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Move over couture, classic goes to Cannes

Updated on: 04 May,2024 07:02 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Mohar Basu |

Film archivist Dungarpur breaks down how he restored Manthan over a year-and-a-half as Naseeruddin Shah and he take Shyam Benegal’s gem to Cannes Film Festival

Move over couture, classic goes to Cannes


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Move over couture, classic goes to Cannes

Powerful stories have a way of going beyond time and distance. Like Shyam Benegal’s Manthan (1976) that was made over 48 years ago, and is now headed to the Cannes Film Festival. Filmmaker-archivist Shivendra Singh Dungarpur is taking the restored print of the acclaimed movie, which depicted India’s White Revolution spearheaded by the late Dr Verghese Kurien, to the prestigious film gala that kicks off on May 14.


Dungarpur says the restoration took nearly one-and-a-half years and perfectly coincided with dairy giant Amul’s golden jubilee. “Shyam babu used to tell the story of how the farmers turned producers with the film, with everyone giving Rs 2 each. The movie stayed in my mind since the FTII [Film & Television Institute of India] days. When the opportunity arose, Amul was happy to support us. The negative was suffering from colour fading, and the audio was almost completely destroyed. There was green moss [on the negative]. There was a lot of tedious work of restoring the film. When Shyam babu saw the restored print, he said it looked better than what he had shot,” he recalls.

Manthan was fronted by acting stalwarts Naseeruddin Shah, the late Smita Patil, the late Girish Karnad, and Anant Nag. As the gem goes to the French Riviera, Dungarpur says he will attend the gala with Shah, Dr Kurien’s daughter Nirmala Kurien, and Benegal’s daughter Pia Benegal. “This will be Naseer saab’s first time at the festival. We will also be joined by Prateik Babbar, and Smita’s sisters.” 

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