November 9th, 2011
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NFAI to remember Balachander, Mani Kaul and Tagore at IFFI

charulathaPune: A retrospective on Dadasaheb Phalke awardee, K Balachander; a package on films by the late Mani Kaul and one adapted from Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s work will be presented by the National Film Archive of India (NFAI) at the International Film Festival of India. The festival is scheduled to be held in Goa from November 23 to December 3.

Films like ‘Aval Oru Thodar Kathai’, ‘Iru Kodukal’ and ‘Maro Charithra’ by Balachander, all being digitised by NFAI currently, will be screened. Balachander will be present at the inauguration of the special package of his films.Satyajit Ray-directed ‘Charulata,’ ‘Kshudito Pashan’ by Tapan Sinha, ‘Milan’ by Nitin Bose and ‘Streer Patra,’ directed by Purnendu Pattrea are part of the section on Tagore. “We have prepared a package to celebrate Tagore’s anniversary. ‘Milan and ‘Streer Patra’ are also undergoing digitisation. We will also screen a documentary on Tagore by Buddadeb Dasgupta,” said NFAI director Prashant Pathrabe.

Other films that are undergoing digitisation via NFAI, and will be screened at the festival are Mani Kaul’s ‘Idiot’ and ‘Mati Manas’, ‘Professor’ by Lekh Tandon and ‘Chomana Dudi’ by BV Karanth. “NFAI’s participation at IFFI every year is quite valuable and it helps us showcase classicsthat we have archived to the people attending such an important film festival,” Pathrabe said.

NFAI undertook the process of digitisation over two years ago. “So far, we’ve digitised and digitally restored around 700 films, including 270 this year. But, for the time being, we have put a hold on pristine restoration as it involves several lakhs of rupees per film chosen,” he added.

NFAI is also busy with the digitisation of some 500 films received from the Delhi-based Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, over a year ago. “This consignment includes valuable film and newsreels shot by the Films Division and various filmmakers on Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s visits all over India and abroad during his term as the prime minister. So far, 400 of these films have been digitised at a budget of Rs 10 to 12 per lakh. A selection from these will be shown by NFAI at the Mumbai International Film Festival for Documentaries that will be held in February 2012,” Pathrabe said.

Some months ago, NFAI received another consignment of 500 films from the museum. “We have yet to start work on this lot,” Pathrabe said. The New Delhi International Book Fair that will be held in the capital next February will have NFAI’s participation by way of a poster exhibition of films based on literary classics.”We are also exhibiting a catalogue of books prepared by NFAI on Indian cinema, including research-based publications,” Pathrabe said.


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