As part of this initiative the Film Heritage Foundation will run a weeklong school Feb. 22-28, with international experts from Cineteca di Bologna, L’Immagine Ritrovata teaching how to preserve and restore films. The class will include the daily unspooling of a restored classic with a talk on how it was achieved. There is already a movement to restore classics in India.
Besides the Film Foundation, Cineteca di Bologna, L’Immagine Ritrovata and Intl. Federation of Film Archives have partnered on the course, which is certified by FIAF. Among the Film Heritage Foundation’s advisers are Indian filmmakers Shyam Benegal, Gulzar, Jaya Bachchan, P.K. Nair, Kumar Shahani and Girish Kasaravalli, Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Zanussi, critic Mark Cousins, and GianLuca Farinelli of the Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna.
So far students from India, Sri Lanka and Nepal have registered for the course.
Film Heritage is a non-profit org set up by Shivendra Singh Dungarpur to preserve India’s vast cinematic heritage.
“Most people are not aware that India has an endangered cinematic legacy,” Dungarpur said in a statement. “We have lost a colossal amount of our cinematic heritage, and we continue to lose more every day — even recent films dating from as late as the ’90s. We need to recognize that cinema is an integral part of our social and cultural heritage that must be preserved and restored like any other art form. The idea behind the Film Preservation & Restoration School India was to create awareness about the importance of film preservation and restoration and to take the first step in training future archivists and restorers to save our cinematic heritage.”
Viacom18’s topper Sudanshu Vats said: “Our objective for this partnership is to create awareness about the importance of preserving our glorious cinematic past, because if we don’t restore films, we will lose the opportunity to document the creativity of the golden age of Indian cinema.”