|Alma mater||University of Mumbai, Brandeis University, McGill University|
|Known for||Documentary filmmaking. In his films, we often hear him speak as narrator or thoughtful questioner.|
Anand Patwardhan is an Indian documentary filmmaker known for his activism through social action documentaries on topics such as corruption, slum dwellers, nuclear arms race, citizen activism and communalism (religious sectarianism). Notable films include Bombay: Our City (Hamara Shahar) (1985), In Memory of Friends(1990), In the Name of God (Ram ke Nam) (1992), Father, Son, and Holy War (1995), A Narmada Diary (1995), War and Peace (2002) and Jai Bhim Comrade (2011), which have won national and International awards. A secular rationalist, Anand Patwardhan is a vocal critic of Hindutva ideology.
Patwardhan was born in 1950, in Mumbai, Maharashtra. He completed a B.A. in English literature at Bombay University in 1970, a B.A. in Sociology at Brandeis University in 1972, and an M.A. in Communication Studies at McGill University in 1982.
Virtually all of Patwardhan's documentary films faced censorship by the Indian authorities but were eventually cleared after legal action. His film Bombay: Our City was shown on TV after a four-year court case, while Father, Son, and Holy War (1995) was adjudged in 2004 as one of 50 most memorable international documentaries of all time by DOX, Europe's leading documentary film magazine; it was shown on India’s National Network, Doordarshan only in the year 2006, 11 years after its making, and that too after a prolonged court battle which lasted ten years and ended with the nation’s Supreme Court ordering the state-owned media to telecast the film without any cuts.
His next film is, War and Peace (2002). CBFC India (Central Board of Film Certification, or the Censor Board), refused to certify the film without making 21 cuts. As always, Patwardhan took the government to court, hence the film was banned for over a year. However, after a court battle, Anand won the right to screen his film without a single cut. As with his previous films, Patwardhan also successfully fought to force a reluctant national broadcaster, Doordarshan, to show this film on their national network. It was commercially released in multiplexes in 2005.
His latest documentary, Jai Bhim Comrade, is based on a police firing incident against Dalits at Ramabai Colony in Mumbai in 1997. The film which took 14 years to complete is considered by many to be a watershed in Patwardhan's long career.
- 1971: 'Waves of Revolution' (Kraanti Ki Tarangein) : This film was on government repression in Bihar Movement.
- 1978: 'Prisoners of Conscience' (Zameer ke Bandi) : a film on political prisoners in The Emergency (India)
- The Tyne Award, Tyneside Festival, UK, 1982.
- 1981: 'A Time to Rise' (Uthan da Vela) : Concerns Indian immigrant farm workers’ efforts to unionize in Canada.
- Grand Prize: Tyneside International Film Festival, UK in 1982
- Silver Dove: Leipzig International Film Festival in 1982.
- 1985: 'Bombay: Our City' (Hamara Shahar) : Everyday survival issues of slum dwellers in Bombay.
- National Film Award for Best Non-Feature Film 1986
- Special Jury Award, Cinema du reel, France, 1986
- Filmfare Award for Best Documentary, 1986
- 1990: 'In Memory of Friends' (Una Mitran Di Yaad Pyaari): On rebuilding communal harmony in Punjab.
- 1992: 'In the Name of God' (Ram ke Nam) : On the rise of Hindu Nationalism and the demolition of the Babri Mosque.
- 1993: 'We are not your Monkeys' : A Dalit critique of the epic Ramayana through a music video.
- 1995: Father, Son, and Holy War
- National Film Award for Best Film on Social Issues and National Film Award for Best Investigative Film, 1996
- Toronto Film Festival, 1994
- Special Jury Prize, Vancouver Film Festival, 1994
- Special Jury Award, Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival, 1995
- Grand Prize, Jerusalem International Film Festival, 1996.
- Audience Award, Sheffield International Film Festival, 2010
- 1996: 'A Narmada Diary' : Introduces the Narmada Bachao Andolan of Gujarat.
- Grand Prize at the Earth Vision Film Festival in 1996;
- Filmfare Award for Best Documentary 1996.
- 1996: 'Occupation: Mill Worker' : Chronicles the actions of mill workers who, after a four-year lockout, forcibly occupied The New Great Eastern Mill in India.
- 1998: 'Fishing: In the Sea of Greed' : Response of fishing communities in India and Bangladesh, to industrial-scale fishing.
- 1998: 'Ribbons for Peace' : An anti-nuke music video.
- 2002: War and Peace
- Grand Prize at the Earth Vision Film Festival in 2002
- Best Film at Mumbai International Film Festival in 2002
- FIPRESCI International Critics' Award at Sydney Film Festival in 2002
- Best Documentary in Karachi International Film Festival in 2003
- National Film Award for Best Non-Feature Film, India, 2004, etc.
- 2006: 'Images You Didn't See' : Music video that interprets images gleaned from the net-images that either never appear in the mainstream media, or images whose import are masked behind a velvet curtain of global infotainment.
- 2009: 'Children of Mandala' : A message from the economically displaced children of a slum colony in Mumbai.
- 2011: 'Jai Bhim Comrade' : a documentary film based on a real incident- the killing of 10 dalits by police in Mumbay 1997
- Ram Bahadur Grand Prize, Film South Asia, Kathmandu, Nepal, 2011 
- Best Film/Video, Mumbai International Film Festival, India, 2012
- Firebird Award for Best documentary, Hong Kong Film Festival, 2012 
- Special Jury Prize, National Film Awards, India, 2012 
- Bartok Prize, Jean Rouch Film International Film Festival, 2012 
- ...My entry into the world of the documentary began as a means of political, social intervention and thirty odd years later this is still a primary motive. If I am not satisfied with the results, it is not because of a failure of the medium, but because of the limits that our system puts on the distribution of such films. All my films are badly under-utilized and hence did not have the impact on the real world that they could have had...
- ...In India, the early documentary scene was dominated by government propaganda made by the Films Division of India, which produced newsreels and documentaries that were compulsorily shown before every commercial film. People either arrived deliberately late or walked out for a smoke during these films, and the tag of "boring" became inescapably attached to the documentary. It has taken several decades of sustained independent work to break this tag...
- ...You have to be a filmmaker, and then you have to be a lawyer as well...
- ...The real issues of the information gathering and disseminating systems have more to do with what kinds of programs are made, who makes and airs them and what impact they have. The role of the developed world as consumer and the role of the developing world as the consumed may now be complicated as the latter yields its own voracious elite, but the former continues to determine taste.
- ...It does not need much imagination to see that even in so-called advanced nations like the UK and the US, a great deal of racism and deep-seated religious prejudice fuels the propensity towards righteous war and the belief that one's own nation is always right and that "terrorism" resides only in the other...
- ... I do not wish to neutralize the horror I feel at the destruction of Buddhist monuments with the thought that my national leaders did the same thing a decade ago. But I do believe that if this act sparks in us the desire to fight intolerance of all kinds, then surely the Buddha will not have lived and taught in vain...
- ...One problem with our democracy is that a rigid class and caste hierarchy coupled with gross gender inequality has kept large sections of our population traditionally without a voice. But having no voice does not mean having no brain! On the contrary the voiceless have much to say and we can learn so much from their ways of seeing and thinking. Feelings of humanity seem to survive much better amongst the powerless than among the affluent and powerful...
- Interview Tehelka 13 October 2007.
- 'Michael Moore’ of India, screening and Interview University of California, Berkeley 13 October 2004.
- Silverdocs Documentary Film Festival American University School of Communication 16 June 2004.
- Anand Patwardhan University of California, Los Angeles
- Films of Anand Patwardhan Icarus Films, New York.
- About Anand Official website.
- Manas: Culture, Indian Cinema-Anand Patwardhan
- Documentary Voices- Anand Patwardhan.
- About Anand Patwardhan
- Short is Sweet,Tehelka
- Father, Son and Holy War The Frontline, The Hindu, September 2006.
- Filmmaker's Battle to Tell India's Story in India The New York Times 24 December 2002.
- Censorship and Litigation
- Alone against India's nuclear nationalism BBC News 12 August 2003.
- Director Interview BBC Four, 4 August 2003.
- Film Review BBC Four, 2002.
- War and Peace hits the box office for the first time in India Tehelka, 25 June 2005.
- Review India Today
- Films Index Official website.
- Awards imdb.com.
- Screening of screen Patwardhan's films at Stanford University Rediff.com, October 2001
- Father, Son and Holy War – Review and Awards
- 3rd KaraFilm Festival Karachi International Film Festival, website.
- 51st National Film Awards - 2004 Official listings Directorate of Film Festivals Official website.
- Ram Bahadur Trophy for Best Film, Festival of South-Asian Documentaries, 2011, Film South Asia, retrieved January 1, 2014
- Golden Firebird Award, Hong Kong International Film Festival, 2012, IMDb, retrieved January 1, 2014
- "59th National Film Awards for the Year 2011 Announced" (Press release). Press Information Bureau (PIB), India. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
- Palmarès / Award-winning films 2012, Jean Rouch Film International Film Festival, retrieved January 1, 2014
- Tehelka Interview - November 2009
- Anand Patwardhan, the Michael Moore of India -Interview UC Berkeley News
- New York Times article, 24 December 2002
- Anand Patwardhan and The Messengers of Bad News - SOC American University
- BBC Interview, 2003
- Destruction of Buddhist monuments in Afghanistan and the Babri Masjid
- Filmmaker as activist - The Hindu
Websites on Anand Patwardhan's work
- Opinion: Anand Patwardhan – Nation’s Conscience-Keeper
- Anand Patwardhan Website
- Anand Patwardhan at the Internet Movie Database
- The Films of Anand Patwardhan
- Anand Patwardhan materials in the South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA)
- Anand Patwardhan interviewed by Chandana Mathur for SAMAR Magazine, Winter 1992
- Anand Patwardhan, the 'Michael Moore of India,' brings his hard-hitting documentary films to campus - UB Berkeley News
- Director's Interview- BBC interview
- All the dire predictions of communal carnage made in my film came true
- Interview: Firebrand filmmaker Anand Patwardhan CNNGO Website
- A voice above the din, Indian Express
- Firebrand filmmaker Anand Patwardhan - Coilation for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace Website
- It Doesn't Have To Be High Art For It To Be Useful - Indymedia
- Interview with Anand Patwardhan
- Filmmaker as activist - The Hindu
- Battling the bomb - Montreal Mirror
- Of The 200 Killed In Mumbai, A High Number Were Muslims - Tehelka Interview, 2008
- Monkey Business: Cross Currents Website
- Gandhi: Film as Theology - Reprinted from Economic and Political Weekly Vol.XVIII (1983)
- Terror: The Aftermath
- The Good Doctor of Chhattisgarh - Association for India's Development Website
- Films for freedom
- Destruction of Buddhist monuments in Afghanistan and the Babri Masjid
- Festivals in contrast - The Hindu
- Censoring peace amid nuclear 'deterrence' - Tehelka
- Short is Sweet - Tehelka
- On War and Peace - Time Out, Mumbai
- Netting the conscience - The Hindu
- Weapons of Mass Pride: India's Nuclear Embrace, New York Times
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Anand Patwardhan.|
- War and Peace Video Clip - Ekta Onine
- Bombay: Our City, 1985 on YouTube
- Ribbon for Peace on YouTube
- Patwardhan on how he avoided arrest during emergency on YouTube