Banana Chips

Kanti Shah,whose films are “so bad they’re good”,wins the Platinum Kela at the Golden Kela Awards

Written by Prajakta Hebbar | Published: April 4, 2012 12:01:53 am

Kanti Shah,whose films are “so bad they’re good”,wins the Platinum Kela at the Golden Kela Awards

On the list of Bollywood classics,some films will never find mention — Duplicate Sholay,Shaadi Basanti ki Honeymoon Gabbar ka,and Meri Jung ka Elaan are among these. These “hits” come from the stable of director-producer Kanti Shah,the Badshah of B-Grade cinema. Shah’s commitment to creating films that are “so-bad-that-it’s-good” won him the “Platinum Kela” in Delhi on Sunday as a part of the Golden Kela Awards,India’s version of the Razzies.

Lust,revenge,and anger are the mainstay of Shah’s films,alongside disturbing traits of necrophilia and bestiality. He even roped in Bollywood A-lister Mithun Chakravarty and baddie Shakti Kapoor in his 1998 film Gunda,which has registered more than a hundred thousand hits on YouTube.

In a tight green crystal-studded T-shirt,flaunting an arm candy in the form of his wife and leading lady,Sapna,Shah looked his flamboyant best at the awards ceremony. But his manner was surprisingly quiet,even self-conscious and shy. Used to staying out of the public eye,the “almost 50-years-old” Shah said quietly,“I’m glad that people recognise my work. Award mila hai to accha hi lagega naa,” he said.

Born into a middle-class family in Gujarat,Shah started out in the film industry the difficult way. “I had to work for a living from a very young age,” he says,adding that he sold pillow covers on Mumbai roads between working on bit roles in films. “I learned a lot from different production houses. Soon,I decided to make my own film,” he says. His first film was Maar Dhaad with Mandakini in the lead.

Shah is nostalgic about the “good old days of the 1990s” when B-grade cinema was a flourishing industry. “My films are for the aam admi,who doesn’t have time for homilies or soul-stirring dramas. He works hard during the day,and wants entertainment that will make him forget about his life,his work and other concerns,” explains Shah,“I offer just that. Take any film of mine,it has music,drama,action. The viewer would go out entertained.”

As the shutterbugs take aim,Sapna says,“He never comes in front of the camera. Once,I Googled his pictures,and was shocked that there was no picture of him on the Net.” Yet,Shah has a full diary. His next production is a horror film. What will it be called?. “Horror,” comes the reply. Shah also plans to release his old films on DVD.

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