The 4th edition of the Film Preservation and Restoration Workshop India was inaugurated on Thursday at the Kolkata International Film Festival.
The workshop, which is an initiative of the Film Heritage Foundation (FHF) and International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF), will be held at ICCR in Kolkata from November 15 to 22.
Founder and director of FHF, Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, said the workshop will train around 200 people who will learn techniques to preserve and restore films. “The entire process of film preservation and restoration will also create jobs. After holding similar workshops in Mumbai, Pune and Chennai, we have come here in Kolkata with the fourth edition of the workshop. We have identified about 100 hundred Bengali cinemas which will be restored,” said Dungarpur.
He also thanked the Mamata Banerjee government for supporting the workshop and making it a part of the film festival. On November 11, the recently restored version of Satyajit Ray’s Apu Trilogy was screened at KIFF. Before that, the FHF had restored Uday Shankar’s Kalpana (1948), which was also screened at the festival.
Veteran Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee, KIFF chairman Prosenjit Chatterjee, filmmakers Gautam Ghosh and Buddhadeb Dasgupta and others were present at the inauguration. State ministers Aroop Biswas and Indranil Sen were also present.
“I am really happy with such concerted efforts to restore great works of Bengali cinema. We are celebrating the centenary of Bengali cinema. So saving our work is of utmost importance,” said the KIFF chairman.
Bollywood Superstar Amitabh Bachchan is the brand ambassador of the initiative. During the inauguration, he shared a video message wishing the workshop a great success.
“West Bengal produced some of the greatest filmmakers of Indian cinema such as Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen, Ritwick Ghatak and so on. I thank the state government for supporting this initiative. Let us work together to save the films of this great heritage so the future generations would be able to see the works of these masters. Saving of our cinematic heritage needs to be taken at a war footing,” said Bachchan.
The participants in this workshop will receive training on preservation and restoration techniques for celluloid film and photographic materials such as posters, lobby cards, song booklets and photographs.