Mr. N. N. Sippy

(1931-2006)
The Man

Legends have a unique approach to life be it in any field and film production is no different. “A producer should be well acquainted with all the parameters of film making, otherwise this is no place for you” is what this legendary film producer Mr. N. N. Sippy had once said and considered it his motto. He survived various eras of film making while actively being a part of the ever changing film industry. Mr. N. N. Sippy’s father was a well known distributor in the pre-partition Sindh province. His initial experience in the job market was his involvement in his family business for a short period. Post partition, in 1947, Mr. N.N. Sippy moved to Mumbai where he completed his formal college education while gaining a foot hold in the film industry. He believed that the disciplined environment of formal education provided by an institution like a college induces a huge amount of self confidence in an individual. The same worked for him and largely helped him in healing the scars of partition. He began his film career in various capacities in all departments such as film production, film finance and film distribution. He worked in these areas of film making for almost ten years, before he finally took the plunge as a film producer in the year 1959. His debut production venture was “Kaatil”, directed by Mr. Mohammed Hussain. The star cast included Premnath and Chitra who was a heart throb of that generation. The freshness of his debut venture reflected in the storyline of this fantasy drama movie. His film making philosophies were based on the foundations of his debut production. He was a firm believer that a director should be given a free hand in his creative expression, once the producer is informed about the content and concept of the movie. Through the decades, Mr. Sippy continued to consider each new venture a learning platform to the various aspects of film making. “Rooplekha” again brought together Mr. Sippy, the producer and Mr. Mohammed Hussain, the director. This was also a fantasy film. The male lead was played by Mahipal. The film was a huge success but this did not stop Mr. Sippy from realizing that a filmmaker should never limit and stagnate himself to a particular genre. He was one of the pioneers who believed that a good script is the backbone of any movie, a concept widely accepted by the film industry today. He believed that each film has a different tale to tell. Maybe these unique and pioneering perspectives to the art of filmmaking, which today can be called his philosophies, contributed to the huge commercial and critical acclaim that most of creations earned. The veteran was awarded the prestigious ‘Dada Saheb Phalke Award’ and a trophy by the IMPPA for his participation and contribution to the Indian Film Industry. He honored The Indian Motion Picture Distributors Association with his presidency for a continuous period of 20 years.