FSIIPC • ARPS • AFIAP • Dip. MPP FTII
Distinguished photographer and cinematographer, imaginative filmmaker, inventive marketing professional, admired author and so on and on There are so many descriptions that can sum up the profile of Prem Sagar the recipient of the honorary fellowship of “IIPC INTERNATIONAL HONOURS” 2020 for valuable contributions in the field of photography on the occasion of the 37 th Founders Day of India International Photographic Council.
The man who befits the praises, adulation and a string of prestigious awards for his work behind the camera as a skilful cinematographer and director has one mantra for the success and acclaim he has garnered. Relentless pursuit of excellence and patience combined with undiluted love for the profession and work
Prem Sagar’s passion for photography blossomed from his love for painting at an early age. While he captured the sights that captivated him on canvas he sensed the potential of the camera as a powerful medium of visual communication especially in the motion picture medium.
He joined the Film and Television Institute of India in Pune, Maharashtra as a student of cinematography and completed the course with flying colours bagging a silver and gold medal besides appreciation from stalwart Satyajit Ray for his student film,Rose Bud.
After gaining substantial experience as a cinematographer of the successful films produced and directed by his father Ramanand Sagar, he directed his own production, Hum Tere Aashique Hain, starring Hema Malini, Jeetendra and Dr. Shreeram Lagoo. The
subject was inspired by Bernard Shaw’s romantic comedy, Pygmalion.
With the advent of television Prem Sagar seized the opportunity to produce and direct the super hit TV serial “Vikram aur Betaal”, a highly popular series embellished with special effects comparable to the best in the world at a time when the camera was the only equipment that was available to create amazing visual effects on the small screen.
Nationally and Internationally he rose to win recognition for the direction and camera work that piloted Vikram Vetal to the top slot on Doordarshan
Vikram aur Betaal became a fore runner for the legendary serial “Ramayan” made by his father Padmashri Dr. Ramanand Sagar.
Urged by his father to try his hand at marketing, Prem Sagar took up the task of responding to the huge interest of the Indian diaspora across the globe to view the highly popular serial. A novice then, he used uncommon marketing strategies and methods to market Ramayan to over 55 countries in 5 continents. The result was the phenomenal 650 million viewership (as per BBC records ) that Ramayan acquired in a record time.
The epoch making success of ‘Ramayan’ was such that, even after 33 years, its re-run recently on DD got a viewership that exceeded the viewership of the contemporary American fantasy series,Game of Thrones. Ramayan stood head and shoulders above Game of Thrones with a 77 million viewership against Game of Thrones viewership of 19 million.
The legendary success of Ramayan was followed by “Shri Krishna” which earned 135 crores for Doordarshan only as airtime revenue.
Shri Krishna won a bronze medal at Remini Film Festival, Italy for Prem Sagar as its producer
This year Prem Sagar authored a bestselling book on the inspirational life of his ‘Soul mate’ Father – An Epic Life – RAMANAND SAGAR from Barsaat to Ramayan which he dedicated to his two motivators – his mother and his wife. As per Amazon’s data, the book was shortlisted for Amazon’s prime reading program promoting authors to reach out to Amazon’s most eager customers.
Prem Sagar is proud father of Star designer daughter Shabnam Gupta who heads Orange Lane & Peacock Life,
Gold Medallist son Shiv Sagar who holds a degree in Hospitality from Les Roche, Switzerland and is currently managing “Tooth Mountain Farms & Hospitality”.
Father and son successfully Produced and Directed super hit TV shows “Mahima Shani Dev Ki” “Jai Jai Jai Bajrang Bali” “Basera” etc.
His third child, Ganga Kadakia is a chip off the old block. She is a Painter, Poet, and Photographer and the founder of the celebrated ART VILLAGE.
Prem Sagar’s life partner Neelam Sagar is a very respected Landscape Artist and Botanist.
One more distinction for Versatile and internationally recognised cinematographer and director Prem Sagar
Internationally lauded and recognised cinematographer Prem Sagar who has the distinction of being an Associate of The Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain as well as the Federation Internationale de l’ Art Photographique, Paris, will receive the honorary fellowship of the India International Photographic Council (IIPC) for his valuable work and contribution in the field of photography on December 26, the thirty-seventh Founders day of the IIPC.
The prestigious honour adds to the array of awards and recognitions Prem Sagar has received in India and abroad in a versatile career spanning four decades.
Prem Sagar graduated from Film and Television Institute of India in mid Sixties winning a Gold Medal with the Diploma of Motion Picture Photography for his academic and Diploma film ‘One Plus One’.
Starting his journey with acclaimed and successful films produced and directed by his father, legendary film and television mogul Ramanand Sagar, Prem Sagar moved on to the television medium and has been continuously making an indelible mark in different spheres
by Udaya Tara Nair
Former editor of Screen Indian Express publication