An engineer, cartoonist, television and film actor, writer, director, conceptualiser, the brain behind a successful film school, a social satirist and humorist — when it comes to describing Late Jaspal Bhatti, words actually fall short.
The reason that we are remembering the sardar of comedy this time around is because Sunday, March 3, marked the legend’s 58th birthday, and his wife Savita Bhatti and son Jasraj Bhatti decided to announce a Comedy Film Festival in his name at a press conference held at Chandigarh Golf Club, Sector 6, Chandigarh.
On the concept of Jaspal Bhatti Film Festival, Savita Bhatti says, “We at Mad Arts Jaspal Bhatti Media Network have inaugurated the Jaspal Bhatti Comedy Film Festival, which is going to be held on Jaspal ji’s birthday every year and will screen films by emerging filmmakers. We are looking forward to promote new comic talent. The film festival, which will be held at our film school in SAS Nagar, will call for entries all year long, (March 3 to December 31).
The winners of the fest will be felicitated by us, who will be granted a free cost of training at Mad Arts Jaspal Bhatti Film School. The best director will also be given a cash prize of R2 lakh as funds for his next short film.” The duration of the film festival will be decided after entries for the first year are received. The first fest will be held on March 3, 2014.
The family also plans to launch a YouTube channel on Jaspal Bhatti’s name, which will be a one-stop destination for all Jaspal Bhatti fans to download, watch and enjoy the satirist’s works. “We are working towards launching this online channel, which will include all old and new works of Bhatti ji. I am in talks with Jalandhar and Delhi Doordarshan, as I want to buy the footage of all shows that were anchored by Jaspal ji. Doordarshan is the only channel that allows one to buy footage from their archives,” adds Bhatti.
About celebrating Jaspal Bhatti’s birthday without the man, the wife says, “Our family has decided to celebrate his birthday. I invited the two ambulance drivers, who drove Jaspal ji on his last journey, home for lunch and gave them small gifts. There were prayers held at the gurudwara and the bhaiji came home for lunch as well.”
PTC Film Awards recently felicitated Jaspal Bhatti with a Lifetime Achievement Award, on this, Savita Bhatti adds, “My husband deserved this award long ago, when he was alive. Why now, when he is no more? His achievements remain the same.”
As she concludes, with her voice breaking-up, she says, “Jaspal ji is and will always be the true sardar of comedy, and will continue to be my ulta pulta friend. Life will never be the same without him.”