CLASS OF 2005-THE WEEK
SANJAY JHA FILM-MAKER
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.