Filmmakers who invented 'Art Cinema' before Satyajit Ray
However, what is surprising is that even before Satyajit Ray’s PATHER PANCHALI (1955), Bollywood had experimented with a similar kind of stuff in the film NEECHA NAGAR (1946). What is further stunning is that the film also won wide recognition both nationally and internationally for its innovative style of filmmaking but remains unsung. In fact the film even went on to win the international Cannes Film Festival ‘Grand Prix’ award for its realism thus becoming India’s first film to win the prestigious award.
Wanna know who was this brilliant filmmaker? Well he is Chetan Anand, elder brother of evergreen star Dev Anand and brilliant film director Vijay Anand.
Though NEECHA NAGAR fetched recognition to Chetan Anand as filmmaker with a difference, the movie failed at the box office. As a result, he could not make many more movies of such kind and was forced to switch to ‘commercial’ films under his brother Dev Anand’s banner ‘Navketan Films’ like TAXI DRIVER, KALA BAZAAR, FUNTOOSH etc.
Other prominent movies he made include classics like HAQEEQAT, HEER RANJHA, HANSTE ZAKHAM and KUDRAT.
It is indeed ironical while his two younger brothers, who learnt the nuance of film making from him, went on to write history in Indian Cinema. Whereas Chetan Anand, who played a lion’s share in polishing and nurturing their talent, remains unsung!!!