Mr. Anand Patwardhan (India)


Anand Patwardhan has been making films on peoples’ movements in India for over four decades. In 1970-72, on scholarship to study in the USA, Patwardhan participated in the anti-Viet Nam war movement and later became a volunteer in Cesar Chavez’s United Farmworker’s Union. On returning to India in 1972 he joined Kishore Bharati, a rural development and education project in central India. He was active in the Bihar anti-corruption movement in 1974-75 and in the civil liberties and democratic rights movement during and after the 1975-77 Emergency. Since then he has worked with movements for housing rights of the homeless, communal harmony, sustainable development and social justice in the face of religious fundamentalism, rampant privatization, globalization and nuclear nationalism. Most of his films have faced State censorship as well as the wrath of religious fundamentalists and he has successfully challenged these assaults in court and the public domain.

His engagement with the Bihar anti-corruption movement in 1974-75 led to the making of Waves of Revolution (1974). His film on Bombay, Bombay Our City (1985), examined the daily battle for survival of Bombay slum dwellers. This film won the National Award and Filmfare Award in 1986. Patwardhan’s documentation of the radical fundamentalism of the nineties resulted in the widely acclaimed In the Name of God (1992). The rigor and discipline of his documentary practices also underpin War and Peace/Jang aur Aman (2002), a documentary journey of peace activism filmed over three tumultuous years in India, Pakistan, Japan and the USA. The film was made in the aftermath of the widely celebrated nuclear testing in the Indian sub-continent. This film received the award for Best Film at the Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF), 2002.

His continuing work on caste politics in India assumes monumental form in his latest film, Jai Bhim Comrade (2012). The film, shot over 14 years, explores the history and tradition of reason followed by India’s Dalits and their music of protest. The film won the Bartok Prize at the Jean Rouch Film Festival, the Best Film prize at the Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF, 2012) and the Special Jury Award at the National Film Awards among many other screenings and awards.

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