'India’s Finest Films' on Zee Classic Every Saturday
List of 14 movies you cannot afford to miss, along with schedule:
Salaam Bombay on 16th July
In 1988, Mira Nair made her directorial film debut with Salaam Bombay! which chronicled the lives of a group of street children in Mumbai. Inspired by the actual street children of Mumbai who starred in the movie, the film won awards across the globe for its authenticity and unwavering portrayal of the life of Mumbai's abandoned and homeless youth.
Mirch Masala on 23rd July
For some Ketan Mehta will always remain the man who made Mirch Masala. An attention grabbing film, it rotates around the gender divide in the society. It is the story of Sonabai (Smita Patil) and her struggle to protect her sanctity from the evil Subedar (Naseeruddin Shah) and a village full of sexist men. The dusty and dried surroundings of Kutch shown in the movie probably are an illustration for the values of a male and class-dominated Indian culture.
Salim Langde Pe Mat Ro on 30th July
Salim Langde Pe Mat Ro is a rare film and an attempt to showcase the dilemmas faced by urban Muslims thoughtfully but boldly. In addition to the portrayal of Bombay’s mohalla life, it also shows the joys of friendship and camaraderie and pleasure of loafing around. Salim Langda (Pawan Malhotra) is a confident petty thief. Salim earns his livelihood by doing odd jobs for the big bosses of Bombay’s underworld. His final ambition is to ape these underworld kings whose status he envies.
Ek Doctor Ki Maut on 6th August
Ek Doctor Ki Maut is an award winning film by the noted Bengali director Tapan Sinha, which depicts the ostracism, bureaucratic negligence and insult of a doctor and his research, instead of recognition and credit. This movie is loosely based on the life of Dr. Subhash Mukhopadhyay, an Indian physician who pioneered the IVF treatment just around the same time when another leading scientist, Dr. Robert Edwards was conducting separate experiments in England.
Gandhi on 13th August
Gandhi is the highest Oscar winning film of all time – claiming eight awards from 11 nominations, including Best Film – although it almost never got made! The late director Richard Attenborough revealed in of his interviews "It took me 20 years to get the money to get that movie made. I remember my pitch to 20th Century Fox. The guy said: 'Dickie, it's sweet of you to come here. You're obviously obsessed. But who will be interested in a little brown man wrapped in a sheet carrying a beanpole?' I would have loved to have met that guy after the Oscars!”
Ardh Satya on 20th August
Ardh Satya is directed by the very talented Govind Nihalani. The film is based on a short story by D.A. Panvalkar and the script is written by Vijay Tendulkar. It has Om Puri, Smita Patil, Amrish Puri, Naseeruddin Shah and Sadashiv Amarpurkar in lead roles. It is the story of Anant Welankar, son of a retired constable in Maharashtra Police, who is forced to let go of his dream of pursuing an MBA and join the Police force.
Pestonjee on 3rd September
Pestonjee is a film directed by Vijaya Mehta, starring Anupam Kher, Naseeruddin Shah and Shabana Azmi in lead roles. The film is an intimate look into the life and mannerisms of the Parsi community especially those living in the city of Bombay (now Mumbai) in the 1950s and 60s.
Qissa on 10th September
All of us have grown up with different kinds of stories that were narrated to us. Some of them will be overlooked while some will be lost with the passage of time. But, the story of Qissa is timeless. Irrfan Khan as Umber Singh, Tisca Chopra as Mehar, Tilotama Shome as Kanwar Singh, Rasika Dugal as Neeli are the main protagonists of the movie.
27 Down on 14th September
27 Down is a film directed by Awtar Krishna Kaul, featuring Raakhee and M.K. Raina in lead parts. The film is description on 27 Down, the Bombay-Varanasi Express. Sanjay (M K Raina), the son of a railroad employee, gives up on his dreams of becoming an artist when his father demands he come back to the family occupation. He gauges life in train sounds and journeys. The requests of congruity influence his connection with a young lady Shalini (Rakhee).
Gangoobai on 1st October
Directed by Priya Krishnaswamy, Sarita Joshi is the main protagonist in Gangoobai. The story revolves around an elderly maid who strives to accomplish her dream of buying a costly Gara sari and changes the lives of individuals she comes in contact with while in Mumbai to purchase the sari.
Mammo on 27th August
The film portrays the flinching truths frequently confronted by the powerless, post-partition. It reminds of the emotional torture of being torn far from one's roots over and over; in spite of one turning a blind eye or making a noise for change in the circumstances which they have no control over. It makes one appreciate something which is frequently is taken for granted until it is lost or gone for good. This movie is also the recipient of National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi and Filmfare Critics Award for Best Performance by Farida Jalal and National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress by Surekha Sikri.
Massey Sahib on 17th September
Massey Sahib is a 1985 film directed by Pradip Krishen, featuring Raghuvir Yadav in the main role. It was Pradip Krishen's first film, and was based on a novel Mister Johnson written by Joyce Cary in 1939. The film also has stars like Arundhati Roy, who was yet to pen down her first novel and win the Man Booker Prize, alongside Barry John and Veerendra Saxena. This story revolves around a man who is stuck in the crossfire where British Frontier principles smothered Indian freedom and colonializes it. This is a story told from an Indian perspective.
Arvind Desai Ki Ajeeb Dastaan on 8th October
Arvind Desai Ki Ajeeb Dastan (ADKAD), a film dear to Saeed Akhtar Mirza's heart, was a masterpiece of the parallel silver screen development that was a tribute to Indian producers. The motion picture revolves around the internal clashes of a person born and brought in a city, who battles to comprehend the significance of his life and those encompassing him, including family and companions. It stars Shreeram Lagoo, Rohini Hattangadi, Satish Shah, Suresh Oberoi (in a cameo), Om Puri and Dilip Dhawan. It's a film about the trans-generational exchange of qualities and the repercussions of the prevalent legacy influencing the value system in the future.
The Good Road on 15th October
The Good Road is a 2013 Indian drama film written and directed by Gyan Correa. The film won the trophy for Best Gujarati film at the 60th National Film Awards. Also, it was the first Gujarati film ever chosen to represent India at the Oscars. The motion picture is described in a hyperlink arrangement, where a few stories are interwoven, with the focal point of the story being an expressway in the country terrains of Gujarat close to a town in Kutch.
National, 12th July: With its proposition of ‘Woh Zamaana Kare Deewana’, Zee Classic is India's only Hindi movie channel that endeavors to recreate the magic of iconic classic and new age cinema by showcasing not just the films that shaped Indian cinema, but also acquaint viewers with the creative talent who were a part of that timeless era. Zee Classic boasts of an outstanding library of Indian cinematic classics and it has recently associated with National Film Development Corporation of India (NFDC). Starting 16thJuly, every Saturday at 10 PM, Zee Classic will premiere ‘India’s Finest Films’, a distinguished property showcasing masterpieces like ‘Mirch Masala’, ‘Ek Doctor ki Maut’, ’27 Down’ and ‘Salaam Bombay’ amongst many other such gems from the NFDC library. These movies mark the debut of icons like Irrfan Khan, Pankaj Kapur, Naseeruddin Shah and many more. This festival kickstarts with ‘Salaam Bombay!’ directed by Mira Nair on Saturday, 16th July at 10 PM.
Parallel cinema in India has evolved through the years, starting from the Neorealism-influenced films of Nehruvian India, through the more politically radical films of the Seventies and the liberal humanist films that were termed as Independent cinema. Zee Classic gives viewers a golden opportunity to taste this flavor of cinema and experience the magic for the very first time on Indian television. The first film ‘Salaam Bombay!’ chronicles the day-to-day life of children living on the streets of Bombay (Mumbai). Recipient of many distinguished awards including the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi, the National Board of Review Award for Top Foreign Film, the Golden Camera and Audience Awards at the Cannes Film Festival, the film was India's second film submission to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. The film was also among the New York Times list of ‘The Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made’.
Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd., Chief Business Officer, Sunil Buch said, “A Hindi movie channel as distinct as Zee Classic has seen growing viewership with every property that we have showcased. In line with its brand positioning 'Woh Zamaana Kare Deewana', we have enriched the channel's library to present our viewers with some never-seen-before timeless classics. Zee Classic will soon telecast the crème de la crème of landmark cinema under its latest property - 'India's Finest Films'. It offers a mix of critically acclaimed independent and award winning films that are treasures of Indian cinema. We have associated with NFDC to create this property and today, with new age films setting new benchmarks in parallel cinema, the films that are a part of 'India's Finest Films' represent the semantics of Indian culture over the years and have carved the way for realism in films. With films such Gandhi, Mirch Masala, 27 Down, it is for the discerning cinema lover who likes to be challenged. This property will present films that brings life to so many iconic characters and thought provoking narratives."
To acquaint the youth of India with parallel cinema and enhance their movie-viewing experience, Zee Classic has also curated an hour long special feature called ‘India’s Finest Films – A Parallel Journey’. It includes views of stalwarts of Indian cinema like Shyam Benegal, Mahesh Bhatt, Saeed Mirza, Kundan Shah, Rohini Hattangadi amongst others. It had an extravagant digital release and premiered on the Zee Classic YouTube channel on Tuesday, 12th July at 12 noon. Audiences can also catch it on television as a prelude to ‘India's Finest Films’. Excerpts of this feature along with additional exclusive interviews will be showcased during the telecast of movies on Zee Classic. The channel has also launched a 360 degree marketing campaign including Outdoor, Radio, Print and exclusive screenings of these titles with influencers.
Zee Hindi Movies Cluster, Business Head, Ruchir Tiwari said, “With the success of properties like ‘The Bimal Roy Festival with Boman Irani’ and ‘The Golden Years with Javed Akhtar’, we are constantly innovating with content on Zee Classic to entertain its audiences. We have acquired 49 path breaking titles produced by NFDC and some of them will be showcased for the very first time on television. The sheer brilliance and uniqueness of these films is that they have no shelf life as they are timeless genius masterpieces! The promotional campaign has already kick started across mediums. The prelude, 'India's Finest films - A Parallel Journey' has luminaries from the industry share their unrivalled expertise and insights of these classics and is a content goldmine for lovers of parallel cinema. While this genre of films is not commercial, the work of many superstars and filmmakers in them has increased the popularity of these masterpieces and will surely entertain viewers across age groups."
NFDC spokesperson, Ms. Nazhat J. Shaikh, Director (Finance) said, "Over the last few years NFDC has developed and nurtured not only Indie cinema and fresh film talent but also audiences that would be groomed to connect with the same. Our Best of Indian Cinema initiative with Zee Classic is a step further in that direction. The viewer will experience over the next few months a selection of some of our landmark films packaged with some interesting trivia. A true spread for the Cineaste ! This is also a great moment to acknowledge the contribution made by the filmmakers and the film talent who walked with us on this journey and created these endearing works of cinematic expression."
Talking about India’s Finest Films and Zee Classic, Mr. Shyam Benegal said, “Rabindranath Tagore once said that every art seeks to find its own independent manner of expression within the world it creates, and no creative genius has yet arrived to deliver it from its bondage. Having said that, television has always been a very effective medium, particularly for films that may or may not have the opportunity to do well in cinema houses. This is because televisions reaches homes and you do not pay individually for movies. I personally feel Zee Classic’s initiative is a very good one. It will help to keep alive the film culture of our country and Zee Classic is in the ideal position to do this.”
‘India’s Finest Films – A Parallel Journey’, an exclusive special feature is available on the Zee Classic YouTube channel’
So, are you excited to catch these gems of Indian Cinema? Tune in and enjoy!