Nehal Ahmed (second from left) with his team members in Dhanbad on Thursday. Picture by Gautam Dey
Once, Ashok Kumar coyly eyed Devika Rani. Then, Amitabh Bachchan romanced Rekha in a sea of red tulips. Now, Parineeti Chopra points a revolver at Arjun Chopra and smiles.
In the past 100 years of Indian cinema, lovers may have transformed unrecognisably, but the audiences’ love for films and stars stays the same.
Hundred years of Indian cinema equals countless cinematic moments. Now, a group of young Dhanbad filmmakers are trying to encapsulate the century-old magic in three hours with a documentary on 150 legendary directors.
The tribute, under the banner of New Wave Cinema, is eyeing a November release.
“We are preparing a comprehensive encyclopaedia of directors who have shaped Indian cinema,” said director Nehal Ahmad (29).
The youngsters are working hard. “We selected 150 directors from a list of around 1,700,” said teammate Quasam Nasim alias Ricky.
So, from Satyajit Ray to Yash Chopra, and from Govind Nihalani to the Ramsay brothers — expect an eclectic mix of directors who have added their own dash of genius or eccentricity.
The documentary will have a biopic of the chosen directors, filmography, movie clips.
“We are calling it a giant project,” Ahmad laughed. “Documentation is over. We will start with the interviews. And yes, our team of Quasam Nasim, Gopal Gopi and Quasif Raza and I are all charged up.”
Ahmad, whose short film Masoom Chappal was declared the best film during Super Shorts-12 this May in Jamshedpur, said he is learning a lot about cinema.
“We are delving into websites, books and magazines and learning so much about directors and their craft,” said the youth with a post-graduation in TV production and direction from Sri Aurobindo Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi.
“How we dress, speak or behave is in many ways influenced by films. Cinema has helped develop a pan-Indian culture,” he said.
Generations have argued about the Dilip-Kumar-Raj Kapoor-Dev Anand triumvirate or much later, the Khans of Bollywood; whether Uttam Kumar had more star power but Soumitra Chatterjee was the better actor; whether a Shabana Azmi or a Smita Patil could put glamorous leading ladies to shame; whether Rajnikant was beyond compare.
Now, with the film, they will know about directors that gave stars their shine.