The Indian Film Industry produces an average of 2000 films a year, having started in 1913 with Raja Harishchandra.
Since then, a slew of films have come and gone, each decade bringing with it some classics. Reliving the nostalgia and building awareness, the National Film Archives of India (NFAI) held an exhibition on the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage, displaying various items reminiscent of these films.
“One of the purposes of NFAI is to promote a healthy film culture and preserve history by showcasing to newer audiences.
Such an exhibition attracts youngsters who want to learn what was done in the past,” explained Mrs. Aarti Kharkhanis, in-charge of the documentation section at NFAI, who organised the exhibits.
Indian cinema, contrary to popular belief, is more than just Bollywood, and only 20% of films released every year in India come from Bollywood. Bearing testimony to this, the exhibition showcased posters of various film spanning a variety of eras and languages, including some Telugu classics like Siri Siri Muvva and the Tamil film, Karnan.
An original 6-sheet poster of Mughal-e-Azam, along with the hand-written script of ‘Gulacha Ganapati’ by P.L. Deshpande are two of the major attractions at the exhibition. Promotions of films before the rise of social media were done by displaying large posters at public places, and by distributing song booklets of the films to the press. Explaining the same, Mrs. Kharkhanis put on display a song booklet of Mother India, which completed 60 years of its release this week. Also on display were photographs from Ajrekar’s Marathi film and stills from Patankar’s 1920 film Seeta Ka Swayamwar.
“Luckily, most of these films are being converted to the digital format enabling the sale of their DVDs, CDs and Blu-Rays. So hopefully, they would be accessible to the future generations,” said Mrs. Kharakhanis.
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