|Shama Zehra Zaidi|
25 September 1938 |
|Occupation||screenwriter, costume designer|
|Spouse(s)||M. S. Sathyu|
Shama Zaidi is the daughter of Bashir Hussain Zaidi, a politician and educationist, and his wife Qudsia, an associate of Habib Tanvir, the communist ideologue and theatre personality. She was the only daughter and she has two brothers. Both her parents were closely associated with the "progressive" communist movement in India, and Shama grew up in a strongly left-wing environment.
She was educated at Woodstock School, Mussoorie, and then at Miranda House, New Delhi. She has a bachelor's degree in English from Delhi University, and a diploma in stage design from the Slade School of Art, London.
She is married to M S Sathyu, a filmmaker, designer, and art director.
- 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.
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 –
- Chou En-lai, a historical costume pageant for at Lodi Gardens, New Delhi
- 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
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.
- Charandas Chor (1975) (The Thief Charandas)
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.
- Garam Hawa (Hot Winds) 1974 / Colour / 136min / Urdu Direction M S Sathyu; Screenplay Shama Zaidi & Kaifi Azmi; Costume Design Shama Zaidi
- 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
- Umrao Jaan (The Courtesan) Colour / Hindi
- Chakra (The Wheel) 1980 / Colour / 140min / Hindi
- Bara/Sookha (Famine) 1981 / Colour / 140min / Kannada & Hindi
- Aarohan (The Ascent) 1982
Direction Shyam Benegal; Script Shama Zaidi Based on a famous land dispute case.
- Mandi (The Marketplace) 1983 / Colour / 160min / Hindi
- Kahan Kahan Se Guzar Gaya (The Paths I Have Trod) 1985 / Colour / Hindi
Direction M S Sathyu; Original Screenplay Shama Zaidi
- Susman (The Essence) 1986 / Colour / 140min / Hindi
- Trikaal (Past, Present, Future) 1986
- Antarnaad (The Inner Voice) 1993
- Suraj Ka Satvan Ghoda (The Seventh Horse of the Sun) 1994
- Mammo 1995
- Sardari Begum 1997 / Colour / 123min / Urdu
Art direction Shama Zaidi
Costume Design Shama Zaidi
- Haribhari 2000 / Colour / Hindi
Direction Shyam Benegal; Script & Dialogues Shama Zaidi A film on women's empowerment made for the Ministry of Family Welfare.
- Zubeidaa 2001/ Colour / Hindi
Direction Shyam Benegal; Additional screenplay and dialogues Shama Zaidi
- Netaji 2002-04/ Colour/Hindi-English
- Chamki Chameli 2005-2006/ Colour/ Hindi