Chetan Anand’s Neecha Nagar was the first Indian film that was selected in any International film festival.Neecha Nagar had to compete with many amazing films that year(1946) like Roberto Rossellini’s Rome, Open City (Italy), David Lean’s Brief Encounter (UK), and Billy Wilder’s The Lost Weekend (USA). It won the hearts of critics and viewers alike and emerged as a winner for the category.
Born on 3 Jan, 1921 in Gurdaspur, Punjab, Chetan’s formative years were nourished by the teachings of the Vedanta in a Gurukul before he went to Government College, Lahore, and then onwards to Cambridge.In 1944, he shrugged off a motionless stability and plunged into the chaotic ecstasy of motion pictures.
In 1946, Chetan Anand became a big name with Neecha Nagar
He was a progressive thinker,he kept company with literary and political radicals such as Khwaja Ahmed Abbas, Sahir, Kaifi Azmi Bhishm Sahni and Sardar Jaffri.He along with his younger brother Dev Anand started Navketan in 1949.
After the success of Taxi Driver (1955) , Chetan moved away from Navketan to establish his own banner Himalay Films and make his own kind of films.In 1957 he directed two movies Arpan and Anjali, in which he played lead roles too. He went on to act in Kala Bazar, Kinare-Kinare, Aman, Kanch Aur Heera and Hindustan Ki Kasam, which he directed too.
In 1964 he emerged as a great Director, it was to a standing ovation for, depicting the Chinese invasion of 1962, in one of the best war films ever made – Haqeeqat (1964).
In 1966 he came out with another memorable film Aakhri Khat,This film was about a 15-month-old child without any star cast,though Rajesh Khanna was in it but that time he was a strugler.The film was very well apreciated by the critics,His another masterpiece was Heer Ranjha in 1970.first and onlly movie in verses with no dilogues,it was the poetic imagination of Kaifi Azmi and Chetan Anand’s skill as a director
After separating from his wife, Uma Anand, whom he married in 1943,he had a long-term relationship with the actress Priya Rajvansh.who was his heroine in almost all the films he directed after starting his own film company..He had a relationship with her till his death On 6th July 1997.
Today on his 20th death anniversary I present few of his films immortal songs.
Pt Ravi Shankar was introduced in films as Music Composer in Neecha Nagar,this song was picturised on Kamini Kaushal