Films: Mumbai's first insured film, and the world's youngest director

SUNDAY MID DAY 32nd Anniverary Special, Mumbai

SUNDAY MiD DAY turns 32: Click here for more stories

1998: Taal is first film to be insured in Bollywood
Subhash Ghai’s film Taal is not just a film that sees tremendous success with its melodious music and critically-acclaimed performances by its cast comprising Aishwarya Rai, Akshaye Khanna and Anil Kapoor. It also sets a precedent for other producers to get their films insured. Taal, in 1998 is the first film be insured, reportedly for a sum of Rs 12 crore with United India Insurance. In fact, it is still referred to as the Cine-Mukta policy after Ghai’s production house Mukta Arts Pvt Ltd. The move is appreciated by filmmakers and media alike. The film sets a trend and many filmmakers rush to insure their movies. Films such as Mohabbatein, Lagaan and Snip follow suit. Cinema has seen many transformations in its 100 years of existence, most for the better. And this one is surely for the better.

1982: The 28-year-old senior citizen
A 65-year-old man makes his debut in the film Saaransh on May 25th. Except that he isn’t 65, but a 28-year-old newcomer who amazes everyone with his ability to portray the mannerisms of the elderly so convincingly. This young man is Anupam Kher, who receives the Filmfare Award for Best Actor that year for his portrayal of a retired man who loses his son.

1997: Actor wins Best Actress award
Is it possible for an actor to win a Best Actress award? Nirmal Pandey is one actor who enjoys this distinction when he wins the award for the Best Actress for his powerful portrayal of a transvestite in Amol Palekar’s Daayra that released in 1996. This happens at the Valenciennes Film Festival in France. He shares the award with the movie’s female lead Sonali Kulkarni.

2005: World’s youngest film director
Eleven-year-old filmmaker Kishan Shrikanth is included in the Guiness Book of World Records for being the world’s youngest director of a professionally made feature film. Shrikanth, at the age of nine, directed the film C/o Footpath. He also wins The Chamber of the Deputies award and The Children’s Right award at the Giffoni International Film Festival in 2007.

Then & Now

Anil Kapoor, actor

‘Good times for the industry’

When Sunday Mid Day started in 1981, I was shooting for Woh Saat Din, which released in 1983. But it was in 1979 that my first film Hamare Tumhare released, so I’m two years senior to the paper. Though so much time has passed, it still feels the same to me. I have been working continuously except for a few days here and there. It’s like how Mid Day comes out everyday, with hardly any gaps. Just the way the paper has reinvented itself and is catering to today’s audience, I have also tried my best to reinvent and cater to the change. The main thing is to remain relevant.

The film industry too, has moved with the times. The budgets have increased and the scale has become much higher. And automatically, everything changes. Every department has made positive progress. There is a lot of global exposure. We’re not behind in any way now, be in scripts or technology. These are good times for the industry.

There are a lot of international companies getting involved with Indian films because they feel this is a lucrative business. All international companies, specially American ones, have always been aggressive in these things. If they feel there is a business opportunity anywhere in the world, they will go ahead and be a part of it. That’s the reason there are so many foreign production houses including Disney, Sony and Fox in India today. It’s great because I feel more the competition, the better it is. If you want to be leaders and compete with the world, you can’t shun competition. That’s the way it should be. You can’t have a regressive outlook.

There is more professionalism in the industry. As for friendships, I’ve made some great friends and still am friends with them. My journey’s been super good, just like Sunday Mid Day’s journey! 

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