Filmmaker Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, known for his efforts to promote film preservation and restoration in India, now has the support of two eminent Bollywood personalities to help him in his endeavour.
The first is eminent theatre and movie personality Naseeruddin Shah, who on Friday inaugurated the second edition of the Film Preservation & Restoration Workshop at Pune's National Film Archive of India (NFAI).
The Film Heritage Foundation, set up by Dungarpur in 2014, in association with Viacom18 has started the workshop with an aim to save and uphold the legacy of India's cinematic heritage.
"It is a matter of great pride for me to be here. On behalf of the entire film fraternity, I would like to thank Shivendra for this initiative," said Shah. "I am very proud that there are 50 films of mine in the archive list here. I can't thank PK Nair Saab enough because he has inspired a generation of youngsters to follow him in his footsteps," Shah said.
Amitabh Bachchan, who could not be present for the event, is the brand ambassador of the Film Heritage Foundation. In an emailed press release, he said: "I believe that it is the cause that must be supported and endorsed by all of us in the film industry. We are the creators of our work, but we must also respect what we create and ensure that it is saved for prosperity. I wish Film Heritage Foundation and the NFAI All the best for this excellent initiative."
The workshop will take place from February 26 to March 6 and will involve lectures, presentations and practical classes that will be conducted by leading international experts in the field, for cinema enthusiasts who want to learn in-depth knowledge of the subject.
Dungarpur, who has been spearheading the cause of film preservation and restoration in India, told HuffPost India: "In India, what passes for film restoration is mainly digitisation and a basic clean-up. Look at the difference between what we do and what is done by The Criterion Collection [who restored Satyajit Ray's Apu trilogy last year]. We need to ensure that it is something that is done with passion and is more about the art than about money."
Apart from technical workshops on the craft of preservation and lectures, there will also be a daily screening of a restored classic preceded by an introductory talk on the restoration. "One of the key highlights of this year is our focus on non-filmic archives which refers to things like movie posters and other collectibles," said Dungarpur. "We will have two people from the George Eastman Museum give a talk about how to preserve these items. India has the highest number of film collectors in the world, from every region of the country. This will, hopefully, be of great benefit for them."
Thelma Ross from the Museum of Modern Art, New York, will also be conducting sessions in the specialised field of documentation and cataloguing.
(With inputs from PTI)
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