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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Dec 2014

Living life 20 years at a time

SD Sharma, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, May 11, 2014
First Published: 11:32 IST(11/5/2014) | Last Updated: 11:38 IST(11/5/2014)

Despite the money hungry nature of Bollywood which causes mindless entertainers to be churned out one after the other there are still those who instead of falling into the this trap are dedicated to serve the society through socially relevant cinema and Ambala born Pankaj Butalia stands tall with his achievements in this category.


Butalia’s films have been screened extensively throughout the world and his 1993 film Moksha has also won several international awards. In the city on the invitation of the Chandigarh Creative Cinema Circle Butalia shares his journey.

He claims that his career can be summed up in a twenty 20 format, “I played as a national player for 20 years , taught in Delhi university for an equal span and now I am into film making for twenty years. You see, with 20 years in the same vocation, you experience a monotony” says Butalia.

Saying that documentary filmmaking must be theme oriented for Butalia it is by and large a solo project execution as he strives to translate his own perceptions of a theme on to celluloid.

“My film ‘Manipur song’ based on the rape tragedy of Assam is in fact homage to womanhood. But instead of direct references I have structured the film under different heads like Violence, Manipur Diaspora, drug addiction, collateral harm and interview of the victim. The film was telecast by NDTV with certain aberrations” disclosed Butalia.

“My new films deal with the depression of people in Kashmir and Assam besides showcasing the literary genius of Nida Fazli, eminent Bollywood lyricist” says Butalia.

Another film by him ’Karvaan’ ( Shades of Darkness) featuring Naseeruddin Shah and Kitu Gidwani deals with the Partition of India and its aftermath in both India and Pakistan, “There were several budding actors for whom forgetting their lines and not portraying specified emotional expressions was a routine but hats off to Naseeruddin Shah who always came fully prepared and never faltered” claims Pankaj Butalia.

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