Pritam Roywrote on Sep 4 2011 3:45PM
Jagmohan Mundhra was born on 29 October 1948 in Nagpur to a conservative Marwari family. He studied engineering at IIT Mumbai and then moved to US to do his M.Sc. But after one semester, switched to marketing. He wrote his thesis on motion pictures and did a comparative study of marketing practices in Hollywood and Bollywood. This led him to visit the Hindi film industry in Mumbai. After finishing his PhD he taught for a year at California State University. HIs stay in US also brought him close to Hollywood. In 1979 he resigned from academics and decided to become a full time filmmaker.
In 1982 he started with social drama, Sanjeev Kumar and Shabana Azmi starrer "Suraag" and this was followed by the women-centric film "Kamla" with Shabana and Deepti Naval in lead roles. Later in 1980's and 90's, he made 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)
In 2000, Jagmohan Mundhra moved to issue-based movies and the first movie in the series was Nandita Das starrer and critically acclaimed "Bawander", which was based on real story of rape victim Bhanwari Devi in Rajasthan. This got him critical acclaim. According to him, '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'.
In 2007, he made Provoked starring Aishwarya Rai about the trials and tribulations of London-based Punjabi woman Kiranjit Ahluwalia, a victim of domestic violence. He later said, that Kamla, Bawander and Provoked are his trology of strong women centric films. In 2007, he also made "Shoot On Sight", about the West's perception of Muslims following 9/11. The movie was about the 'shoot on sight' order passed by London police after the July 7, 2005, London subway bombings.
He also made the thriller 'Apartment: Rent at Your Own Risk' which was a dud in 2010 and also dabbled with a comedy with Govinda in "Naughty @ 40" which released in 2011. It is said, that he was very keen to make a film on Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
He passed away on Sep 4, 2011 in Mumbai.