After spending 26 years in theatre when Feroze Abbas Khan turned to filmmaking, it wasn’t for himself or his passion. “I wouldn’t have ever directed a film had it not been for Anil Kapoor and my close friends. I loved theatre so much,” says Khan.
But having collected eight awards — three National Film awards and a slew of international honours since its release — Khan’s debut film Gandhi My Father has turned out more than just a gift for his friends.
It only adds to the man’s pride that the film happens to be an adaptation of his very successful theatre production, ‘Mahatma vs Gandhi’.
“I have found an all new fascination for motion pictures. I now realise that the reach of cinema is much wider than theatre,” he admits.
The theatre director-turned-filmmaker took to stage way back in 1983 under the tutelage of late Jennifer Kapoor (wife of Shashi Kapoor). “I was a finance student. Jennifer inspired me to write and direct plays. One of our play Tumhari Amrita, with Shabana Azmi and Farooq Sheikh, has been entertaining and raising funds since 1992 and recently we staged it in Nepal.”
Khan who heads the Prithvi Theatre in Mumbai these days, has written and directed nine plays so far and has raised funds for different social causes like, Kashmiri refugees relief and earthquake relief in Pakistan.
Ask him if his film’s success has helped change his mind and move to film making completely and he says, “I’ll continue with theatre and films at the same time.”