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Jagmohan Mundhra

(Indian filmmaker)

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Biography Jagmohan Mundhra
photo Jagmohan Mundhra
Jagmohan Mundhra (29 October 1948 - 4 September 2011) was an Indian filmmaker best known for his early career as an American exploitation film writer-director and his later career as maker of such issue-oriented movies as Bawandar and Provoked.

Mundhra was born at Nagpur, India, and grew up in a Marwari locality in Calcutta, in a conservative family where films were frowned upon. He nevertheless nurtured a secret ambition to become a filmmaker. His childhood as of other Indians of his generation, was a tough one, counting pennies for the tram that rode to the other, affluent side of the city, and withstanding his family's strict traditions.

Says Mundhra, 'The family was very conservative and my grand mother was very strict and we were allowed to see maybe a couple of films a year and that too of the Har Har Mahadev variety. As a child I never saw myself as a young Marwari boy but a lot beyond that. In those days, the word global citizen was not there, but inside I felt like one". He died on 4 September 2011 as a result of internal bleeding".

A key influence on Mundhra was his admission to the highly competitive and prestigious IIT Bombay. In his words, "I had studied in a Hindi medium school up to 9th grade and always admired people who spoke English fluently. IIT taught me a lot of humility. In my wing, there were students who were from different states, and as far as English went, this person from Bihar who couldn't speak English to save his life outshone everyone else with his brilliance. I did well, but realized very early on while in IIT that engineering was not for me. I would be very unhappy if I was to live my life being an engineer, but I stuck it out because I didn't want to let my parents down". He then started an MS abroad in electrical engineering, in Michigan, but after one semester, switched to marketing.

Mundhra wrote his marketing thesis on motion pictures. He did a comparative study of marketing practices in Hollywood and Bollywood. The study led him to visit the Bombay film industry and meet people. After finishing his PhD he taught for a year at California State University. His stay in California brought him closer to Hollywood. In 1979 he resigned and decided to become a full time filmmaker.

After his first dramas, Suraag, and the socially-relevant film, Kamla, Mundhra directed, in the late 1980s and the 1990s, a string of horror and erotic thriller movies for theatrical distribution and direct to video, including The Jigsaw Murders (1988), Halloween Night (1988), Night Eyes (1990), L.A. Goddess (1993), Sexual Malice (1994) and Tales of the Kama Sutra 2: Monsoon (1998).

Beginning with Bawandar (2000), which he directed under the name Jagmohan, Mundhra was back to issue-oriented films. Bawander is about the fight of a poor woman for justice and was based on the sad story of a woman in the state of Rajasthan, Bhanwari Devi. To Mundhra, "It's not a movie about rape, but the empowerment of a woman. This character could be fictitious and yet the story would have had the same powerful message".
He was doing a film based on life of Sonia Gandhi.

He was a life member of International Film And Television Club of Asian Academy Of Film & Television.

He died at Mumbai, India, on 4 September 2011, age 62.

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Jagmohan Mundhra, photo, biography
Jagmohan Mundhra, photo, biography Jagmohan Mundhra Indian filmmaker, photo, biography
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