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Mehboob Studio

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Mehboob_productionsMehboob Studio is an Indian film studio and recording studio in Bandra (W), Mumbai, founded by director and producer Mehboob Khan in 1954 who ownedMehboob Productions and is most known for films like Mother India (1957), which won the Filmfare Awards for Best Film and Best Director and was a nominee for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.[1] It is spread over 20,000 square yards and includes five shooting stages. It soon become popular with directors like Guru Dutt, Chetan Anand and Dev Anand. In following decades it was used by Manmohan Desai extensively. A recording studio was added in the 1970s and both remain in use.[2][3]

The studio was used from November 2010 to January 2011 for the first-ever exhibition of sculptor Anish Kapoor in India; the other part was held at the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi.

History

Director Mehboob Khan, who started his directorial journey in 1935, had already established Mehboob Productions in 1942 and had made hits like Anmol Ghadi(1946) and Andaz (1949). He started looking land closer to central Mumbai compared with older studios like Filmistan and Bombay Talkies which were in far-flung,Goregoan and Malad. Eventually he settled for seaside Bandra, then a quiet and marshy area, long before the Reclamation that took place later. The plot close to historic Mount Mary’s Church was brought in 1951 from Jaffer Bhai, a local Bohra Muslim. A portion of land housed a school run by a Parsi woman and the rest had farmland for vegetables. The construction was completed in 1954.[6]

Mehboob had made Aan (1952) and was midst of shooting Dilip Kumar starrer, Amar (1954), when the studio opened its doors. Mehboob shot his next two films, Paisa hi Paisa and Awaaz, but it was not until he made Mother India here in 1957, that he tasted both critical and cinematic success again. Mother India went on to receive an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film nomination and won the Best Film and Best Director Best Film Awards at that year’s Filmfare Awards.[1] A decade after its inception, Mehboob was being preferred by stars and directors alike, as many stars live close by. When Mehboob Khan was not shooting his films, it was leased out to other producers and directors.[7][8]

Guru Dutt shot his iconic Kaagaz Ke Phool here,[9] and actor-director Dev Anand shot many of his movies under the Navketan Films banner here, starting with Hum Dono and followed by Guide; he even maintained an office at the studio complex for 20 years.[7]

Mehboob Khan could never recapture his mantle after the success of Mother India. His subsequent films flopped including his last one: Son of India (1962). When he died in 1964 at the age of 56, he left behind financial debts on his family.[10] Son of India was the last film produced under the Mehboob Productions banner.[11] The fortunes of the studio revived in the 1970s with the rights of Mother India reverted to the family and a recording studio was added. In the coming decades it survived the onslaught of real estate development and a fire which gutted stages 1 and 2 in December 2000.[7] As a part Mehboob Khan’s birth centenary celebrations, the Indian postal department released of a commemorative stamp of Mehmood Khan at a function held at the studios in September 2007.[12]

The studio saw its reinvention as an arts and cultural space when its stage no. 3 was used from for the first-ever exhibition of sculptor Anish Kapoor in India, November 2010–January 2011[13] and later became the venue for the Mahindra Blues Festival February 5 and 6, 2011[14] and February 11 and 12, 2012.[15]

 

 

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