Anna Deshpande, his son donate films from their collection
Pune: In a recent addition to its collection, the National Film Archive of India (NFAI) has acquired 71 film prints in the 16-mm format. A major highlight of this acquisition is that 50 of the 71 titles are new additions to the NFAI collection. There are 66 colour films and five films from the black and white era.
Anna Deshpande of Satara, who has been a 16-mm film distributor for 50 plus years, and his son Dinesh have given this collection in their possession to the NFAI so that an important part of the history of Indian cinema can be preserved for the future generations.
The acquisition includes 42 landmark black-and-white Marathi films, consisting of ‘Warnecha Waagh’ (1970), a film based on the novel by the same name by the renowned author Annabhau Sathe, ‘Sant Gora Kumbhar’ (1967) directed by Raja Thakur and written by GD Madgulkar and ‘Kela Ishara Jaata Jaata’ (1965) directed by Anant Mane.
The films in colour also include some key Marathi films by renowned filmmakers such as Dinkar Patil and Bhalji Pendharkar. V Shantaram’s ‘Pinjara’ (1972) and ‘Chandanachi Choli, Ang Ang Jaali’ (1975) and other blockbusters like ‘Aaytya Bilawar Naagoba’ (1979), ‘Sulawarchi Poli’ (1980), ’Ganimi Kawa’ (1981), starring Dada Kondke, ‘Navri Mile Navryala’ (1984), ‘Gulchhadi’ (1984), ‘Chambu Gabale’ (1989), ‘De Dhadak Bedhadak’ (1990), and ‘Pratikaar’ (1991).
The acquisition also includes 29 Hindi films in this collection with titles like Amitabh Bachchan hits like ‘Suhaag’ (1979), ‘Andha Kanoon’ (1983) and ‘Nastik’ (1983), classic romance drama ‘Ek Duje Ke Liye’ (1981), Raj Kapoor’s ‘Prem Rog’ (1982), acclaimed ventures ‘Ghayal’ (1990), ‘Bol Radha Bol’ (1992), ‘Virasat’ (1997) and cult comedy ‘Andaz Apna Apna’ (1994).
Prakash Magdum, Director, NFAI, said “This collection is important not only because of the titles in it but also because of the historical value of 16-mm prints. In the times, when film theatres were a luxury enjoyed by urbanites, a parallel distribution system existed in rural areas through
16-mm prints. The distributors travelled to every small village and town, carrying the 16-mm projectors and film prints and showed films all night long on a white curtain. The 16-mm film prints were also the favourite of ‘touring talkies’, where the films would be shown in tents. Thus, 16-mm film prints have a very important role in making cinema reach far and wide.”