Anwar Jamal is a multiple national and international award-winning filmmaker based in New Delhi. He has made critically acclaimed short and documentary films on an array of social, political and cultural themes. He also wrote, produced and directed a feature film, Swaraaj – The Little Republic, on the theme of women’s empowerment and the politics of water in rural India.
All through his eventful filmmaking career, which began well over two decades ago, Anwar has trained his camera on the sociopolitical realities of India and probed areas of hope and despair that rarely, if ever, receive the attention of the mainstream media. His sharply insightful films, which narrate stories that matter and eventually make a difference, have been applauded and awarded around the world. He joined the Mass Communications Research Centre at Jamia Millia Islamia on the invitation of its founder Chairperson, the late AJ Kidwai, and came close to the world-renowned documentary filmmaker James Beveridge.
His first few short films, made along with Sehjo Singh, were made for Doordarshan (India’s national broadcaster) on the subject of the Deorala Sati incident and the phenomenon of child marriages. Anwar made his first independent documentary on the question of development and big dams, ‘The Call of Bhagirathi’. This documentary featured in the Indian Panorama and won the National Award for Best Investigative Film in 1992
Shri Jamal received the I&B ministry’s Visioning India PSBT 2010 fellowship to make Dil Ki Basti Mein, a documentary film on the life and culture of Old Delhi. He recently completed a series of ten short films promoting heritage conservation for the National Mission on Monuments and Antiquities. His second feature-length fiction film as director is currently in development. Anwar’s work has been screened in more than 200 film festivals around the world. In 2013-2014, he served as an Adviser to Doordarshan’s Urdu Channel, where he was engaged in commissioning and quality control of more than of programming produced with a budget of over Rs 100 crore.
Shri Jamal won many national and international awards including – 1992: Call of the Bhagirathi – National Award for Best Investigative Film (Director and Producer); 1994: The Women Betrayed – National Award for Best Non-Fiction Film on Social Issues (Producer); 1996: Sona Maati – National Award – Special Jury Prize (Producer); 1996: Sona Maati – Golden Lotus in the Mumbai International Film Festival; 1998: Kol Tales, International Jury Prize, Mumbai International Film Festival; 2003: Swaraaj – The Little Republic received the Golden Prize in IRIB – International Film Festival, Isfahan, Iran (Producer and Director); 2003: Swaraaj – National Award for Best Feature Film on Social Issues; 2004: Swaraaj – Audience Favorite Award in Palm Springs International Film Festival (California, USA) 2004; 2004 Swaraaj – Best Director and Netpac (critic) award for the best film Dhaka international film festival; 2010 “Anwar – Dream of a Dark Night”-International jury mention at Mumbai International Film Festival; 2010 Harvest of Grief” received an award certificate in 2010 Los Angeles Reel Film Festival.