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Home / Pune News / NFAI Pune acquires personal collection of cinema legend Ritwik Ghatak

NFAI Pune acquires personal collection of cinema legend Ritwik Ghatak

The collection includes 30 cans of film reels, photographs, 35mm colour positive slides, black and white negative film strips, posters, scripts, cameras, lenses, film rolls, CDs, DVDs, books, journals, research articles, write-ups, letters, notebooks and miscellaneous items

pune Updated: May 02, 2019, 14:36 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Pune
Abhijit Bhattacharya (left), documentation officer, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Kolkata and Prakash Magdum, director, NFAI, with collection.
Abhijit Bhattacharya (left), documentation officer, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Kolkata and Prakash Magdum, director, NFAI, with collection.(HT/PHOTO)

A large number of films, other audio-visual and personal items from Mahendra Kumar’s collection, who was a close associate of noted film director Ritwik Ghatak, has been acquired by the National Film Archive of India (NFAI).

The collection includes 30 cans of film reels, photographs, 35mm colour positive slides, black and white negative film strips, posters, scripts, cameras, lenses, film rolls, CDs, DVDs, books, journals, research articles, write-ups, letters, notebooks and miscellaneous items which belonged Ghatak, who was a student and also the director of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII). 

 “This collection is from the personal collection of Mahendra Kumar, a close associate and assistant cameraman of Ritwik Ghatak. The material was with Kolkata-based Centre for Studies in Social Sciences and will now will be with the NFAI for better preservation,” said Prakash Magdum, director, NFAI, who visited Centre for Studies in Social Sciences a fortnight ago.

“This is a substantial collection of an artiste who was closely associated with one of the stalwarts of Indian cinema, Ritwik Ghatak. Although we need to see the content of the cans, but they look good so far. The collection is huge and will take some time to be classified and then, preserved in temperature controlled conditions at NFAI. A preliminary study of the material suggests that there are at least 1,600 photographs, 2,300 colour positive slides, 350 stripes of negative films as well as 30 cans of film reels. The oldest photograph dates back to 1930s. There are some rare photographs of renowned dancer Uday Shankar and his dance troupe too,” said Magdum.

 NFAI has earlier restored six films of Ritwik Ghatak, including Ajantrik (1958), Bari Thekey Paliye (1959), Meghe Dhaka Tara (1960), Komal Gandhar (1961), Subarnarekha (1962), Jukti Takko Aar Gappo (1974). 

Rosinka Chaudhuri, director, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences and Abhijit Bhattacharya, documentation officer, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences as well as a US-based film scholar Anil Srivastava, helped in initiating the dialogue process for the acquisition.  

“The Centre for Studies in Social Sciences acquired a collection of the papers, photographs and films of Mahendra Kumar, renowned photographer, cinematographer and film editor (who collaborated most productively with Ritwik Ghatak) with the help of his friends and brother in 2017,” said Chaudhuri.  

NFAI plans to digitise the material and share a copy of these materials with the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences for its collection to help researchers and students in their work.

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