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Amitabh Bachchan to launch Film Heritage Foundation’s book, written by India’s foremost film archivist PK Nair

MUMBAI: Film Heritage Foundation, the brainchild of filmmaker-archivist Shivendra Singh Dungarpur , is the only non-government film archive in the country and the only other Indian member of the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) besides the National Film Archive of India (NFAI).

The organisation will release its second publication Yesterday’s Films For Tomorrow – a compilation of the writings of legendary film archivist, the late P.K.Nair edited by Rajesh Devraj at the hands of its brand ambassador Amitabh Bachchan on April 6 in Mumbai. Naseeruddin Shah will read extracts from the book, and Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Govind Nihalani, Shyam Benegal and Anurag Kashyap will speak on the occasion.

Shivendra Singh Dungarpur has earlier made an award-winning documentary ‘Celluloid Man’ that pays tribute to India’s legendary archivist P.K.Nair while celebrating the history of Indian cinema and making a fervent plea for its preservation and restoration. The film won two National Awards and travelled to over fifty festivals around the world including Telluride, New York, Rotterdam, Hong Kong and Shanghai. This book seems a natural progression to bring to life writings of the man who made a difference in the lives of many of India’s successful film directors.

Enthuses Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, “Yesterday’s Films For Tomorrow is Film Heritage Foundation’s second publication. The earlier one From Darkness Into Light being the first book in India on film preservation and restoration. When Nairsaheb left his personal files, journals and diaries to our foundation, we realized this precious material would make a great book that would archive his words for posterity as well as being a rich source of information for film-lovers, academics, students and researchers. We felt there could be no more fitting tribute to a man who in his lifetime was a living, breathing museum of cinema.”

Avers Amitabh Bachchan, the brand ambassador of Film Heritage Foundation, “Yesterday’s Films For Tomorrow is a commendable initiative of Film Heritage Foundation. They are the custodians of the PK Nair archive and by publishing this book they have made this valuable material available to the public. I am very happy to have been invited to release this unique book on cinema written by a person who devoted his life selflessly to saving our film history.”

Adds Naseeruddin Shah who will read excerpts from the book at the launch, “a special book that begins from the magical experience of Nairsaheb watching his first film when he was eight; his incredible efforts in rescuing the early works of Phalke and his obsession for collecting and preserving films for posterity. I think it is wonderful that Film Heritage Foundation is keeping his memory alive by publishing this book as his contribution to Indian cinema is immense and should not be forgotten.”

Says Vidhu Vinod Chopra, “Whatever I have learnt in cinema, I learnt it from Mr. P.K. Nair. He was the best teacher I ever had. I helped in the production of this book as my debt to Mr Nair’s contribution, to my life and to the lives of many such filmmakers.”

Film Heritage Foundation is a not-for-profit organization based in Mumbai established in 2014. Recognizing the urgent need to preserve India’s cinematic heritage, the foundation is dedicated to supporting the conservation, preservation and restoration of the moving image and to develop interdisciplinary educational programs that will use film as an educational tool and create awareness about the language of cinema.
The board of advisors includes: Shyam Benegal, Gulzar, Jaya Bachchan, Late P.K. Nair, Kumar Shahani, Girish Kasaravalli, Gian Luca Farinelli, Krzyszt of Zanussi and Mark Cousins.

Film Heritage Foundation has a growing collection of films and non-filmic material, and is the custodian of the material of many eminent film personalities including PK Nair, JBH Wadia, A.R. Kardar, Kidar Sharma, Pran, Saeed Mirza, Kundan Shah,Onir, Govind Nihalani and Vishal Bhardwaj.