After a hiatus of three years due to the pandemic, the seventh edition of the Film Preservation And Restoration Workshop India is back in Mumbai. Scheduled from December 4 to 10 at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, Mumbai, the workshop is organised by the Film Heritage Foundation (FHF) in partnership with Martin Scorsese’s The Film Foundation (TFF) and International Federation Of Film Archives (FIAF), in association with the World Cinema Project. Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, director, FHF, said that over the years, the workshop has played a crucial role in creating a pool of archivists to save film heritage.
This year, the seven-day workshop designed by David Walsh, training and outreach coordinator, FIAF, will include sessions on the best practices of the preservation and restoration of celluloid and digital films and will present an advanced curriculum for the very first time. Restored classic films will be screened at Regal cinema in Mumbai, including the rare 1921 Indian silent film Behula, produced by JF Madan, Martin Scorsese’s The Raging Bull (1980), Richard Lester’s A Hard Day’s Night (1964), Wong Kar-Wai’s In The Mood For Love (2000), Bernardo Bertolucci’s Il Conformista (1970) and FHF’s restoration of Aravindan Govindan’s Thamp (1978).
Previously, this workshop has been organised in cities such as Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata and film personalities like Shyam Benegal, Naseeruddin Shah, Kamal Haasan, Mani Ratnam, SS Rajamouli and Nagarjuna have supported it. Amitabh Bachchan, a supporter of FHF, said, “We hope this workshop will inspire our film fraternity and those who value our film heritage as an integral part of our history and culture to support the Film Heritage Foundation in its unswerving commitment to preserve the past, present and future of India’s film heritage.” Martin Scorsese, founder and chair of The Film Foundation, a partner of the workshop since it began in 2015, added, “To date, these workshops have given over 300 participants the skills necessary to preserve and restore motion pictures. Local archivists trained at the workshops are now working to safeguard cinema history at archives in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal. This year, applications were to also be open to residents of Middle Eastern countries, with faculty from the US, Italy, Portugal, France, UK, Switzerland and Germany. This is truly a global effort.”
‘This year’s workshop is dedicated to Gulzar’
Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, director, FHF, says, “This year, the programme will be dedicated to my guru, Gulzar
sahab, the legendary screenwriter, director and lyricist, who inspired me to become a filmmaker. I began my career as an AD (assistant director) to Gulzar
sahab in Lekin (1991). He forced me to get into the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII). ‘You will learn the technique that’s integral to filmmaking,’ were his words. I got myself enrolled into an advanced course at the institute and that helped me immensely in my career.”
Rare film of India’s 1st female superstar to be screened
Another highlight will be the screening of a rare Indian silent film Behula (1921), starring Patience Cooper. “Back then, men used to dress up as women on screen because women didn’t work in films. Patience, an Anglo-Indian actor from Kolkata, was India’s first female superstar. Behula is her only surviving film and it will be shown on the big screen for the first time in India,” says Shivendra.