British film editor Tariq Anwar, who was nominated for The King’s Speech at the Oscars this year, has a Mumbai connection.
His father Rafiq Anwar had acted in the 1946 Hindi movie Neecha Nagar starring Kamini Kaushal and Zohra Sehgal. The film was produced by Rafiq’s brother Rashid Anwar and was directed by Chetan Anand.
Neecha Nagar, which takes a look at the rich and poor divide, was the first Indian film to win the Best Film award at the inaugural edition of the Cannes International Film Festival in 1946.
“Considering my lineage, I am surprised no one has offered me work in a Hindi film yet,” said Tariq in a telephonic interview from
Eton where he now lives with his actress wife Shirley Hill. A few months ago, Pune-based filmmaker Kranti Kanade had approached Tariq for an English film titled Against Itself.
“Unfortunately, I couldn’t take it up due to prior commitments.”
Tariq’s parents met in London where his father was studying engineering.
His mother Edith Reich, an Austrian Jew, accompanied his father to India after marriage. Tariq and his sister were born in Delhi and lived in Lahore and Bombay. His parents split and his mother moved to London along with the children when Tariq was five years old.
Rafiq followed his family to London and acted in several British films including Lord Jim and The Long Duel.
As a college student, Tariq found work as a driver for a movie production company. He worked his way up and received the BAFTA award for Best Editing for his first TV serial Oppenheimer in the early 1980s.
Tariq has edited close to 40 films including The Madness of King George (1994), The Good Shepherd (2004), Revolutionary Road (2008) and Law Abiding Citizen (2009).
He was nominated as Best Film Editor at the Oscars for the 1999 film American Beauty. Considered to be one of the best film editors in the US and UK, his next assignment is a James Bond movie to be directed by Sam Mendes.
When he is not cutting films, Tariq likes watching cricket. He claims that he supports the country of his birth. “I cheer for India, even if India is playing against England,” he said. “It’s strange I should feel that way. Although I am half Austrian, I feel more Indian. It may be because of my colour.”