The UK-India Year of Culture was unveiled today by the British Council, the Indian High Commission and the U.K. government. The year will see cultural events, exhibitions and activities in both countries. The British Film Institute will present an India on Film program from April through December. Similarly, British cinema will be showcased in India.
Directed by SS Rajamouli and starring Telugu superstar Prabhas, “Baahubali: The Beginning” was a 2015 global sensation that highlighted the wealth of Indian cinema from beyond Hindi-language Bollywood.
The British Council and Aardman Animations are collaborating on “Saptan Stories” where seven British and Indian artists each illustrate a seven-part story that will be available on an interactive digital platform.
The BFI National Archive’s restoration of Franz Osten’s 1929 India/Germany/U.K. co-production “Shiraz” will premiere as the archive gala at the 61st London Film Festival in October, followed by a screening in India with the Taj Mahal as backdrop. Indo-British musician Anoushka Shankar will accompany both screenings with a new live score.
In August the Archive will also make available on the BFI Player a collection of 300 newly digitized films shot in India during the early 20th Century, including the oldest surviving footage of India on film from 1899. Arts Council England has invested more than $3.1 million (£2.5 million) in collaborations between artists in England and India.
Creative Scotland and Wales Art International will also have similar grants, while other initiatives flow from organizations including the British Museum, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, Mumbai, the National Museum, New Delhi, the British Library.