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Mumbai’s Famous studio donates 162 rare films to NFAI including Bachhan debut

In one of the biggest film acquisitions in recent times, NFAI has added 162 films to its collection.

The entire collection came from Famous Cine Laboratory in Mumbai.

NFAI or the National Film Archive of India is aimed at preserving Indian film heritage.

“We thank them for depositing these films at NFAI,” said Prakash Magdum, Director of NFAI.

“This is one of the most important acquisitions at NFAI due to the fact that large number of films have come in original/dupe negative format. The film industry has reposed faith in depositing the material at NFAI. We appeal to filmmakers to come forward and emulate this example so that the cinematic heritage of our country can be preserved for future generations.”

NFAI said more than 125 of the new additions are negatives and not positives.

About 44 of these films are black-and-white films. The additions also include 15 unreleased films.

“Apart from large chunk of Hindi films of various eras, 34 Gujarati, 15 Marathi and 6 Bhojpuri films have been acquired by NFAI. The collection also includes Nepali films,” the organization said.

Among the highlights of this collection is the original negatives of “Mahatma”, about 6 hour documentary footage of Mahatma Gandhi by Vithalbhai Jhaveri. Jhaveri was a photographer, filmmaker, and an associate of Gandhi.

The collection also includes films which NFAI did not previously possess prints of, in any format.

These include the Hindi films Faslah (1976) and Amarsingh Rathod (1957); the Nepali film Maiti Ghar (1966) by B.S. Thapa starring Mala Sinha and featuring music by Jaidev; the Marathi film Aalay Toofan Daryala (1973) by Jaywant Pathare.

Other important films in the collection are original negatives of Sitara from 1939 by Ezra Mir; Mani Kaul’s Uski Roti of 1969, KA Abbas’ Saat Hindustani (1969), known for being Amitabh Bachchan’s acting debut.

The collection also includes Kon Ichikawa’s renowned film Tokyo Olympiad (1965), which documents the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

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