Renu Saluja

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Renu Saluja
Born (1952-07-05)July 5, 1952
Delhi[1]
Died August 16, 2000(2000-08-16) (aged 48)
Mumbai
Occupation film editor
Years active 1980-2000
Spouse(s) Vidhu Vinod Chopra (divorced) Sudhir Mishra (Widower)
Relatives Radha Saluja (sister)

Renu Saluja (Punjabi:ਰੇਣੁ ਸਲੂਜਾ, Hindi: रेणु सलुजा) (5 July 1952–16 August 2000) was an Indian film editor. In the 1980s and 1990s, she worked with both mainstream and art house Hindi cinema directors, including Govind Nihalani, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Sudhir Mishra, Shekhar Kapoor, and Mahesh Bhatt, Vijay Singh. Her work encompassed multiple feature films, documentaries, short films, and television series.[2]

Renu was a four-time winner of National Film Award for Best Editing for Parinda (1989), Dharavi (1991), Sardar (1993) and Godmother (1999) besides winning Filmfare Award for Best Editing again for Parinda (1989) and 1942: A Love Story (1994).[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Renu was born into a Punjabi family. Renu applied to direction program of the Film and Television Institute of India Pune in 1974, but was not accepted into the program and ended up in the editing program instead. She graduated in 1976 and entered the film editing arena in India, which, at that time, was dominated by men.[4][5]

Career[edit]

She first edited, Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s diploma film, Murder at Monkey Hill (1976), which went on to win the National Film Award for the Best Experimental Film in 1977-78.[6] Once out of the FTII, Renu made her debut,[7] with batch mate Saeed Akhtar Mirza's Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyon Ata Hai (1980), followed by with Vidhu Vinod Chopra's Sazaye Maut (1981), then another batch-mate Kundan Shah's comedy classic, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro (1983), where her work received its first real acclaim.[8] Her early work was in parallel cinema with her FTII colleagues - Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Saeed Mirza, Kundan Shah, and Ashok Ahuja.

The first offer that Renu got from outside the circle of 'FTII' filmmakers was Govind Nihalani's Ardh Satya, filmed in 1983. After Ardh Satya, her career took off and she even did a stint with Doordarshan.

Parinda made by Vidhu Vinod Chopra was perhaps the first mainstream film that Renu edited and on which she also assisted. Unlike the smaller films which were made in one schedule, where she would get the entire film in front of her before she commenced editing, Parinda was shot over a period of three years as it depended on star dates, availability of locations, etc.

In the 1990s Renu was involved in both mainstream cinema and the new crop of 'different indie films' that appeared following the success of Hyderabad Blues. Some of the well-known films that Renu edited include Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron (1983), Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa (1993), Bandit Queen (1995), Pardes (1997), Rockford (1999) and Hey Ram (2000), Nagesh Kukunoor's Bollywood Calling and finally Calcutta Mail released in 2003 was her last edited film.[9]

She died in Mumbai, on 16 August 2000, after ailing from stomach cancer for some time.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Her elder sister Radha Saluja was a film actress, who worked in numerous Hindi, Punjabi and other regional films, and younger sister Dr. Kumkum Khadalia is a Plastic Surgeon. Renu married director, Vidhu Vinod Chopra also an FTII alumnus when they passed out in 1976; they later worked together on Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron (1983), where Vinod was the production manager and she the editor. Even though they later separated, she continued to edit all his films, and was his assistant director. Later in life, she came close with director, Sudhir Mishra with whom she worked on many of his films, including Dharavi and Is Raat Ki Subah Nahin (1996).[10][11]

Legacy[edit]

In 2006, GraFTII, the Alumnus association of FTII released a book on her titled, 'Invisible - The Art of Renu Saluja'.[9] In a 2005 interview, noted director, Sudhir Mishra, said that the principal character, Geeta in his acclaimed film, Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi (2005), "..is the amalgamation of all the spirited women I've known, my tribute to Renu Saluja.".[12] Later in 2006, she became the first editor to have Editing Award named after her.[13]

In June 2009, GRAFTII, an Alumni Association of the FTII and E-City ventures, held Festival of her films as a special tribute, where a documentary in which all the directors Saluja worked with shared their memories of her.[14]

Filmography[edit]

Awards[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Invisible: the art of Renu Saluja. by Chandita Mukherjee and Jethu Mundul. GraFTII, 2006.

References[edit]

External links[edit]