Kamal Swaroop

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Kamal Swaroop
The Director of the Film PUSHKAR PURAN, Shri Kamal Swaroop, the Director of the Film PIHU, Shri Vinod Kapri and Child Artist, Myra Vishwakarma, at a press conference.jpg
Kamal Swaroop, IFFI (2017)
Kashmir, India
OccupationFilm, television and radio director, screenwriter
Notable work
Om-Dar-Ba-Dar (1988), Rangbhoomi

Kamal Swaroop is an Indian film, television and radio director and a screenwriter. He made documentary as well as feature films. His works Om-Dar-Ba-Dar (1988) and Rangbhoomi have received several awards.

Early life[edit]

Swaroop was born in Kashmir. His father was a teacher and palmist, his mother a homemaker. The family moved to Ajmer in Rajasthan state, where he graduated in Biology. He then moved to Pune in Maharashtra state to study film direction. He had a brief stint at the Indian Space Research Organisation, where he used Russian fairytales to teach science to kids. He then took filmmaking classes in a remote village in Maharashtra.[1]

In 1974 Swaroop graduated from the Film and Television Institute of India and even his student works met with unusual international acclaim. He continued with postgraduate studies at the Institute. He assisted the director Richard Attenborough in the filming of Gandhi (1982).



On a grant from the India Foundation for the Arts, IFA, Swaroop began tracing the life of Dadasaheb Phalke through workshops all over India . One such workshop in Benaras was the foundation for his documentary film Rangbhoomi, re-telling the story of Phalke's life there..

Rangbhoomi premiered at the Rome Film Festival in the official competition section. It eventually went won the National Award (Golden Lotus) award for best non-feature film, Kamal's 2nd national award.

Om Dar Ba Dar[edit]

The idea of Om Dar-Ba-Dar came to Swaroop on the sets of Gandhi. He said, "I managed the crowds and told stories to keep them entertained. One of it was about a boy who skips school and runs away from home when the results are due. He then discovers that he can make a living by holding his breath for a really long time, just like the frogs".[1]

Om Dar-Ba-Dar is set in a mythical small town in Rajasthan and tells the tale of the boy Om growing into adolescence. Son of a fortune teller, Om's major problem is that, riddled with guilt about his voyeurism, he believes himself to be responsible for everything that happens around him. Meanwhile, his elder sister Gayatri, who is being courted by Jagdish, dreams of a future in which she can ride a bicycle or sit in the men's section of a movie theatre.

Many of Om's fantasies about sexuality and death are graphically realised in remarkable song sequences: the science teacher dissecting a frog expands into a Federico Fellini inspired "Rana Tigrina" number or the moonwalk on a terrace on the night that Neil Armstrong landed on the moon. This double-edged satire acquires a further dimension with the entry of Phoolkumari, whose sexuality sends out beguiling yet horrifying message. The war is declared as Diwali firecrackers become real explosions. His father's diamonds, hoarded for black market reasons, are swallowed by frogs. In the end, Om atones by enacting the traditional legend of Brahma's descent to earth.

Made in 1988 with the help of National Film Development Corporation of India, Om Dar-Ba-Dar made it to the festival circuit and then shuffled out into obscurity.[2] This film was a major attraction in the festival circuit and premiered at the Berlin Film Festival but never got a theatrical release in the country.[3]

Om Dar-Ba-Dar was a major attraction in the festival circuit and premiered at the Berlin Film Festival but never got a theatrical release in the country.[3]

The restored version of Om-Dar-Ba-Dar was released on 17 January 2014.

The Battle of Benaras[edit]

Swaroop was working on a full-length documentary titled The Battle of Benaras, produced by Medient.


As director
As writer
  • Tracing Phalke (2013) [6]
  • Private Detective: Two Plus Two Plus One (1997) (dialogs)
  • Salim Langde Pe Mat Ro (1989) (researcher) (script consultant)
  • Salaam Bombay (dialogs)
As production designer
  • Siddeshwari (1989)
As second unit director or assistant director
  • Gandhi (1982) (assistant director)


  1. ^ a b "Richard Attenborough: 'I never wanted to make an Amitabh Bachchan-starrer' | Hindi Movie News". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 18 January 2014. Retrieved 24 February 2017.
  2. ^ "Rushes: Pink wink". The Hindu. Retrieved 24 February 2017.
  3. ^ a b "dearcinema.com/news/pvr-release-om-dar-ba-dar/3004". dearcinema.com. Archived from the original on 16 January 2014. Retrieved 24 February 2017.
  4. ^ "Kamal Swaroop - IMDb". imdb.com. Retrieved 24 February 2017.
  5. ^ bgsug (16 November 2004). "Metro Plus Bangalore / Entertainment : Subversion on the screen – Kamal Swaroop interview". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 23 November 2004. Retrieved 24 February 2017.
  6. ^ "Kamal Swaroop interview". indianauteur.com. Retrieved 24 February 2017.