NO To New Nuclear Weapons... NO To New Nuclear Targets... NO To New Pretexts For Nuclear War... NO To Nuclear Testing...
NO To Star Wars... NO To Weapons In Space...
NO To All Types Of Weapons, War & War Culture...
We have only one WORLD yet! If we destroy it, where else will we go?
Mission of the Lightmillennium.Org
About the Lightmillennium.Org
Events of the Lightmillennium.Org
Supporters of the Light Millennium
The Light Millennium TV Programs
Archive of the Lightmillennium.Org
Participants of the Lightmillennium.Org
BoD, A.Board and Volunteer Rep. of the Lightmillennium.Org
Contact information of the Lightmillennium.Org
Hyder Bilgrami-showcasing the NRI art and artists

Hyder Bilgrami (right)

by Nivedita BANGOLORE

There are many Indian achievers in America but none brought soul food to Non Resident Indian’s art appetite like Mr. Hyder did, Hyder Bilgrami brought theater to the hearts and minds of American desis. He launched one of the first full-fledged Digital Studio at Edison .( In this studio you can record audio and also can create your video studio) – New Jersey, not that there aren’t any of these in USA, but this one opened avenues to the Indian art lovers in and around the city. A Film maker and director that he is, he has also founded a theater and art group called Manoranjan.

Bilgrami is not new to the theater, his home city Hyderabad gave him many opportunities to nurture his innate talents. He started acting in plays when he was graduating at Nijam College in Hyderabad, eventually in 1983-84 he started working with couple of well known directors of that time. Mr. Bhasker Shivalker was the Reader of Hyderabad Sarojni Naidu School of performing arts. Mr. Khader Ali Baig had found New Theater of Hyderabad –these were some of the well known theater enthusiasts who gave a break to Mr. Hyder in many of their plays.

"The Zoo Story" was his first full fledged play production with Moin Ali Baig, It was a play written by Edward Albee( an absurd play writer), which was staged at BITS festival "Oasis".

He also acted in a play called "Lehron ka Raj Hans" directed by Khader Ali Baig.

He acted in a few plays directed by scions of the theatre, "Tughlaq" written by Girish Karnad, "Anji" by Vijay Tendulkar.

Mr. Hyder directed his first play "Raja ka Baja ",which was taken to many theater festivals, and won accolades for him. "My interest was always in the theater; I went to Bombay and started working with Raj Tilak, who is B.R Chopra’s son-in-law. I had an opportunity to work with "Sahas ra Phun" a multilingual television serial, I worked in various areas of production and had the opportunity to work with one of the well known actor of Tamil serials "Vijay Adhiraj".

"I started as an actor and moved on to direction ,when I was in 12th std , I was bitten by the movie bug and used to go to the film studios to watch film shootings, but we were not allowed inside the studio, after a couple of months the security guard allowed me to enter the studio, this was called " Anna Poorna studio" , the very first movie I watched being shot there was of Nageshwara Rao’s movie"

Later Mr Hyder's family moved to Bombay, and lived in a place called Mira Road, very close to film star Govinda’s place. During his stay there he took the opportunity to find his way to the famous Prithvi Theaters.

"The Prithviraj Theater was very far from our residence, but still I would give my attendance at the studio every day. Those times any one or someone who was an artist or a writer used to be present at the studio; it was the hub of many creative souls who were struggling to make it big like Makhrand Deshpande (who has starred in "Makhdi" a children’s film), Anupam Kher, and Aloknath etc and I am sure they do even these days".

" I came to the USA few years back and I regret the time spent not doing anything here, I saw that many actors and actresses were struggling here, even musicians or writers, that is why I thought of a studio for the Indian art lovers, this is the first of it’s kind in New Jersey owned by Indians. I also got associated with California based South Asians Association for Arts(SAAFA) which is a non profit organization set up by Mr. Vivek Kumar to help the fraught NRI film industry" .

"I would like to set up a theater like "Prithvi Theater" in New Jersey

And organize film festivals, screening etc, this theater will have a seating of about 300 audiences" says Mr. Hyder

Hyder spoke about his future plans on staging a play which is a monologue and stars Tom Alter the white villain of the Hindi Cinema, this play is based on a story by Moulana Azad.

He also started a group called Manoranjan in 2003, for all the art lovers of the city, many people got involved in his project like Mr. Ram Lakhani, Mr. Das a music composer.

This group of three has worked together in a movie called Bhandak about the racial clashes after the 9/11.

"My group consists of 1000 member’s actors, actress and script writers. We are dedicated to organizing film festivals, panel discussions, and story reading. SAAFA is also planning for a digital film festival called "Manoranjan"

We also need more participation, I am trying to bring the Imminent Bollywood film makers to come here and make movies with the local talents"

So who will watch these small budget movies about Indian values? Can we compete with Bollywood?

"We should change the story line, enough of sarcasm, we need to really sketch the reality of being a first generation immigrant, the struggle and turmoil of a life that’s alien to our nature. There should be a message, the movies should talk about the sacrifice parents make to bring up the new generation of ABCD’S, I want to make cinema for the other unfortunate half of the not so affluent Indians, of course we can show reality in an interesting format" says Hyder.

Does NRI Cinema become as popular as Bolly wood films? Do lay people want to watch these low budget offbeat movies against the multimillion dollar extravaganza of Bollywood? What is the future of NRI cinema?

"Of course, world has gone small, Indians are going places, may be in the beginning NRI films may not do well. But hey, look at the success stories of Gurinder Chaddah , she struggled 15 years, Mira Nair , Shyamalan, they all have been working for many years before they made name and money, so be it… We cannot compete with Sharukh Khan’s movies but you cannot deny the fact that movies made with low budget and good stories have always found their way to main stream and success. If there is a good script people would want to watch the movie. We also need to do good marketing, many movies get in to wrong publicity because of the wrong approach and exposure. I am very positive that there will be a boom in South Asian movie scenario, the day will soon come when the NRI artists will make fame and money, I am very optimistic about that"

Mr. Hyder Bilgrami is venturing on his next project "Junoon" which is about the psyche of a Stalker. Watch out for it!

Fall - 2005
Issue# 16
Mission of the Lightmillennium.Org
About the Lightmillennium.Org
Events of the Lightmillennium.Org
Supporters of the Light Millennium
The Light Millennium TV Programs
Archive of the Lightmillennium.Org
Participants of the Lightmillennium.Org
BoD, A.Board and Volunteer Rep. of the Lightmillennium.Org
Contact information of the Lightmillennium.Org
YES For The Global Peace Movement, YES To Loving & Caring Each Other, YES To Greatness in Humanity, YES To Saving Our Unique Mother Earth,
YES ToGreat Dreams For Better Tomorrows, YES To Emerging Positive Global Energy, YES To National and Global Transparency, and
YES To Lighting Our Souls & Minds.
This e-magazine is under the umbrella of The Light Millennium -
A Charitable, Under 501 (c) (3) Status, Not-For-Profit
organization based in New York.
Introduced in August 1999, and founded by Bircan Unver on July 17, 2001
A Public Interest Multi-Media Global Platform.

©The Light Millennium e-magazine
created and designed by Bircan ÜNVER since August 1999.
#13th Issue, New Year-2004.
Publishing Date: December 2003, New York
URL: http://lightmillennium.org
For Light Millennium's New STATS
Activated since
November 21, 2003
This site is copyright © 1999-2000-2001-2002-2003-2004-2005 and trademarks ™ of their respective owners &
The Light Millennium - Lightmillennium.Org.
The contents of this site may not be reproduce in whole or part without the expressed or written permission of creators.
All material contained here in is protected under all applicable international copyright laws. All rights reserved.

Thank you very much to all for being part of ThIf you wish to receive The Light Millennium's media releases, announcements or about future events
or to be part of the Light Millennium,
please send us an e-mail to:

The Light Millennium - Lightmillennium.Org.