Memorabilia of Raj Kapoor films passed on to Film Heritage Foundation
As RK Studio makes way for residential project, Randhir gives Raj Kapoor's first camera, film posters and other memorabilia to Film Heritage Foundation
Five months after the iconic RK Studio was acquired by a realty giant for a luxury residential project, the magic of Raj Kapoor's cinema continues to reside in fans' memories. Now, in good news for film enthusiasts, the memorabilia of Raj Kapoor films — including posters, cameras used by the showman over the decades and other artefacts — have been passed on to Film Heritage Foundation for preservation.
Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, the founder of the Tardeo-based organisation and archivist, says he is grateful to be the safe keepers of these precious possessions, each telling a beautiful chapter of the showman's life and, by extension, of the evolution of Hindi cinema.
"Randhir Kapoor gave us most of the materials, including posters, photographs, lobby cards and Raj Kapoor's books. In fact, we also have the camera that Raj saab used to shoot his first film [Aag, 1948]. He used the same camera for several films thereon. These things have to be kept in a temperature- and humidity-controlled environment, and I am grateful that Randhir saab thought that the best place to preserve all of it is with us," says Dungarpur. A film aficionado, he rues the loss of cinematic gems in the 2017 blaze that reduced the 70-year-old Chembur studio to ashes.
"I made a documentary, The Immortals, in which I had shown Raj Kapoor's coat and shoes from the song, Mera Joota Hai Japani [Shree 420, 1955]. We would have loved to take care of these rare pieces, but unfortunately, the entire make-up and costume department got burnt. As for the manuscripts, letters and scripts, they are well-preserved by the family."
Come December, Dungarpur will host a restoration workshop in Hyderabad where the Kapoor memorabilia will be showcased. "Experts, including people from the Oscar academy and many other reputed institutes of the world, will join us at the annual workshop. The last edition was held in Kolkata. This time, we have tied up with celebrated stars Nagarjuna, SS Rajamouli and Chiranjeevi. Interestingly, this year, film enthusiasts from Afghanistan, who have preserved archival material of Hindi cinema, will also be joining us."
Shivendra Singh Dungarpur
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