Expert restorer to discuss why film conservation in India needs full commitment

May 30, 2018, 07:22 IST | Dhara Vora Sabhnani

In April this year, Shivendra Singh Dungarpur made the Indian film industry sit up and take notice of his work with the Film Heritage Foundation when he got Hollywood biggie Christopher Nolan to Mumbai for a talk

Shivendra Singh Dungarpur
Shivendra Singh Dungarpur

"Would you go to a museum and want to see a photocopy of a Van Gogh or the original?" is a poignant question filmmaker, archivist and restorer Shivendra Singh Dungarpur asks us when we discuss the importance of film restoration with him.

In April this year, Dungarpur made the Indian film industry sit up and take notice of his work with the Film Heritage Foundation when he got Hollywood biggie Christopher Nolan to Mumbai for a talk on the future of cinema and preservation being the need of the hour. He will now conduct a talk, Saving India's Endangered Film Heritage: a Cultural Necessity, at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya next week. Dungarpur tells us that among the many factors that lead to the loss of Indian film heritage, it's our perception that movies are cheap entertainment, and not art. This is a concern.

"We need to recognise film as an art form and find a place for it in museums and art places. I will talk about the state of film preservation in India, why we have lost so many of our films and why we continue to do so. Look at all the world's famous art museums, MoMA, Louvre — they all have huge film collections, and film is an integral part of their art space. They don't differentiate like we do, it's as important as saving any painting for them. In India, we even struggle with modes of film projection at our museums for regular screenings. And why talk only about Bollywood? We also have documentaries, newsreels and regional cinema. All of it has to be looked at as a combined cultural identity," he shares. He adds that the talk will also cover the subject of digital film preservation.

"This is not a technical talk; it is meant for anybody who is interested in art. In order to truly bring about a change, we need to change the attitude of not just the makers of the film who spend huge amounts on making a movie, but also the viewers," Dungarpur signs off.

ON: June 4, 6 pm onwards
AT: CSMVS, Fort.
CALL: 22844484 (open to all)

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