National Film Heritage Mission giving fresh lease of life to heritage of Indian cinema: Anurag Thakur
Till now, the NFAI has completed digitisation of 1,293 features and 1,062 shorts and documentaries in 4K and 2K resolution, and an additional 2,500 features and shorts and documentaries are waiting to be digitised even as conservation works on 1,433 celluloid reels have been completed
The National Film Heritage Mission (NFHM) is giving a new lease of life to the heritage of Indian cinema, said information and broadcasting and youth affairs and sports minister Anurag Singh Thakur on Saturday. The minister visited the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) – National Film Archive of India (NFAI) and reviewed the progress made under NFHM, which is considered to be one of the world’s largest film restoration projects.
Till now, the NFAI has completed digitisation of 1,293 features and 1,062 shorts and documentaries in 4K and 2K resolution, and an additional 2,500 features and shorts and documentaries are waiting to be digitised even as conservation works on 1,433 celluloid reels have been completed. Lauding NFHM, Thakur said that many films that were previously inaccessible will now be made available to audiences worldwide in the best quality available while also ensuring the preservation of Indian cinema for the next 100 and more years.
A ministry of information and broadcasting release stated, “All these projects are colossal in nature in the field of film preservation and have never been attempted on this scale globally. In addition to the 1,293 features and 1,062 shorts and documentaries, 2,500 features and shorts and documentaries are waiting to be digitised while conservation works on 1,433 celluloid reels have been completed. This has been done painstakingly with the utmost care, in collaboration with an international agency, L’immagine Ritrovata, the world’s foremost expert in film conservation.”
Thakur took a tour of the newly set up film conservation laboratory at the NFDC-NFAI premises where conservation works on celluloid reels are currently underway. Hundreds of more films will be conserved in the coming months, and in quite a few cases, these reels might be the only surviving copies of certain rare Indian films. The NFDC-NFAI recently began the restoration project, as 21 films are undergoing digital restoration. In the next three years, numerous features, short films and documentaries, will be digitally restored.
Established in Pune in February 1964 with an aim to trace, acquire and preserve the heritage of national cinema and a representative collection of world cinema, NFAI is a member of the International Federation of Film Archives and was merged with the NFDC in March 2022. NFAI has also undertaken restoration of 10 prestigious films directed by auteur Satyajit Ray that were showcased at various international film festivals. ‘Pratidwandi’ has been selected by Cannes to premiere in the Cannes classics section of the 2022 edition. The restored version of G Aravindan’s 1978 Malayalam film ‘Thampi’ was showcased at restoration world premieres in Cannes by the Film Heritage Foundation. Extremely important shorts and documentaries from the collection of NFAI, Films Division etc. are also being restored.