Jnanpeeth Award Winner and Fellow of Sahitya Akademi. A film that is part of the "Archives on Indian Literature" Sahitya Akademi (National Academy of Letters) commissions filmmakers “who are creative artists in their own right” to make films on noted authors for its archives on Indian literature. Mazhar Kamran's film is on Qurratulain Hyder. One of the most outstanding literary names in Urdu literature, she is most known for her magnum opus, Aag Ka Darya (River of Fire), a novel first published in 1959, that stretches from the 4th century BC to post partition India.
Mazhar Kamran has explored several areas in non-fiction also throughout his career as a filmmaker. He was Director of "Surabhi", a prime time landmark TV series on little known cultural aspects of India. He directed for a popular science TV series, "Turning Point". He has also produced and directed several films commissioned by national institutions in India.
Some notable films:
Based on one of the many indigenous tribes of India- the Agarias, In Search of Agarias is the story of the traditional iron smelters of our country. Produced for FOX History and Entertainment Channel’s Colours of India series and sponsored by Steel Authority of India, the film has Mazhar Kamran as both director and narrator/ presenter. The film revolves around how the world renowned traditional iron smelting knowledge of the Agarias is fast fading with fewer Agarias practicing their traditional occupation and instead turn to metal working or farming to meet their needs. This film is part of the UNESCO Surabhi ‘India Heritage series’.
A film on the historic city with a rich cultural legacy, commissioned by the Dept of Tourism, Govt of Uttar Pradesh. Home town of Mazhar Kamran.
Film on the noted Urdu author Naiyer Masud. Sahitya Akademi commissioned Mazhar Kamran for the second time to make a film on another eminent literary figure of our time, Naiyer Masud. He is best regarded world over for his short stories. Many of his stories have been translated into English and other languages. There are four collections on which his reputation rests: Simiya (published in 1984), Itr-e-Kafur (published 1990), Taus Chaman Ki Maina (1997) and Ganjefa (2008). For the short story collection Taus Chaman Ki Myna, Naiyer Masud was awarded the 2001 Urdu prize of the Sahitya Akademi. He was awarded the Saraswati Samman (one of highest literary awards in India) in 2007.
The film Uncle – the School in himself tells the inspiring story of how ‘Uncle’s Classes’, an informal network of classrooms established by Syed Firoz Ashraf, has brought about a silent social revolution in a microcosm of the Muslim community in India.
The film opens a window into the lives of people living in the slums of Mumbai and Ashraf’s remarkable work who along with his wife Aria, dedicated his life to educate poor Muslim and non-Muslim girls and boys, while simultaneously fighting orthodoxy and deep-rooted prejudices. The film brings out the daunting difficulties they have faced in the course of their work, and how they have overcome them with love for their students and unflinching commitment to their chosen mission.
The film is an inspiring story of how a single person with selfless intent and indefatigable spirit can bring about remarkable changes in the lives of the dispossessed, without relying on state or institutional support.