Pumping up the spend and the scale, the National Film Archive of India (NFAI) has organised a multimedia exhibition ‘The Mahatma On Celluloid’ on the sidelines of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa. The exhibition is bigger than any of the previous editions organised by NFAI during IFFI in last several years.
The exhibition, which presents to the audience the life and ideology of Gandhi in an interesting and interactive manner, consists of over a dozen sections. While ‘Vows of Gandhi’ takes the visitors through various vows taken by the Father of the Nation during his life and their significance, a bioscope shows short films made on his life through the vintage device. At another kiosk — Voice of Mahatma — visitors can listen to audio clips of speeches given by Gandhi in his own voice. At another kiosk they can test their knowledge about Mahatma’s life through a quiz.
“The idea is to connect the present generation with the life and thoughts of Mahatma Gandhi. Through various informative kiosks such as the timeline of his life which marks important events in Gandhi’s life, we are trying to propagate the information using interesting and interactive media,” said Aarti Kharkhanis, a senior functionary of NFAI.
Apart from the kiosks, the exhibition is screening seven feature films made on the life and ideas of Gandhi, namely The Making of the Mahatma (1996, Shyam Benegal), Biyallish (1951, Hemen Gupta), Uttarayanam (1974, G Aravindan), Sardar (1994, Ketan Mehta), Gandhi, My Father (2007, Feroz Abbas Khan) and Gandhi (1982, Richard Attenborough).
The exhibition was inaugurated by Union Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting and Youth & Sports Affairs Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore on November 21.
Visitors are finding the exhibition interesting. Irina Novakova from the Czech Republic said, “I found the exhibition very interesting. I have read Gandhi’s autobiography and it echoes everywhere in this event.”
Ram Sahay, who heads the technical team at the festival, too found the exhibition engaging. “At every stage it arouses curiosity and tries to satisfy it. This will be especially useful for those who want to learn basics about Mahatma’s life.” Despite these efforts, the exhibition has attracted only a modest number of visitors. By Saturday evening only 330 people had visited the exhibition. “Perhaps the venue is a tad bit problematic. It’s hidden behind the Kala Academy auditorium and people fail to notice it easily. Last time it was in the main Kala Academy building so people could see it while queuing up for the films and would also pay a visit…,” said Mushtaq Ahmed, a film lover.