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Chetan Anand
Born January 3, 1915(1915-01-03)
Gurdaspur, British India
Died July 6, 1997 (aged 82)
Mumbai, Maharastra  India
Occupation producer,director, Actor, Screenwriter
Years active 1944-1994

Chetan Anand (Hindi: चेतन आनंद) (3 January 1915 – 6 July 1997) was an acclaimed Hindi film producer, screenwriter and director from India, whose debut film, Neecha Nagar, bagged the Palme d'Or (Best Film) award, at the Cannes Film Festival in 1946.

He is the eldest brother of the Anand family as he is the elder brother to Hindi film actor-directors, Dev Anand and Vijay Anand. His younger sister, Sheel Kanta Kapur, is the mother of renowned Hindi and English film director Shekhar Kapur.




Early life

Chetan Anand was born on 3 January 1915, in Gurdaspur in Punjab. After graduating from Government College Lahore, he also remained a member of Indian National Congress in the 1930s, subsequently worked for the BBC and taught at the Doon School, Dehradun for a while, before coming down to Mumbai to sell a film script [1][2].


In the early 1940s, while he was teaching History, he wrote a film script on king Ashoka, which he went on to show to director, Phani Majumdar in Bombay, but not before his failed attempt to qualify, the Indian Civil Service (ICS) exams, in London. As luck would have it, Phani Majumdar, instead cast him, as a lead in his Hindi film, Rajkumar, released in 1944. He also became associated with Indian People's Theatre Association (IPTA) in Bombay.

He soon took to film direction with the well-acclaimed movie, Neecha Nagar which bagged the Palme d'Or (Best Film) award, then known as 'Grand Prix', at the Cannes Film Festival in 1946 [3][4]. This film was also the debut film for Kamini Kaushal, and became the first Indian film to gain international recognition [5].

By early 50s, he and his younger brother Dev Anand had set up `Navketan Productions' in Mumbai, and Afsar, starring Dev Anand and Suraiya, was the first film made by Navketan, which turned out to be a moderate success, it was followed by Taxi Driver and Andhiyan, both of which he directed for Navketan banner.

Later on Chetan Anand started his own production banner called Himalaya films and teamed up with photographer Jal Mistry, music director Madan Mohan, lyrics writer, Kaifi Azmi and actress, Priya Rajvansh. Together they gave some of most memorable and unique films in Hindi cinema like Haqeeqat, Heer Raanjha, Hanste Zakhm, Kudrat and Hindustan Ki Kasam.

Apart from 17 feature films he is also known for the acclaimed television serial, Param Vir Chakra, which was aired Doordarshan in 1988.

After separation from his wife he had a long time relationship with the actress Priya Rajvansh, she was the heroine of his film Haqeeqat and all films after that. He had a relationship with her till his death.[6]

He died on 6 July 1997, at the age of 82 in Mumbai [1]. In March 2000, Priya was murdered in his Juhu home, and in 2002, Chetan Anand's sons Ketan Anand and Vivek Anand along with their employees Mala Choudhary and Ashok Chinnaswamy, were given life imprisonment with her murder [7]


'Chetan Anand: The Poetics of Film', a book written by Chetan Anand's wife Uma Anand and son Ketan Anand (Himalaya Films Media Entertainment) was released in 2006 [8][9], also a documentary by the same made by Ketan Anand was released in 2008 [10].

A retrospective of his film was held at Struttgart Film Festival, and at India International Centre, New Delhi in 2007 [11].


  • Neecha Nagar (1946) - Director
  • Afsar (1950) - Director, Screenwriter
  • Aandhiyan (1952) - Director
  • Taxi Driver (1954)- Director, Screenwriter
  • Funtoosh - (1956) - Director
  • Kala Bazar -(1960) - Actor
  • Kinare Kinare (1963) - Director, Screenwriter
  • Haqeeqat (1964) - Director, Screenwriter
  • Aakhri Khat (1966) - Director, Screenwriter
  • Heer Raanjha (1970) - Director, Screenwriter
  • Hanste Zakhm (1973) - Director, Producer
  • Hindustan Ki Kasam (1973) - Director
  • Kudrat (1981) - Director, Screenwriter
  • Hathon Ki Lakeerein (1986) - Director, Producer
  • Param Veer Chakra (1988, TV Series) - Director



  1. ^ a b Haqeeqat director Chetan Anand The Indian Express, 7 July 1997.
  2. ^ Tribute to Chetan Anand Screen (magazine), 3 August 2001.
  3. ^ Grand Prix du Festival International du Film (1939-54)
  4. ^ Maker of innovative, meaningful movies The Hindu, 15 June 2007.
  5. ^ History will never forget Chetan Anand 13 June 2007.
  6. ^ 'It has still to sink in', 8 April 2000.
  7. ^ Lifer for 4 in Priya Rajvansh murder case The Times of India, PTI 31 July 2002.
  8. ^ Remembering Chetan Anand and Neecha Nagar Hindustan Times, 29 September 2007.
  9. ^ Book Review Bollywood Hungama
  10. ^ CHETAN ANAND: THE POETICS OF FILM- Ketan Anand. India, 2007, 95 min; US Premiere Indo-American Arts Council Inc. , New York. 2008.
  11. ^ An enigma resolved The Hindu, 14 September 2007.

External links


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