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Anand Patwardhan (born 18 February 1950) is an Indian documentary filmmaker known for his socio-political, human rights-oriented films. Some of his films explore the rise of religious fundamentalism, sectarianism and casteism in India, while others investigate nuclear nationalism and unsustainable development.[1][2][3][4] 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.

Anand Patwardhan
Anand Patwardhan
Born (1950-02-18) 18 February 1950 (age 69)
Alma materUniversity of Mumbai, Brandeis University, McGill University
Known forDocumentary filmmaking. In his films, we often hear him speak as narrator or thoughtful questioner.



Anand Patwardhan speaking in ViBGYOR Film Festival 2011

Patwardhan was born on 18 February 1950, in Mumbai, Maharashtra.[5] He completed a B.A. in English literature at Mumbai University in 1970, a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology at Brandeis University in 1972, and a Master of Arts in Communication Studies at McGill University in 1982.[4][6][7][8][9]


Patwardhan during a screening of Ram ke Naam at Kollam

Virtually all of Patwardhan's documentary films have faced censorship from the Indian government, eventually being cleared after legal action. His film Bombay: Our City was shown on TV after a four-year court case,[10] 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. Father, Son, and Holy War was shown on India's National Network, Doordarshan, only in the year 2006, 11 years after its making, after a prolonged court battle which lasted ten years and ended with the nation's Supreme Court ordering the network to telecast the film without any cuts.[11]

The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), refused to certify his next film, War and Peace, released in 2002. The board demanded 21 cuts before it would be certified.[12] Patwardhan took the government to court, leading to the film being banned for over a year.[13] However, after a court battle, Patwardhan won the right to screen his film without a single cut.[14][15][16] 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.[17]

His latest documentary, Jai Bhim Comrade, was 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.[18] In 2013 the Sheffield International Film Festival honored Patwardhan with an Inspiration Award which it also conferred upon filmmaking legends like Dziga Vertov, Luis Buñuel, Agnes Varda, Chris Marker, Jean Rouch, D.A.Pennebaker and Patricio Guzman in the same year. In 2014 the Mumbai International Film Festival honored him with the V. Shantaram Lifetime Achievement Award.

Upon being asked in a BFI interview to deliver a message for future documentary filmmakers, Patwardhan famously replied, "No message really. Do it only if it burns when you don't."[19]



Oscar Academy[36]


  1. ^ Interview Tehelka 13 October 2007.
  2. ^ 'Michael Moore' of India, screening and Interview University of California, Berkeley 13 October 2004.
  3. ^ Silverdocs Documentary Film Festival Archived 26 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine American University School of Communication 16 June 2004.
  4. ^ a b "Manas: Culture, Indian Cinema-Anand Patwardhan".
  5. ^ Interview with Indian director Anand Patwardhan, BFI, 5 May 2015.
  6. ^ Films of Anand Patwardhan Archived 9 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine Icarus Films, New York.
  7. ^ About Anand Official website.
  8. ^ Documentary Voices- Anand Patwardhan.
  9. ^ "About Anand".
  10. ^ "Tehelka - The People's Paper". Archived from the original on 12 September 2012.
  11. ^ Father, Son and Holy War Archived 18 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine The Frontline, The Hindu, September 2006.
  12. ^ Filmmaker's Battle to Tell India's Story in India The New York Times 24 December 2002.
  13. ^ Censorship and Litigation
  14. ^ Alone against India's nuclear nationalism BBC News 12 August 2003.
  15. ^ Director Interview BBC Four, 4 August 2003.
  16. ^ Film Review BBC Four, 2002.
  17. ^ War and Peace hits the box office for the first time in India Tehelka, 25 June 2005.
  18. ^ "Dubai International Film Festival". Dubai International Film Festival. Archived from the original on 23 March 2012. Retrieved 28 March 2012.
  19. ^ Earth vision: interview with Anand Patwardhan BFI 5 May 2015.
  20. ^ "Articles and Reviews".
  21. ^ Films Index Official website.
  22. ^ Awards
  23. ^ Screening of screen Patwardhan's films at Stanford University, October 2001
  24. ^ "FRIF". FRIF. Archived from the original on 13 May 2008. Retrieved 14 June 2008.
  25. ^ 3rd KaraFilm Festival Karachi International Film Festival, website.
  26. ^ 51st National Film Awards - 2004 Archived 1 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine Official listings Directorate of Film Festivals Official website.
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^ Ram Bahadur Trophy for Best Film, Festival of South-Asian Documentaries, 2011, Film South Asia, retrieved 1 January 2014
  30. ^ Golden Firebird Award, Hong Kong International Film Festival, 2012, IMDb, retrieved 1 January 2014
  31. ^ "59th National Film Awards for the Year 2011 Announced" (Press release). Press Information Bureau (PIB), India. Retrieved 1 January 2014.
  32. ^ Palmarès / Award-winning films 2012, Jean Rouch Film International Film Festival, retrieved 1 January 2014
  33. ^ "Films of Anand Patwardhan". Retrieved 2 June 2019.
  34. ^ Damon Wise, "IDFA Awards 2018: The Jury Sees 'Reason'", Variety, 21 November 2018.
  35. ^ "17th Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles Winners Announced | LATF USA". Retrieved 2 June 2019.
  36. ^ "Academy invites record 774 new members; 39 percent female, 30 percent people color". Hollywood Reporter. 29 June 2017. Retrieved 29 June 2017.

External linksEdit

Websites on Anand Patwardhan's workEdit




Video clipsEdit