, Bahuripiyas, incredible rituals, strong religious milieu and the vibrant Mithila Art. Natural calamities like flood and drought gifted unforgettable images. Changing seasons of rural life on the bank of river Ganga matured into a sense of poetry and language. Wonder years passed chasing steam trains that passed through the fields of his native village. Listening to radio programs made for defense personals was the only window to the outside world. With such a treasure of inspirational experiences a story teller evolved. Later Sanjay traveled extensively, lived in military camps and learned from various cultures by the virtue of his father’s profession. Sanjay graduated in Science from Patna. Here, he got involved in theatre activities, street plays and folk theatre. He participated in ‘APNA UTSAV’ mega cultural national jamboree initiated by the late Prime Minister Mr. Rajiv Gandhi. In the year 1990, under the young playwrights’ scheme of Sangeet Natak Academy ,wrote ‘RAJA SALHES’ a play in Hindi. He joined the National school of Drama in 1991-1994, where he mastered the art of Performing Arts and specialized as a Stage director and designer.He arrived in Bombay, now Mumbai in the year 1994 and joined Plus Channel as an Assistant Director of ‘ZAMEEN AASMAAN’, a tele-series produced by Plus Channel and directed by Mahesh Bhatt/ Tanuja Chandra. After gaining experience in television, Sanjay was ready to explore the world of cinema. In the year 1995-1996 he joined Sanjay Leela Bhansali as an Assistant director on the film, ’KHAMOSHI’. In 1996-1999, he contributed as a chief assistant director on ‘KACHCHE DHAAGE’, a Tips Films production directed by Milan Luthria. In 1999-2000, he assisted Vidhu Vinod Chopra on ‘MISSION KASHMIR’. In the year 2002, he directed his debut film ‘PRAAN JAYE PAR SHAAN NA JAYE’ written and produced by Mahesh V Manjrekar, starring Sushmita Sen, Raveena Tandon, Namrata Shirodkar, Diya Mirza, Rinki Khanna, Shweta Menon, Divya Dutta, Aman Verma, Vijayraaz and Mahesh Manjrekar. In 2004, he made his second film(cross-over), "Strings" starring Adam Bedi, Tanishta Chatterjee, Sandhya Mridul and Vinit Kumar. It is a feature film in English/Hindi to be sub-titled in English, 90 minutes drama in 35 mm format on kodak color film with screen ratio 1:1.85. The film was selected in the competition section, Asian Films, as World Premiere Screening at the 7th OSEAN-CINEFAN FILM FESTIVAL in Delhi.Sanjay Jha works with children of all ages including those with special needs designing, coordinating and conducting Eco-Theatre Art workshops.Sanjay actively works with UNICEF, on its innovative communication project on HIV/AIDS as a project co-ordinator in MUMBAI. Project involves a range of activities which includes documentation and film making workshops with children. Sanjay has emerged as a young and dynamic film writer and director and is currently completing a diploma in human rights from the Mumbai University.

Monday, June 26, 2006

bollywood today


Film & Television Institute of India, Pune
August 19 & 20, 2006

It is an open secret that Indian cinema's greatest weakness lies in its refusal to acknowledge the screenplay as the bedrock of filmmaking. While one hears the occassional lip service by producers nowadays, the overwhelming majority of films do not factor in the time, creative space or the funds essential to the process of creating a script which even a lay-person today recognises as the cornerstone of film-making, not to speak of film investment. It is alleged that there are many professional scriptwriters who seem happy to avoid the rigorous grind involved in writing a competent, completed screenplay. A glance at the history of film-making in India seems to indicate that for most of the time the screenplay seems to have been a slave to the imperatives of production and the star system. All this is particularly unfortunate considering the fact that India possesses a wealth of narrative traditions that the screenwriter of today can explore in innovative ways. It is equally evident that there are a host of new and established screenwriters who are full of inspired ideas with the urge to transcend existing narrative conventions, and who possess the necessary discipline and patience.
While we take pride in being the only country in the world which has defeated Hollywood in its own territory, we need to ask ourselves why we are seriously unhappy with the quality of our own cinema.
Why do more than 85% of our films fail to connect with its audiences? Despite intense marketing and promotional strategies to seduce audiences, the success rate refuses to improve. How does one diagnose such an affliction? Are poor screenplays primarily responsible for such massive failure rates? Is our unique film language one of the main reasons for our weakness?
For the first time ever, this conference organised by FTII will bring together screen-writers from different parts of the country. They will articulate their isolated experiences, exchange ideas about their craft, share observations about the imperatives of our situation, generate insights, derive inspiration by taking a fresh look at some of the bold experimentations in India's screenwriting history and cast a glance at the road ahead.

1. The Current Scenario: In contemporary India, though different aspects of filmmaking (such as cinematography, editing, music, etc) have arguably reached high standards, scriptwriters have been somewhat left behind, unable to master the craft and understand the true pulse of our time. Why are we in this situation? Why are we not able to engage our audiences with stories that may captivate them adequately? Is it a crisis of content or are we groping in the dark, unable to find more effective strategies of telling our stories? Are screenwriters merely blaming the audience as an excuse for their own limitations?

2. Exploring India's narrative traditions: Is there any unique 'Indian' way of telling stories? Can we articulate the specific narrative form of the Indian cinema just as Hollywood is able to lay bare its structure with such precision? The relationship between storytelling in Indian cinema and the narrative tradition of our epics, folk theatre, classical Sanskrit theatre, Parsi theatre, scroll paintings, etc. The shifting dynamics of the interplay among them. Are these deep influences also responsible for anchoring Indian scriptwriting and cinema to an exclusive Indian domain or ethos from which we are now finding it so difficult to reach out to international audiences?

3. The history of Indian scriptwriting: Development of scriptwriting in the Indian film industry, from Phalke's time to the studio-era to post-war freelancing, from German scriptwriters to novelists to Sachin Bhowmik to Salim-Javed to the writer-directors of the new generation and the vicissitudes of ‘parallel’ cinema in different languages. Reasons for the dearth of scriptwriters. Relationship between literature and cinema whether in the mainstream or parallel and regional cinemas of the past.

4. Contemporary issues: While many enlightened producers have begun emphasising their new-found conviction regarding the importance of the screenplay, why does the situation refuse to change? Why are scripts and scriptwriters still treated as secondary to most other functions? Have production houses developed any real expertise in assessing screenplays? Is scriptwriting integrally factored into the filmmaking process even now? Where does scriptwriting stand in order of importance with relation to other departments, using the index of professional fees? Can a well-crafted script based on a strong story make a project worthy of finance? On the other hand, why are Indian screenwriters increasingly lifting ideas and plots from international successes, specially Hollywood films? Does it indicate a poverty of ideas or a tendency to play safe? As a matter of interest, how are these western plots and structures Indianised? What is our stand on the issue of plagiarism? Is the fear of plagiarism really more in the mind of the writer than in reality?


5. Cinema and Literature: Relationship between literature and cinema in India. Is the bond desirable? The possibilities of synergy. Studies show that whenever cinema's relationship with literature has been deep, it has led to rich productivity in cinema. When and why did this link get weakened? Why are there such few adaptations in Indian cinema despite a wealth of fiction available in different languages? Are writers hesitant or is literary fiction, with its thematic concerns and strong cultural rootedness, difficult to adapt to popular cinema? Why are writers from literature not trying their hand at screenwriting?

6. Inspiring examples: A close look at the work of Vijay Tendulkar (who managed to incorporate disturbing social and political themes into engaging narratives), Salim-Javed (the biggest success story in Indian popular scriptwriting that brought together elements that had earlier been used in scattered ways into consciously structured organic drama) and Rituparno Ghosh (who brought finesse to film narratives, using real-life incidents, historical and mythological characters, all with a contemporary relevance). Other films that have successfully explored indigeneous narrative forms such as Ketan Mehta's 'Bhavni Bhavai' or Mani Kaul's 'Duvidha'. Why do we not have more of such attempts?

7. Learning the craft: The world's largest film-producing country did not have even one institution (until recently) with a full-fledged scriptwriting department. Why? How can aspiring Indian scriptwriters have a rigorous training in the craft? Is professional training and script education an adequate answer to the betterment of scriptwriting in India? What should be taught in an ideal screenwriting programme?

8. Scripts for the global market: The influence of Hollywood on Indian film narratives. The impact of Hollywood's seductive power on Indian writers. Its effect on local creativity. Problems of breaking into the non-diaspora overseas audience. Is 'Hollywoodisation' of the Indian screenplay the key to entering global markets? Reluctance on the part of Indian writers and film-makers to explore our indigenous stories and narrative styles with an attempt at universal resonance. What makes the telling of a story 'international'? Case studies. Are younger minds better tuned to write for an international market?


Raising counterpoints. Commentaries, rejoinders and observations on papers presented. Group discussions on specific topics:

Part I: Does training in scriptwriting lead to formula-isation by writing-by-rules? Is it any longer possible to write a pan-Indian script? Why have there been no scripts that gave universal hits in recent times? What really do we mean by 'entertainment' or 'popular'?

Part II: Ideas and suggestions for the future. How effective is the Filmwriters' Association for grievance redressal? Do we need a guild or a union? Is collective action a possibility? Should we have a committee for interfacing with producers' organisations for our concerns? Can't scriptwriters form a regular forum for airing and addressing professional concerns, setting standards, holding conferences/ workshops/seminars, work out strategies for upgrading work - collaboration, script-editing, etc? Issues concerning legal matters, copyright law, rights of writers.


...two months later !!!



"What is wrong with Indian script writing?" - in bollywood "ishtyle"


Wednesday, May 03, 2006

congratulations jhaji and welcome to the world of bloggers.
this blog is all for my cinema and the film maker in me.
this is also a struggling directors website.
i have a dream to publish my blog oneday.
this is my immediate biography too.
language is my own english.
i dedicate my this blog to satyajeet ray and his art and cinema.