IFFI celebrates Shashi Kapoor with a special Retrospective
Kunal Kapoor, the son of the noted actor, producer, filmmaker Shashi Kapoor interacted with the media here yesterday to give details of the special retrospective on Shashi Kapoor which opened at IFFI 2015. The retrospective opened with the screening of the film ‘Junoon’. Shashi Kapoor, the handsome actor of yesteryear and famous for his chocolaty looks has been given the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for the year 2014.
The special retrospective on Shashi Kapoor will screen eight films from ‘The Householder’ to ‘Muhafiz’, covering more than three decades of his career. One of the earliest actors to go international, his versatility as actor made him an incredible asset in both artistic and popular cinema. The films to be screened under retrospective include Deewar, Junoon, Kalyug, Muhafiz, New Delhi Times, Shakespearewallah, The Householder and Utsav.
Addressing the press conference, Kunal Kapoor said that it is a matter of honour that his father was awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke award this year and a retrospective is being organised on him at IFFI, 2015. He said that his father, Shashi Kapoor has grown in theatrical background as he has been associated with the Prithvi theatres. Prithvi Theatre is one of Mumbai’s best known theatres and was built by Shashi Kapoor in memory of his father Prithviraj Kapoor , Kunal explained. Shashi Kapoor has contributed to the continuity of Prithvi Theatre after the death of his father Prithviraj Kapoor. This is a ‘constructive tribute’ to his father, he said.
“We are striving to take forward the legacy of the great Prithvi Raj Kapoor in various ways and restoration of the films of my father is one of them”, said Kunal. “We are now trying to restore the films of Shashi Kapoor since restoration, maintenance and preservation of films is very important to carry forward the legacy for the younger generation to see it. I thought of restoring the films made by my father and much to my shock I found them lying in our garage”, disclosed Kunal . Junoon has been lucky from restoration point of view but Utsav is less fortunate since it got damaged in floods. A copy of Utsav has been found with NFAI which will help them in the task of restoration, Kunal explained.
Shashi Kapoor was born in 1938 as Balbir Raj Kapoor, he was the youngest of the Prithviraj Kapoor’s four children. He entered into acting at an early stage while touring with his father, Prithviraj Kapoor, and his theatre group, Prithvi theatres. Shashi Kapoor’s first film as a lead actor was Dharmputra (1961) and he went on to appear in around 116 Hindi films. Char Diwari (1961) marked the onset of the century which saw his rise to stardom. He also worked in numerous American and British productions. He started doing English language films in 1963, the first being Merchant Ivory’s The Householder co-starring Leela Naidu. This was followed by several other films such as Shakespearewallah (1965), Heat and Dust (1982) and In Custody (1994) amongst others. At that time, he was one of the first Indian actors to have worked extensively in Hollywood projects. He won National (special jury) Award for his performance in Muhafiz (1993) and New Delhi Times (1986). In 1978, Shashi Kapoor built Prithvi Theatre in Juhu, Mumbai, in the memory of his father, to promote professional theatre and to develop an audience for theatre. At the same time he also set up his production house ‘Film-Valas’ which produced critically acclaimed films including Junoon (1978) for which he won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi (as Producer), 36 Chowringhee Lane (1981) and Utsav (1984). Shashi Kapoor put his own money into Prithvi Theatre (now a landmark Theatre in Mumbai) and the films he produced. He believed in giving back to the industry that had supported him all his life. His genuine congeniality, his equal treatment of cast and crew, his unbiased generosity and undying charm contribute in making him a man the Indian film industry adores. In 2011, he was honoured with the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India.