Name: Sai Paranjpye
Birthdate: 19th of March, 1938
Marital Status: Sai Paranjpye tied the knot to Arun Joglekar who was a theatre artist. They had a daughter named Winnie and a son by the name of Gautam. Two years into their marriage they got separated but still they kept in touch with each other as friends till the year 1992 when Arun passed away.
1) In the year 1980, Sai was given the National Film Award for the Best Screenplay category for the film ‘Sparsh’.
2) Five years later in 1985, she bagged the prestigious Filmfare Best Director Award for ‘Sparsh’. Same year she also received the Filmfare Best Dialogue Award for the same film.
3) Next up, in the year 1993, Sai was awarded the National Film Award for the Best Film on Social Issues for ‘Choodiyan’.
Biography: Sai Paranjpye, the Indian screenwriter and film director was born on the 19th of March in the year 1938 in the city of Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, India. Her parents were Shakuntala Paranjpye and Youra Sleptzoff. Youra was the son of some Russian general and was also a water colour artist while Shakuntala used to be an actress in various Hindi and Marathi. One of Shakuntala’s films was V. Shantaram’s 1937 social classic titled ‘Duniya Na Mane’. Shakuntala later on became an active social worker as well as a writer. She was also nominated to the RajyaSabha and in the year 1991, she was given the prestigious Padma Bhushan award by the Government of India.
Soon after Sai’s birth, her parents got divorced and as a result Sai was brought up in R. P. Paranjpye’s household. R. J. Paranjpyethe father of Sai’s mother, Shakuntala, was a prominent educationist as well as a mathematician and he used to serve as India’s High Commissioner in the country of Australia during the period between 1944 and 1947. Belonging to this background, Sai received education in various cities including Pune in India and Canberra in Australia. In the year 1963, Sai Paranjpye completed his graduation from the prestigious NSD (National School of Drama), New Delhi. During her childhood days, Sai used to listen to stories narrated by AchyutRanade, her uncle who happened to be an established film maker during the 1940s and the 1950s. She started writing from a ripe age and when she was 8 years old, she published her very first fairy tale book, ‘MulanchaMewa’ (which was in Marathi).
Sai Paranjpye began her career as an announcer in AIR (All India Radio), Pune in Maharashtra. She was also involved in All India Radio’s Children Program. Throughout her entire career, Sai has written as well as directed various plays in English, Hindi and Marathi languages for both adults as well as for children. Some of her works include 5 documentaries, 2 children based films and 6 feature films. Apart from films and documentaries, Sai has also written several books for children. Amongst these books, 6 of the books has won state level or national awards.
For several years Sai has also been working as a producer or director at the Doordarshan Television situated in Delhi. ‘The Little Tea Shop’ (1972) was Sai’s very first movie made for television. This movie won the prestigious Asian Broadcasting Union Award. Soon enough she was asked to take over the production of the inauguration programme of Mumbai Doordarshan.
During the 1970s, she served twice as the CFSI (Children’s Film Society of India) Chairperson. This organisation’s objective is to promote and impart value related entertainment to children. During the time when she was associated with the CFSI, she made 4 children’s films which includes ‘Sikander’ (1976) and ‘JadooKaShankh’ (1974). Her very first feature movie was ‘Sparsh’ starring Naseeruddin Shah, ShabanaAzmi, Om Puri and Sudha Chopra. This film was a great success and it won around 5 awards which includes the prestigious National Film Award. She followed this up with comedies such as ‘Katha’ (1982) and ‘ChashmeBuddoor’ (1981).
Some of her documentary films include‘Helping Hand’, ‘Capt. Laxmi’, ‘Talking Books’, ‘PankajMullick’ and‘Warna Orchestra’. Her 1993 documentary titled ‘Choodiyan’ was based on an anti-liquor agitation in a village in Maharashtra and this documentary created a great impact and it won the prestigious National Film Award in the Best Film on Social Issues category.
Apart from movies, Sai had also made various television serials such as ‘Chhote Bade’ (1985), ‘AdosPados’ (1984), ‘Hum PanchiEkChawlKe’, ‘Behnaa’ and ‘Partyana’.She received a considerable amount of help and guidance from Sridhar Rangayan for both ‘Partyana’ and ‘Hum PanchiEkChawlKe’. She had also directed, written and narrated ‘MazaKhelmandu de’, a Marathi drama which was staged at the GadkariRangayatan in Thane on the 27th of September in the year 1986.
Some of her other films are ‘ChakaChak’ (2005) which dealt with the concerning issues pertaining to the environment; ‘AngoothaChhap’ (1988), ‘Papeeha’ (1993), ‘Disha’ (1990) and‘Saaz’ (1997) (which is inspired from the lives of Asha Bhosleand LataMangeshkar, the renowned playback singers).
In the year 2001 she directed ‘BhagoBhoot’ which is a children’s film. In the month of July in 2009, Sai released a 30 minute film titled ‘Suee’. This film explores avenues in the numerous lives of injected drug users which includes care, treatment, workspace and rehabilitation. This movie was launched by an organisation called Response Beyond Borders. This 30 minute movie was first shown on Doordarshan television on the 1st of December, 2009 which was World Aids Day.
Sai Paranjpye’svarious works throughout her career include: ‘ChasmeBuddoor’ (1981),‘The Little Tea Shop’ ( in 1972), ‘Begaar’ (1975), ‘Dabcherry Milk Project’ (1976), ‘Freedom From Fear’ (1978), ‘Sparsh’ (1980), ‘Books That Talk’ (1981), ‘Katha’ (1983), ‘AdosPados’ (1984), ‘Chote Bade’ (1985), ‘JaduKaShankh’ (1974), ‘AngoothaChhaap’ (1988), ‘Sikander’ (1976), ‘Disha’ (1990), ‘Papeeha’ (1993), ‘Choodiyan’ (1993), ‘Saaz’ (1997), ‘BhagoBhoot’ (2000), ‘Chaka Chak’ (2005), ‘Captain Laxmi’ (1977)and ‘Suee’ (2009).
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