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.

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.