Shama Zaidi

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Shama Zehra Zaidi
Born (1938-09-25) September 25, 1938 (age 75)
Delhi
Occupation screenwriter, costume designer
Spouse(s) M. S. Sathyu

Shama Zaidi (born 25 September 1938, at Rampur, Uttar Pradesh, India) is an Indian screenwriter, costume designer, art director, theatre person, art critic, and documentary film maker.[1][2]

Biography[edit]

Shama Zaidi is the daughter of Col Bashir Hussain Zaidi (an administrator, businessman and politician) and Begum Qudsia Zaidi (a writer, social worker and theatre person, who established Hindustani theatre group in Delhi with Habib Tanvir, which made its debut with the production of an Hindustani version of Kalidas's Shakuntala and later produced Shudraka's Mrichakatika as Mitti Ki Gadi.[3][4]

She was educated at Woodstock School, Mussoorie, Uttar Pradesh, India. and at Miranda House, New Delhi, India. She has a B A Hons in English from Delhi University. She specialized in stage design, gaining a Diploma from the Slade School of Art, London, United Kingdom.

She is married to M S Sathyu, a filmmaker, designer, and art director.

Career[edit]

Journalism[edit]

  • Art critic for The Statesman, Patriot and Shankar's Weekly, New Delhi.
  • Written numerous articles on film, theatre and television for Cinema Vision, Cinema in India, etc., and other journals and newspapers.

Theatre[edit]

Zaidi became interested in costume design while in school at Woodstock, Mussoorie, which had extensive theatre activities. Also due to the influence of her mother Qudsia Zaidi, who started the Hindustani Theatre in the late 1950s with Habib Tanvir and other friends. In her college days at Miranda House she started helping out with the stage productions there, apart from taking active interest in Hindustani Theatre.

After B A Shama went to Slade School of Art, London, for a one year course in stage design and costume design. Then worked in Germany at the Frankfurt Municipal Theatre as an apprentice and for some time as an observer in the Berliner Ensemble. (Apprentice in stage, film and TV design to Herr Hein Heckroth, Frankfurt am Main, West Germany. Herr Heckroth was the designer of Red Shoes Hoffman’s Tales, etc.)

Returned to Delhi in 1961 and designed costumes for Hindustani Theatre before shifting to Bombay in 1965 where she worked as Writer, Designer, Performer and Director for Indian People's Theatre Association (IPTA), Mumbai. Since 1980 she has designed more for films and television than theatre.

Worked as writer, director, costume designer or art director for the following stage productions -

Stage productions[edit]

  • Chou En-lai, a historical costume pageant for at Lodi Gardens, New Delhi

Hindustani Theatre[edit]

  • Shakuntala (1958) - Costume Design
  • Mitti ki Gaadi (1958)- Costume Design & Artiste
  • Khalid Ki Khala (1958)- Costume Design & Artiste
  • Mudrarakshas (1962) - Direction & Costume Design
  • Sufaid Kundali (1963) - Costume Design & Artiste
  • Mera Naam Trufaldeen (1964)- Adaptation & Costume Design

Indian People's Theatre Association, Mumbai[edit]

Associated with the IPTA's Inter collegiate Drama Competition since 1972 as a jury member.

  • Translated/adapted over a dozen plays into Hindustani from various languages.

Cinema[edit]

Written scripts/dialogues for documentaries and feature films with Satyajit Ray, Shyam Benegal, M. S. Sathyu and others. Also done Costume Design and Art Direction.

Filmography[edit]

Direction Shyam Benegal; Screenplay Shama Zaidi Based on Habib Tanvir's retelling of a famous Rajasthani folk tale. Songs were by Habib Tanvir and most of the dialogues were improvised by the folk artistes.

Based on a short story by Ismat Chugtai, which she expanded into a film treatment. Filmfare award for best screenplay.

  • Manthan (The Churning) 1976 / Colour / 134min / Hindi

Direction Shyam Benegal; Art direction Shama Zaidi

  • Shatranj Ke Khiladi शतरंज के खिलाड़ी (Chess Players) 1977 / Hindi

Direction Satyajit Ray; Costume Design Shama Zaidi Also assisted Ray with research on the background material and translated dialogues with Javed Siddiqi for the Indian characters in Urdu.

  • Kanneshwara Rama (The Legendary Outlaw) 1977 / Colour / 137min / Kannada & Hindi

Direction M S Sathyu; Script Shama Zaidi Based on the exploits of a legendary dacoit of the Malnad region in Karnataka.

  • Bhumika (The Role) 1977 / Colour / 142min / Hindi

Direction Shyam Benegal; Art direction Shama Zaidi Based on the biography of Hansa Wadkar, a star of the Marathi folk theatre and cinema of the 1940s.

Direction Muzaffar Ali; Script Shama Zaidi & Javed Siddiqi Based on a 19th-century Urdu novel.

  • Chakra (The Wheel) 1980 / Colour / 140min / Hindi

Direction Robin (Rabindra) Dharmraja; Script & Dialogues Shama Zaidi & Javed Siddiqi Based on the novel by Jaywant Dalvi.

  • Bara/Sookha (Famine) 1981 / Colour / 140min / Kannada & Hindi

Direction M S Sathyu; Screenplay & Dialogues Shama Zaidi & Javed Siddiqi Based on a short novel by U R Ananthamurthy.

Direction Shyam Benegal; Script Shama Zaidi Based on a famous land dispute case.

  • Mandi (The Marketplace) 1983 / Colour / 160min / Hindi

Direction Shyam Benegal; Script & Screenplay Shama Zaidi, Shyam Benegal & Satyadev Dubey

Direction M S Sathyu; Original Screenplay Shama Zaidi

  • Susman (The Essence) 1986 / Colour / 140min / Hindi

Direction Shyam Benegal; Screenplay Shama Zaidi Original screenplay on the Ikat handloom weavers of Andhra.

  • Trikaal (Past, Present, Future) 1986

Direction Shyam Benegal; Screenplay Shama Zaidi & Shyam Benegal Based on an idea by Shyam Benegal.

Direction Shyam Benegal; Screenplay Shama Zaidi & Sunil Shanbag An original screenplay based on the Swadhyaya socio-religious movement founded by Pandurang Shastri Athavale.

Direction Shyam Benegal; Screenplay Shama Zaidi A puzzle screenplay based on the novel by Dharamveer Bharati.

Direction Shyam Benegal; Screenplay Shama Zaidi & Khalid Mohammad

Direction Shyam Benegal; Script Shama Zaidi, Shyam Benegal & Fatima Meer An Indo-South African co production on Mahatma Gandhi’s life in South Africa.

Direction Shyam Benegal; Screenplay Shama Zaidi & Khalid Mohammad

Art direction Shama Zaidi

Costume Design Shama Zaidi

Direction Shyam Benegal; Script & Dialogues Shama Zaidi A film on women’s empowerment made for the Ministry of Family Welfare.

Direction Shyam Benegal; Additional screenplay and dialogues Shama Zaidi

  • Netaji 2002-04/ Colour/Hindi-English

Direction Shyam Benegal; Script and Dialogues Shama Zaidi & Atul Tiwari A film on the last years of Subhas Chandra Bose for Sahara Entertainment

Direction Shyam Benegal; Screenplay and dialogues Shama Zaidi & Atul Tiwari A film inspired by the 19th-century novella “Carmen” by Prosper Mérimée

Short films[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Shama Zaidi filmography New York Times.
  2. ^ "Music in her lines". The Hindu. October 1, 2011. Retrieved June 6, 2013. 
  3. ^ Amaresh Datta (2006). The Encyclopaedia Of Indian Literature (Volume Two) (Devraj To Jyoti), Volume 2. Sahitya Akademi. p. 1117. ISBN 81-260-1194-7. 
  4. ^ "Beyond The Fourth Wall". Outlook. June 22, 2009. 

External links[edit]