Indian director Shyam Benegal to be honoured at the World Film Festival of Bangkok

October  21, 2008
by Amrit Rashmisrisethi

 

Shyam BenegalMr. Benegal is special invitee to the World Film Festival of Bangkok this year, where five of his films (Mandi, Manthan, Samar, Bhumika and Zubeida) are being screened.

The 6th World Film Festival of Bangkok will be held at Paragon Cineplex from October 24 to November 2. The objective of the World Film Festival of Bangkok is to introduce quality, non-mainstream films from all over the world. It aims to become a showcase for independent films and new work from rising talents to cinema masters to show the continuity from generation to generation as a vital component in the development of the film industry. More information is available at http://www.worldfilmbkk.com/

The Indian Embassy is also hosting a lunch on 25th September in honour of Mr. & Mrs. Shyam Benegal.

Shyam Benegal is considered the father of parallel, or Indian new wave, cinema in India. Benegal's career spans of over 30 years. Benegal's films offer an 'alternative' history of India as well as an example of film-making practice from the margins. A history that challenges assumptions about national progress and provokes considerations of the consequences of this developments.


Benegal's film articulate concerns about national identity, life on the periphery and gender/caste,class issues - from the peasant movements of the 1970's to the rural development drive and its conflicts to the untold stories of the handloom weaver, the low-caste farnmer and the performing woman.

Benegal has discovered some of the best acting talents in Indian film, a gallery of dramtic actors whose names have become synonymous with parallel cinema - Shabam Azmi, Smita Patil, Naseeruddin Shan, Anant Nag and Om Puri. These performers appear and reappear as in a repertory company, exhiiting unique strengths and talents film to film. One of his strongest point is his ability to gather people and keep them in a repertory of films, while maintaining a democratic spirit in the unit.

Benegal's production production schdules normally lasts between four to six weeks. and also prefers his entire unit on location to interact with local people and improvise with the script.