An epic journey of 100 years of Indian cinema culminated with a mix of real-life inspiring stories and reel-life fiction as award-winning ‘Celluloid Man’ and anthology film ‘Bombay Talkies’ hit the theatres.
Marathon documentary ‘Celluloid Man’, an ode to P K Nair (80), who almost single-handedly built one of the most envious film archives, tells the extraordinary story of the man and his struggle to save the cinematic heritage in India.
The 160-min film emphasises the lack of preservation culture in the field of cinema and lauds Nair’s efforts in saving some of the rarest treasures like V Shantaram’s ‘Duniya Na Mane’ (1936), silent film ‘Jamai Babu’, second oldest Malayalam film ‘Marthanda Varma’ (1933) among others.
While ‘Celluloid Man’ talks about the real Bombay Ta lkies of 1930s, the 2013 reel ‘Bombay Talkies’ weaves four narratives into a new age cinema marking the historic occasion.
The short stories directed by Anurag Kashyap, Dibakar Banerjee, Zoya Akhtar and Karan Johar, have an ensemble cast of Rani Mukerji, Randeep Hooda, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and features a cameo from megastar Amitabh Bachchan, Katrina Kaif, Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan and Priyanka Chopra.
The film filled with emotions, takes the audience on a rollercoaster ride of highs and lows of life while promising entertainment all along, will be screened at the Cannes Film Festival.
Nair, who founded the NFAI in the 60s, over his tenure had collected over 12,000 films, out of which 9000 were in Indian languages, the majority being black and white.
Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, who produced and directed this landmark documentary, said that over 1700 silent films were made in India of which only 9 have survived in the National Film Archives of India.
The first Indian cinema ‘Raja Harishchandra’, a silent film by Dadasaheb Phalke was released today 100 years ago at the Bombay’s Coronation Theatre.
While a few reels of ‘Harishchandra’ have survived at the Archives, country’s first talkie ‘Alam Ara’ produced in 1931 by Ardeshir Irani is unfortunately lost.
The day also celebrates the National Film Awards in the Capital, which will see movies like ‘Paan Singh Tomar’, ‘Vicky Donor’, ‘Chittagong’, Malayalam film ‘Ustad Hotel’ and ‘Dekh Indian Circus’ among others, being awarded.