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Films, part of cultural heritage, need to be preserved

Films, part of cultural heritage, need to be preservedFilms, part of cultural heritage, need to be preserved
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Instructional Media Centre (IMC) organised it as enrichment lecture under MANUU knowledge series. Dr Mohammad Aslam Parvaiz, Vice-Chancellor presided over.

Indian films are very much part of our national heritage and culture, which need to be preserved. National award winning film maker Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, who is also a film archivist and the founder of Film Heritage Foundation, expressed these views on March 21 at Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU), Hyderabad while delivering a lecture 'India's Film Heritage: Rich, Diverse, Endangered'.

Instructional Media Centre (IMC) organised it as enrichment lecture under MANUU knowledge series. Dr Mohammad Aslam Parvaiz, Vice-Chancellor presided over.

Dungarpur an ardent lover of Urdu language had assisted legendary film maker Gulzar during the making of films 'Lekin' and 'Libas' and Teleserial 'Ghalib'. He expressed dismay over the fact that films in India are still fighting, for acceptance as a form of art. In fact, films are an extension of art form, he remarked.

Do films need to be preserved? He asked the audience consisting of MANUU and other University students. Driving his argument with the help of power point effectively, he referred to Tagore and described the moving image as one of the greatest inventions of 20th century. However, in India we are yet to realise it and give cinema it's due importance. That's the reason films are completely absent from our Universities and Museums.

Dungarpur in his absorbing presentation referred to the data and said that due to this negligence, we have lost almost 99 per cent of silent era films and by 1950, 80 per cent of own film heritage was lost including the first talkie 'Alam Ara', filmed in 1930. He also narrated recent incidents to show that the reels of films as recent as 'Qayamat se Qayamat tak' and 'Machis' were not available to their producers.

Talking about the changing technology being used in films, he says that cinema is all about innovation. "However, being an archivist, I preferred celluloid over the digital format, since it can be preserved for a longer period of time."

He also spoke about the aims and objectives of his film heritage foundation, engaged in restoration of old and endangered films. Beauty of original creation has to be retained, he stressed. His foundation conducts restoration workshops and till date has trained 200 individuals. Dungarpur plans to create a world class film archive and research center. He also paid rich tributes to P K Nair the first archivist of Indian Cinema. The programme was concluded with the screening of his award-winning film on Nair 'Celluloid Man'.

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