The National Film Archive of India (NFAI) today claimed to have added 162 films to its collection, which it says is the "biggest" such acquisition in the recent times.
According to NFAI, more than 125 out of the total acquired films are original/dupe negatives of the films (as opposed to release positives).
"Almost 44 of these films are black-and-white films. Interestingly, the haul also includes 15 unreleased films. Apart from a large chunk of Hindi films of various eras, 34 Gujarati, 15 Marathi and 6 Bhojpuri films have been acquired by NFAI. The collection also includes Nepali films," it said in a release.
The "highlight" of this collection is the original negatives of "Mahatma", a six-hour documentary footage of Mahatma Gandhi by his associate and filmmaker Vithalbhai Jhaveri.
The collection also includes those films of which NFAI did not previously possess prints in any format.
"These include the Hindi films Faslah (1976) and Amarsingh Rathod (1957); the Nepali film Maiti Ghar (1966) by B.S. Thapa starring Mala Sinha and featuring music by Jaidev; the Marathi film 'Aalay Toofan Daryala' (1973) by Jaywant Pathare," said the release.
Other important films in the collection are original negatives of "Sitara" (1939) by Ezra Mir; Mani Kaul's "Uski Roti" (1969), KA Abbas' "Saat Hindustani" (1969), known as acting debut of Amitabh Bachchan; the Dilip Kumar-starrer "Kohinoor" (1960); "Kunwara Baap" (1974), "Prithviraj Chouhan" (1959), "Amber" (1952) starring Nargis and Raj Kapoor, Gujarati film "Jeevi Rabaran" (1980); Marathi film "Banya Bapu" (1977); and the Hindi film "Zindagi Aur Toofan" (1975).
The collection also includes Kon Ichikawa's renowned film "Tokyo Olympiad" (1965) which documents the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
NFAI Director Prakash Magdum said the entire collection of films has come from Famous Cine Laboratory in Mumbai.
"This is one of the most important acquisitions at NFAI due to the fact that a large number of films have come in original/dupe negative format," he said.
Magdum said the film industry has reposed faith in depositing the material at NFAI. "We appeal to filmmakers to come forward and emulate this example so that the cinematic heritage of our country can be preserved for future generations," he said.
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