Kekee Manzil, House of Arts
Behroze Gandhy, Dilesh Korya
India. 2021. 93 min
In Kekee Manzil: House of Art a daughter journeys to find how her father catalysed the contemporary art movement in India as it achieved independence in 1947. But how did he get to this point? Back in 1941, Kekoo Gandhy came to the aid of a man whose car got stuck in the sand on Juhu beach in Bombay. A friendship started and a business partnership soon followed. The pair established Chemould Frames, which became the largest picture frame enterprise in Asia. A chance encounter, the first of many moments of serendipity helping launch the most significant Indian art movement from the city.
Behroze Gandhy is an independent producer who jointly founded the company Hindi Picture in 1982, initially distributing Hindi films for Channel Four Television. After 1989 Hindi Picture produced programmes for British television. Behroze Gandhy’s has produced numerous multicultural programmes and series for Channel Four Television. In 1996, she produced a documentary on the Indian actor Sanjay Dutt.
Behroze’s drama credits as producer include Flight, a feature for Screen Two at the BBC; and Surviving Sabu, a short film for the Arts Council of England. Behroze says: ‘From 2002, I began recording my father and mother, Kekoo and Khorshed Gandhy, as they were witness to key moments of the Indian contemporary art movement from the early 1940s, and established the first contemporary art gallery in Bombay. This period coincided with the emergence of India as an independent nation, which made a record of this period crucial. Simultaneously, I also carried out interviews with contemporaries on that journey, including Raza, Tyeb Mehta, and Krishen Khanna. After my parents passed away in 2012 and 2013, I realised that this was material for a unique documentary, which would reflect the story of Indian art from a personal point of view.
Dilesh Korya is a British Asian filmmaker and editor based in Bristol, with a career that spans 30 years. For over 20 years he has been editing documentaries for BBC and Channel 4. Many have won awards and garnered big audiences and critical praise.
Prior to this, Dilesh had made numerous short films, both drama and documentaries. His film ‘Sari’ has been shown at festivals and awarded a number of commendations.
Dilesh is a filmmaker that works across all areas of film production. Not only did he direct and edit ‘Kekee Manzil’, but also shot many scenes, produced the graphics and co-wrote the film.
Kekee Manzil is his first feature documentary, taking nearly five years to make. He is currently finishing off a film script, researching a number of new feature documentaries, as well as editing a major new series for BBC2 about the creation of the United Kingdom, with by David Olusoga.