Eminent documentary film maker Prem Vaidya (87) died on the morning of July 10th at his residence in Pune due to cardiac arrest.
An accomplished name in the field of short films, he was recipient of a number of national and international awards for films such as Man in Search of Man on the Andaman & Nicobar aborigines, a biographical documentary on Swatantrayeer Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, an Indo- New Zealand production on the Ganges, Against the Current and films on Baba Amte and Vinoba.
Vaidya joined the Government of India’s Films Division as assistant cinematographer in 1954 and rose to the position of newsreel cameraman, director and producer by the dint of his sheer merit. It is difficult to keep track of the number of newsreel items he covered and documentary films he has directed and produced over the thirty three years of his career at the Films Division.
Among his memorable assignments were filming the 1965 war with Pakistan in the Western Sector and the 1971 Indo-Pak war in the Eastern Sector which led to the birth of Bangladesh.
Vaidya also wrote articles in popular newspaper and magazines in English, Hindi and Marathi. His memoirs was published by the National Film Archive of India while he had another book to his credit, titled Memorable Documentary on Revolutionary Freedom Fighter – Veer Savarkar.
The experience of directing a documentary film on an inspiring giant like Swatantryaveer Savarkar was perhaps the most satisfying in Vaidya’s career. This documentary film was released in 1983, the birth centenary year of Swatantryaveer Savarkar.
Vaidya is survived by his son, wife and two daughters.