Director: Zafar Hai 15’/ 1993/ Hyderabadi, English
Hyderabad- A Place in the heart is an insider’s view of the old Nawabi culture of Hyderabad going back to the splendour of the twenties and thirties. The film attempts to evoke the essence of that culture through photographs of the period and unique shots of decaying yet unchanged interiors and customs that still retain the old Hyderabad flavour.
• Award at Golconda film festival in 1993
• Screened at Bombay film festival, Indian panaroma section
Zafar Hai is the Managing Partner of Haimark Films International. He has produced and directed numerous cinema and TV commercials, corporate films, documentaries and promotional films, which have been shot in various parts of the world, besides India.
He has also directed ‘The Perfect Murder’, a feature film in English, produced by Merchant- Ivory Productions, starring Naseeruddin Shah and Stellan Skarsgard, with Oscar award winning cameraman Walter Lassally as Director of Photography. Over the years his films have won National and Filmfare Awards, aside from international awards, such as the Prix-ITB Berlin for ‘Timeless India’, which featured the well – known actor Michael York as narrator.
In the recent past Zafar made a one hour film entitled ‘Keepers of the Flame’, on the lives of J.N. Tata and JRD Tata, the legends who built the Tata Group. The film was extensively shot in India and Europe, and had a London premiere at the Victoria and Albert Museum. It has also been broadcast on Indian television. It was followed by a film to commemorate the centenary of Tata Steel, an epic story that interlaces the history of the company with the great events of the time, and the narration of which has been spoken by Jeremy Irons, one of Britain’s finest actors. His most recent film for the Taj Hotels Group – “Jewels & Marble Palaces” – showcases the palace properties of the group, while evoking their original ambience as royal residences. This film has won the Das Goldene Stadttor 2007 award at the PRIX-ITB Berlin, a premier world travel trade show.
Other films include a documentary on Bombay City entitled ‘One City Two Worlds’, and a film commemorating a hundred years of the Taj Mahal Hotel, Mumbai. This film was selected for the Bangkok Film Festival and was awarded a special prize at the PRIX ITB Berlin, 2004. In the same year, a premiere of Zafar’s film, ‘Merchant Princes of Bombay’, was held at the National Centre for the Performing Arts, Mumbai. It was telecast on Discovery Channel.
In 1997, Zafar directed 4 out of a series of 8 films for a history of art television series covering India’s major heritage sites. The series was premiered in the U.S. at the Smithsonian in Washington, prior to being broadcast on Star TV and Discovery Channel. He has also made a one hour film entitled “A Brilliant Sun”, on the life and times of the late Aditya Birla, one of India’s greatest industrialists. Filmed in several parts of the world, ‘A Brilliant Sun’ is one of the biggest documentaries produced in India.
Zafar’s latest project is an international feature film based on Shrabani Basu’s book ‘Spy Princess’, to be shot in Europe and U.K.
Zafar did his B.A. in English Language and Literature from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi. He later went to University College, Oxford, where he read Philosophy, Politics and Economics. While at Oxford, he directed and acted in several theater productions.