After Cannes 2024 premiere, Shyam Benegal’s Manthan set for theatrical re-release in India | Bollywood - Hindustan Times

After Cannes 2024 premiere, Shyam Benegal’s Manthan set for theatrical re-release in India

By | Written by Sugandha Rawal
May 24, 2024 12:45 PM IST

Restored version of Manthan, starring late Smita Patil and Naseeruddin Shah, that was recently screened at Cannes 2024, will be re-released in theatres in June.

The restored version of Shyam Benegal’s landmark film Manthan, starring late actor Smita Patil, made a glorious return to the spotlight with its screening at the Cannes film festival, and the landmark film is set to be back on the silver screen. The 1976 classic will re-release in theatres in June. (Also read: Cannes Film Festival screens Shyam Benegal's restored version of Manthan to five-minute standing ovation)

Manthan, starring late Smita Patil and Naseeruddin Shah, got a standing ovation at the Cannes film festival.
Manthan, starring late Smita Patil and Naseeruddin Shah, got a standing ovation at the Cannes film festival.

Heading to the big screen

After getting positive response at the film festival, Film Heritage Foundation and the Gujarat Co-Operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd. have collaborated with PVR-INOX Ltd. and Cinépolis India to release the restored classic in 50 cities and 100 cinemas across India on June 1 and June 2.

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The restored version will be releasing in Ahmedabad, Ambala, Amritsar, Anand, Bengaluru, Bhatinda, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Chennai, Comibatore, Dehradun and Delhi.

Other cities included are: Dharwad, Gandhinagar, Gurugram, Guwahati, Gwalior, Hubli, Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur, Jalandhar, Jamnagar, Jamshedpur, Kochi, Kolkata, Kota, Kozhikode, Lucknow, Ludhiana, Mangalore, Mohali, Mumbai and Noida among others.

The restored version of the 1976 movie, inspired by the groundbreaking milk cooperative movement by Dr Verghese Kurien that transformed India into one of the largest milk producers in the world, was showcased under the Cannes Classics segment last week.

Naseeruddin Shah along with wife Ratna Pathak Shah, late co-star Smita Patil's son Prateik Babbar, Dr Kurien's daughter Nirmala Kurien, and Amul MD Jayen Mehta attended the screening. Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, founder of Film Heritage Foundation, the not-for-profit organisation behind the restored print, also attended the film's screening.

Manthan team ecstatic

The film’s director Shyam Benegal shares that he was very pleased to hear about the fantastic response to the restoration version at the Cannes Film Festival.

“But I am even more delighted that the restored film will be released in cinemas across the country. Manthan will be the first restoration of one of my films that will have a theatrical release. When ‘Manthan’ released in 1976, it was a great success as the farmers themselves came to see the film in droves, travelling in bullock carts from small towns and villages. I hope that 48 years later when the restored film comes back to the big screen this June, people across India will come to the cinema to watch the film,” Shyam said in a statement.

To this, Naseeruddin adds, “Watching the restored Manthan at its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival was a very emotional experience for me. I was overwhelmed by memories from almost fifty years ago when cinema was a vehicle of change and moved to tears by the standing ovation at the end, which was not just for myself but for the film which has more than stood the test of time and also for the beauty of the restoration. I am delighted that the film is to be released in cinemas across India and I hope that people will not lose the opportunity to watch a beautiful restoration of a historic film on the big screen. I will be going to the theatre myself to watch the film again”.

According to Dungarpur, it was imperative that the restored film be shown back on the big screen to reach the widest audience possible. “I am so pleased that audiences across the country in cities ranging from the big metros like Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai to smaller cities like Dharwad, Kakinada, Nadiad, Bhatinda, Panipat and Kozhikode will have the opportunity to watch the beautifully restored film,” he added.

About Manthan

The film is a fictionalised version of the beginnings of the extraordinary dairy cooperative movement that transformed India from a milk-deficient nation to the world’s largest milk producer inspired by Dr. Verghese Kurien.

The film is co-written by Shyam and celebrated playwright Vijay Tendulkar. The Gujarat-set Manthan was the first crowd-funded Indian film which was entirely crowdfunded by 500,000 farmers who donated 2 each. The film won two National Film Awards in 1977. It was also India’s official entry to the 1976 Academy Awards in the best foreign language film category.

It also features Girish Karnad, Dr. Mohan Agashe, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Anant Nag and Abha Dhulia.

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