The work of preserving the glorious past of cinema continues…

The essence of cinema lies not just in its contemporary allure but also in the preservation and celebration of its glorious past. The International Film Festival of India (IFFI) 2023 unveiled recently a spectacular showcase: the Restored Classics Section, a result of the meticulous efforts of the National Film Development Corporation and the National Film Archive of India under the National Film Heritage Mission. This section featured seven world premieres of impeccably restored Indian classics, breathing new life into damaged celluloid reels and bringing back their grandeur.

Among these exquisite treasures was ‘Bidyapati’ (1937) directed by Debaki Bose, a Bengali masterpiece that has been meticulously rejuvenated. ‘Shyamchi Aai’ (1953) by PK Atre, a drama biopic, stands as a poignant reminder of Marathi cinema's rich legacy.

Read in Hindi: सिनेमा के गौरवशाली अतीत को संजोने का काम है जारी

The restoration process rekindled the emotional resonance of timeless narratives, ensuring their longevity for future generations to cherish. ‘Pathala Bhairavi’ (1951) directed by KV Reddy, a Telugu classical drama, made a striking comeback, showcasing the grandeur and storytelling prowess that defined an era of Indian cinema.

The Restored Classics Section at IFFI 2023 also boast ‘Chorus’ (1974), a satire, by Mrinal Sen and ‘Bees Saal Baad’ (1962), a mystery adaption, by Biren Nag, both contributing significantly to the cultural and artistic heritage of Bengali and Hindi cinema, respectively.

The inclusion of ‘Guide’ (1965), an epic drama by Vijay Anand and ‘Haqeeqat’ (1964), a war drama by Chetan Anand, both Hindi classics, is a celebration of the cinematic genius that has left an indelible mark on Indian audiences.

In addition to these Indian gems, there were three international restorations too. The Extended Director’s Cut of ‘The Exorcist’ from Venice promised a renewed cinematic experience, while Sergei Parajanov’s ‘Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors’ and György Fehér’s ‘Twilight’ offered a glimpse into the international realm of restored cinematic treasures.