Madge the Filmmaker

Most of us know Meherji K. Madan as a leading referee (he famously manned a couple of the matches at the 2009 Princeton v. Trinity men’s dual match in the finals of the national intercollegiates, a part of Run to the Roar). But the Washington squash gadfly, former president of the National Capital SRA and a former manager at PriceWaterhouseCoopers and World Bank is also a filmmaker. 

Posted on Vimeo is a rare and illuminating (and bouncy—what a soundtrack) look at the 1986 Rolex National Softball Championships. Played in Washington at the Capitol Hill Squash & Nautlius Club, the nationals now look tremendously antiquated: the tiny racquets and shorts, the floors sometimes painted white, the hairdos, and even the club (which no longer has squash courts). And some of the people interviewed—Darwin Kingsley, Mehmood Nathani, John Lindquist—do look a little younger a quarter century ago. But Madge’s twelve-minute film does capture the scene at a tournament and has some great quotes, especially from one player’s girlfriend. The late great ambassador, Bill FitzGerald, funded the film and Madge screened it at the Sunday luncheon—talk about turnaround.

Madge was also a co-producer of On Wings of Fire. The 2001 epic, On Wings of Fire starred conductor Zubin Mehta in his acting debut as he searched for the history and meaning of Zoroastrianism, the world’s oldest living faith. It was a lavish, incredibly well-shot and often intense film that covers thirty-five hundred years. It was shot mostly in India. Derek Jacobi narrated. Madge, by the way, not only produced it but was the music consultant and composed the film’s theme song.