International Film Festival of India (IFFI) will be screening eight films of veteran actor-filmmaker Shashi Kapoor under its special Retrospective Section. The films will be screened at the 46th edition of IFFI in Goa. The festival begins on November 20.
Kapoor, who began his career as a child actor, has done 160 films, including 12 English films. Shyam Benegal’s National Award-winning film Junoon (1978) will open the retrospective section. The other films which will be screened are New Delhi Times (1986), Utsav (1984), In Custody (Muhafiz) (1993), Kalyug (1981), Deewar (1975), Shakespearwallah (1965) and Householder (1963). Benegal who directed Kapoor in Kalyug and Junoon, says, “Though, Shashi was one of the biggest stars of his time, he was always punctual. He has been the producer of my films, Kalyug and Junoon, and it goes without saying that he is the best producer I have ever worked with.”
Kapoor grew up in the atmosphere of theatre, thanks to his father Prithviraj Kapoor and later father-in-law Geoffrey Kendal’s theatre company, Shakespeareana, was a major influence.
Watch a scene from Shashi Kapoor’s Junoon here:
Benegal said Kapoor’s love for the theatre was the reason for the actor to get involved in alternative cinema even after he became a successful commercial star.
“He grew up in the atmosphere of theatre. He soon became a film star as all the Kapoor children did at that time. Then he became a romantic hero, hugely successful. As he became more successful he decided that he would invest in both theatre and cinema and he built Prithvi Theatre in memory of his father’s group,” Benegal said.
Kapoor’s production list may not be as lengthy as his acting assignments, but Benegal feels the actor’s greatest achievement was that he did what he believed in and backed projects like Govind Nihalani’s Vijeta, Girish Karnad’s Utsav and 36 Chowringhee Lane by Aparna Sen.
Watch Shashi Kapoor-produced Utsav here:
“No single producer has produced such high quality films one after the other. Most of the films failed to return the investment. He lost a lot of money eventually but he did the kind of films he wanted to do. He did what he believed in. His greatest achievement has been that.”
Though Kapoor wasn’t available for a comment, his son, actor Kunal Kapoor is elated that his father’s films will be screened at the festival. He says that because of the actor’s ill health, he will not be able to attend the film festival in Goa. “We are sorry that dad’s health may not permit him to personally attend IFFI in Goa to share some of his work with you and another generation of film buffs. Holding the retrospective in Goa is an added bonus, as it was here that dad set up a home in the early 70’s, before he started producing films,” he says.
(With inputs from PTI)