Early Life of Pankaj Advani
Pankaj Advani was born on 1st August 1965 in Lucknow. He grew up in the Saurashtra region of Gujarat at a small town called Veraval. He graduated with Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in painting from the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda. He later specialized in photography at the Faculty of Fine Arts and created a portfolio of photographs. During his days in Baroda, he attended the workshop of playwright and film-maker, Habib Tanvir. Under the supervision of the latter he wrote and directed black comedies like Andher Nagari and others and partook in college festivals. Later he did his Diploma in Editing at the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, where he got a merit scholarship for his academic excellence.
Career of Pankaj Advani
After completing his graduation from FTII, Pankaj Advani, came back to Baroda and made a theatrical production of his black comedy Kataria Gul Hui Gawa. Next he attempted a short film Highway which participated in the International Short and Independent Film Festival in Dhaka and the South Asian Short Film Festival in Colombo. He co-wrote Kundan Shah's 1993 Hindi flick Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa which won the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Movie. During this time he also authored the script for an unreleased film titled Loveria starring Saif Ali Khan and Karishma Kapoor. He got a major break after winning a script competition held by Children's Film Society of India for his film Sunday. The movie won the National Film Award for the Best Short Fiction Film in 1994. It was also showcased in the Asian Panorama section of 8th International Children's Film Festival, Udaipur and in the Indian Panorama Section of the 25th International Film Festival of India, Kolkata. Sunday also won the National Award for the Best Music Director and participated in 11th Annual Chicago International Children's Film Festival and Cairo International Children's Film Festival.
The same year also won him an award for his script Shadow Boxer at NFDC, however the film could not get in production. Pankaj Advani encountered many hurdles for arranging funds for his unconventional movies and many times continued with low budgets. Subsequently he ventured into television through the then head of Channel V Shashanka Ghosh with shows like Bheja Fry and Toofan TV. He was associated with the channel for a long time which offered him a platform for showcasing his creativity, although in low budgets. In 2000 he directed the now iconoclastic, underground, cult classic Urf Professor under the production of Digital Talkies. The film featured a black comedy and received the Best Film Award at the International Digital Film Festival India and Best Editing at Kara Film Fest (Pakistan). It was also screened in other international festivals but could not get certification from the Censor Board in India.
Pankaj Advani's another venture was Cape Karma which portrayed undercurrents of violence and a non-linear story telling. This surreal and stylized psychological thriller however proved to be much ahead of its times for the Indian viewers. Sankat City was the only film of Pankaj Advani which released commercially in theatres. The film received appreciations from the Hindi film industry and acquired nominations in many prestigious award ceremonies.
Achievements of Pankaj Advani
Pankaj Advani won the National Film Award for Best Short fiction Film for directing the film Sunday in 1994. He also won Best Editing at Kara Film Festival, Karachi, Pakistan and Best Film at the International Digital Film Festival, India for Urf Professor in the years 2003 and 2001 respectively. In the year 2010 he was the Honorable Member of Animation Jury at the 20th Cairo International Children's Film Festival.
Death of Pankaj Advani
Pankaj Advani died on 11th November 2010, at the age of 45, owing to a sudden cardiac arrest in Mumbai.
Filmography of Pankaj Advani