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Manu Rewal- Indian under Spotlight

Manu Rewal belongs to the new generation of 'cross-over' directors like Mira Nair and Deepa Mehta who bring together the best of Indian and Western worlds to present their vision to an urban intelligentsia. Director of the critically acclaimed Chai Pani etc., Manu's cinematic vision is a strong mix of his Indian cultural upbringing refined by his Parisian outlook.


Manu Rewal


Manu has a strong Parisian connection. Of Franco- Indian origin, he has done his Maitrise d'études cinématographiques from the Sorbonne, Paris in 1990. A member of the Actor's Studios, Paris, he attended the International Theatre Workshop with the acclaimed director B. Salant, whose other famous students include actors Vincent Cassel, Amira Casar and Jean-Louis Coulloc’h among others.

Representing the voice of a thinking youth, Manu uses the cinematic medium to address the issues of bureaucratic red-tapism, poverty and nepotism etc. that have plagued the Indian society. Even though the subjects he treats are serious, he uses a light tone, peppered with humour. It debunks the myth that we Indians take ourselves too seriously. His style of cinema blurs the boundaries between popular and art cinemas.

His first feature film 'Chai Pani etc.' has the acclaimed actor Konkona Sensharma in prominent double roles alongside new comer Zafar Karachiwala in the role of Satya, the protagonist. The film was awarded the Special Jury Award at the International Independent Film Festival of Brussels in 2007 and did the rounds of several prestigious film festivals. Chai Pani etc. is a satire that perhaps reflects his own experience as a returning Indian- a global vision faced with stumbling blocks of living in contemporary India with corruption, changing values, working conditions etc.

Manu has paid tribute to his French séjour through his architectural documentaries on 'Le Corbusier in India' among others. The film has found a place in the archives of the French National Library (Bibliothèque Nationale Française) under the section Literature & Arts (Animated Images). This short documentary film was awarded the Prix Architecture of the UNESCO film festival on art and education, Paris in 2001. It was screened at the 14th International Festival of Asian Films of Vesoul in 2008 under the category 'Asian Cities' along with Mira Nair's ‘Salaam Bombay’. In Manu's words "An architectural film requires not only a good film culture, but also a solid architectural culture. One has to understand and feel architecture, in order to do justice to it cinematically." In addition to Chandigarh, he has captured the cities of Mandu, Udaipur, Jaisalmer and Delhi, among others, through his lens.


Though Architectural subjects deal with concrete reality, Manu's dream is to make fiction films. As per him "Working in fiction has always been my dream. In New York University, I participated in a fiction set during the civil rights movement in the 60s. I have also been using fiction elements wherever possible in my architectural documentaries."

Manu owns the production company 'Duniya Vision'. Literally translated to 'Global Vision', his vision aims at promoting universal values through quality films. The company is engaged in making feature films with contemporary themes and documentary films with a cultural backdrop.

Here's hoping that people like Manu will continue to contribute to the outlook of the Indian society through their International lenses- making us pause and reflect, all in a day's work, with a smile. That's the Indian spirit! We wish him all the best.

Visit Manu Rewal's Official Site

Visit 'Chai Pani etc.' website


Manu Rewal in Media:

Chai Pani to be screened in New York

Read more from the Online edition of The Hindu Nov , 2008

Screening of Love Bribes etc. (Chai Pani etc.) at Indo-American Arts Council Nov 2008

Details from IAAC website

Chai Paani etc. going places

Read more from Online edition of The Hindu Aug 2005

On the double

Read more from the Online edition of The Telegraph, Mar 2005

Chai Pani etc...Premier long-métrage de Manu Rewal (in French)

Read more from Indian Cinema Events website


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