Mad­hur Bhan­darkar: Bold and fem­i­nist film-maker.

Woman's Era - - Contents - San­tosh Me­hta

Fa­mous pro­ducer-direc­tor Mad­hur Bhan­darkar, 48, has a pen­chant to court con­tro­ver­sies. His lat­est movie Indu Sarkar had al­ready re­leased all over the coun­try after 14 cuts along with dis­claimer that the movie was a work of fic­tion and had noth­ing to do with former prime min­is­ter Indira Gandhi.

Bhan­darkar shot to fame after he made com­mer­cially hit film Chan­dani Bar. This crit­i­cally ac­claimed film got him name and fame and was re­warded with the Na­tional Awards for the Best Fea­ture Film.

His films in­clude Fash­ion, Page 3, Traf­fic Sig­nal, and Cor­po­rate. They all did well at the box of­fice and es­tab­lished him as a film­maker with the dif­fer­ence.

Bhan­darkar was awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth high­est

civil­ian award, in 2016 by the Gov­ern­ment of In­dia. He started his ca­reer work­ing in a video cas­sette li­brary in Khar in Mum­bai and tried and worked in var­i­ous fields.

After try­ing his skills with small­time film­mak­ers as an as­sis­tant at a mea­gre salary of ` 1,000 per month, Bhan­darkar got his break when he joined as an as­sis­tant to Ram Gopal Varma and played cameo role in

Rangeela. Then after two years, he di­rected Chan­dani Bar (2001) star­ring Tabu and Atul Kulka­rni with a bud­get of Rs.15 mil­lion. The film was crit­i­cally ac­claimed, be­came a box-of­fice suc­cess and took him into top league of film­mak­ers in Bol­ly­wood.

He re­ceived his first Na­tional Award for this film and won na­tional awards for his films Page-3 and Traf­fic Sig­nal. His movie Fash­ion (2008) also won na­tional awards for Best Ac­tress (Priyanka Cho­pra) and for Best Sup­port­ing Ac­tress (Kan­gana Ra­naut).

Bhan­darkar hails from a Marathi speak­ing fam­ily. He is a school dropout. He came from a mid­dle-class fam­ily.

Bhan­darkar mar­ried his girl­friend Renu Nam­bood­iri on 15 De­cem­ber, 2003 in Mum­bai and has a daugh­ter (Sid­dhi). In most of his films, Bhan­darkar's pro­tag­o­nist are fe­males -- Tabu in Chan­dani Bar, Raveena Tan­don in Satta, Konkona Sen Sharma in Page 3, Bi­pasha Basu in Cor­po­rate, Neetu Chan­dra in

Traf­fic Sig­nal, Priyanka Cho­pra in Fash­ion and Ka­reena Kapoor in Hero­ine.

"My movies are not ex­poses, maybe they just hold up a mir­ror to so­ci­ety. My movies are not judge­men­tal. I just show what hap­pens in our so­ci­ety. Life goes on." Bhan­darkar, who is known for his hard-hit­ting and re­al­is­tic films, said.

Bhan­darkar was re­cently in Delhi after his hit film Indu Sarkar.

Now he is busy in his up­com­ing Chi­tra Bharti film fes­ti­val. Ex­cerpts: You are fa­mous for di­rect­ing woman-ori­ented films but now, you have made a film on Late Mrs Indira Gandhi's Emer­gency ti­tled Indu

Sarkar. Why you chose to make this film?

Yes, I made woman cen­tric films but this is the first time, I made a film on po­lit­i­cal sub­ject which at­tracted me a lot. Most of the film di­rec­tors do not make such films, es­pe­cially on this sub­ject.. There­fore, I want to tell my au­di­ence the true story of emer­gency through my creativ­ity.

Do you think after some cuts Indu sarkar still at­tracted to your au­di­ence?

Yes, I am ex­tremely happy and sat­is­fied that after the Cen­sor Board ad­vised me to cuts but still my film does not lose its cred­i­bil­ity. Indu Sarkar is still ap­pre­ci­ated by my fans and au­di­ence due to its orig­i­nal­ity..

Are you happy when your film is cat­e­gorised as a po­lit­i­cal film? I would like to tell my fans and au­di­ence that one can never cat­e­gorise film only by its topic they should al­ways watch films with their free mind and hon­esty. Hence, Indu

Sarkar is not only a po­lit­i­cal film but it’s based on real-in­ci­dents along with some fic­tions

What feed­back have you re­ceived from the cine view­ers?

After My re­cent film Indu Sarkar I am very sat­is­fied the way I got pos­i­tive re­sponse. Hence, I want to tell my au­di­ence and cin­ema-lovers to watch films for en­ter­tain­ment only. Do not de­bate on films with­out get­ting into facts. Some peo­ple on the streets in Mum­bai also ap­pre­ci­ated my film, they were all street peo­ple.

What did fa­mous ac­tress Sha­bana Azmi told you?

Renowned ac­tress and so­cial ac­tivist Sha­bana Azmi told me that the Cen­sor Board needs to be changed. She loved my film Indu

Sarkar. That's a great com­pli­ment for me.

How do you se­lect ti­tle of your films? Be­ing a film-direc­tor, I am al­ways keen to se­lect in­ter­est­ing and catchy ti­tle for my films, there­fore, I had cho­sen Indu Sarkar and am sat­is­fied to tell you that com­mon au­di­ence had con­nected to Indu Sarkar be­cause of its easy ti­tle.

Do you think as a film-maker one can al­ways get pos­i­tive views from the au­di­ence? As a film-maker it is not al­ways pos­si­ble to have pos­i­tive feed­back. How­ever, there were mixed re­ac­tions, some like it and other dis­liked it. Like Indu Sarkar; some peo­ple li­keed it and ap­pre­ci­ated the film. As a film-direc­tor it does not af­fect me. Even politi­cian Prakash Javed­kar ap­pre­ci­ated Indu Sarkar due to its di­rec­tion and han­dling of the theme.

Ba­si­cally all your films were based on woman-ori­ented themes. Why and how Indu Sarkar was dif­fer­ent?

Yes, Mostly all my films were based on woman themes be­cause woman is the main topic of my films. How­ever, Indu Sarkar is based on our former Prime Min­is­ter Indira Gandhi but Indu Sarkar was quite dif­fer­ent due to its topic and it was a po­lit­i­cal story. Be­sides that, I had shown the emer­gency era through

Indu Sarkar. Hence, there were some fic­tion­alised char­ac­ters and its 70 per cent con­tent is based on real in­ci­dents and only 30 per­cent is fic­tion.

How do you choose your film cast?

As a film-maker I al­ways search for fresh and tal­ented film ac­tors. I liked Kirti Kul­hari’s act­ing tal­ent in

Pink. She has nat­u­ral skills so, I de­cided to take her and it has proved my de­ci­sion very wise.

Do you think be­ing a film-maker you have the lib­erty to show the real side of story?

Yes, I think be­ing a film direc­tor I am con­vinced that I have to show the real pic­ture of the story. Just like, I tried to por­tray the real story for my au­di­ence through my own di­rec­to­rial skill along with my star cast. For in­stance In Indu Sarkar, I have shown the emer­gency through the film.

What made you to cast Kirti Kul­hari as Indu Sarkar?

Kirti Kul­hari is known as a fa­mous model. Be­sides her suc­cess­ful role in the lat­est film Pink, I was sure that she could de­liver ex­cel­lent per­for­mance and had nat­u­ral act­ing skills. As she is a bril­liant ac­tress.

What are the high­lights of your forth­com­ing film fes­ti­val? What is the name of the film fes­ti­val?

Chi­tra Bharti is the name of the up­com­ing film fes­ti­val. As a direc­tor of the Chi­tra Bharti film fes­ti­val, I thought to show­case two days film fes­ti­val in Delhi from the 16 to 18 Fe­bru­ary next year. The en­tries have been in­vited for the cat­e­gories of short films, doc­u­men­taries, an­i­ma­tion and cam­pus films among oth­ers.

Who are the or­gan­is­ers and how many days the fes­ti­val will be hap­pen­ing in Delhi?

I am the fes­ti­val direc­tor along with Alok Ku­mar, the Chair­man of Bhar­tiya Chi­tra Sadana (BCS). We both are as­so­ci­ated with this fes­ti­val.

Tell us some­thing about the logo de­sign.

There are big names like Ad­waita Gadanayak, the Direc­tor Gen­eral of Na­tional Gallery of Modern Art and Va­sudev Ka­math both are in the Logo de­sign com­pe­ti­tion jury. Be­sides that, an in­ter­na­tion­ally ac­claimed artist, and J. Nand Ku­mar, Na­tional Con­vener Prag­nya Pravah are also as­so­ci­ated with this fes­ti­val.

Who is the winner of the com­pe­ti­tion for this film fes­ti­val?

The winner of the com­pe­ti­tion is Bhuvi Gupta of Mum­bai, cur­rently work­ing as front-end engi­neer. Graphic de­sign­ing and web de­vel­op­ment is her hobby.

Tell us some­thing about the first Chi­tra Bharti film fes­ti­val in In­dore on 2016.

Yes, I had organised the first film fes­ti­val of Chi­tra Bharti in In­dore in 2016, which had re­ceived 309 en­tries from 8 states. The fes­ti­val be­came very suc­cess­ful un­der the guid­ance of em­i­nent per­sons like Vivek Ag­ni­hotri, Mukesh Ti­wari , Rahul Ravel, Manoj Joshi, Vinod Mankar and Raj Dutt.

Be­sides film fes­ti­vals what are the ac­tiv­i­ties of your Bhar­tiya Chi­tra Sadana?

Film fes­ti­val is only one ac­tiv­ity but Bharatiya Chi­tra Sadana will or­gan­ise film ap­pre­ci­a­tion cour­ses in all the ma­jor states of In­dia, and cam­paign par­tic­u­larly in univer­sity cam­puses and film in­sti­tutes to in­vite en­tries also from the bud­ding youth of the coun­try.


My body is a re­flec­tion of who I am.

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