BHUBANESWAR: Award-winning Indian filmmaker, producer, film archivist and Film Heritage Foundation director Shivendra Singh Dungarpur was in the city Monday for his felicitation by state archives for his work on film preservation and restoration of India’s cinematic heritage.
On the occasion, he delivered a lecture on ‘India’s Endangered Film Heritage: A Cultural Necessity’ at state archives premises. Dungarpur said that filmmaking in India is not treated as an art form. People mostly identify with Bollywood which is unfortunate because apart from the hindi film industry, we have 10 more regional industries that make great movies. Despite possessing a rich legacy, we have failed to preserve 90 percent of our film heritage.
He further stated that India is a country of epic tales that weave through every aspect of our life. Our cinema has been one of the most effective tools of bringing these stories to form our nation’s collective consciousness across regions and languages. However, we have lost most of our old films including the first talking movie Alam Ara. Around 1,700 silent films were made before contemporary films emerged in Indian cinema. Unfortunately, only five to six such silent films are preserved and restored. In such a scenario, preserving and restoring Indian films should be taken up on war footing, he said.
He also said that every state must have its own film archives centre to preserve their regional films. At present, National Film Archive of India is responsible for preserving our movie heritage.