Updated: July 31, 2021 7:14:57 am
The National Film Archive of India (NFAI) has added more than 450 glass slides of Telugu films to its collection. The acquired collection includes 70 films, part of Telugu cinema of yesteryears, between the late 1930s and mid-1950s.
“Glass slides are exquisite records of Indian cinematic heritage and we are happy to preserve these in our archival collection. In the wake of fast-changing technology, having these glass slides in such huge numbers is a rare and significant discovery. I appeal to all film lovers to come forward and deposit film footage, photographs, posters, lobby cards and other such material so that it can be preserved,” said Prakash Magdum, director of NFAI.
Many important films like V V Rao’s trendsetting social drama about widow remarriage ‘Malli Pelli’ (1939), B N Reddi’s ‘Vande Mataram’ (1939), Raja Saheb of Mirzapur’s popular swashbuckling hit ‘Keelu Gurram’ (1949), N T Rama Rao starrer ‘Daasi’ (1952) and the critically-acclaimed adaptation of Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s classic Devdas Vedantam Raghavaiah’s ‘Devadasu’ (1953), are preserved among the glass slides in black and white. The slides were acquired from a private collector, said Magdum.
Used for publicity, the glass slide is a film positive between two thin glass squares. The film positives used to prepare the glass slide were miniatures of the film poster or publicity material for newspapers and magazines. “The essential use of the glass slides was for the sole purpose of publicity. These were used to announce forthcoming attractions before the commencement of a film or during intervals in theatres…,” said Magdum.
Currently, NFAI has over 2,000 such glass slides of Hindi, Gujarati and Telugu films in its collection.
On the significance of the collection, Arti Karkhanis, in-charge of documentation at NFAI, said, “These glass slides give a bird’s eye view of the publicity scenario in the Telugu industry in its formative years. It has great reference value for film researchers, and we will soon digitise them”.
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