Hope Nolan’s India Trip Promotes ‘Film Preservation’: Dungarpur

Nolan will be present for the screenings of two of his recent films - Oscar-nomianted Dunkirk and Interstellar.

2 min read
Christopher Nolan.

Filmmaker-archivist Shivendra Singh Dungarpur will host renowned filmmaker Christopher Nolan for three days and he hopes the director's trip to India will draw attention to the cause of film preservation and restoration.

Nolan, known for modern classics such as Memento, The Prestige, Inception and the Dark Knight series, may be one of the most innovative and visionary filmmakers of the current generation but he has his feet firmly planted in tradition, being one of the last directors to shoot on photochemical film when rest of the world has gone digital.

He has often spoken about restoring old film reels and, in fact, is slated to present the 70mm print of Stanley Kubrick's masterpiece "2001: A Space Odyssey" at the Cannes Film Festival to mark the movie's 50th anniversary.

Dungarpur has been at the forefront of restoration efforts in Indian cinema and even made a film, The Celluloid Man, on Indian archivist PK Nair but the filmmaker feels the film industry here is still apathetic towards its heritage.

"We have got support for a cause which we have been fighting alone. It is fantastic. There was hardly any support from the film industry and people in India. And suddenly you get support from two internationally world-renowned artistes (Nolan and celebrated visual artist Tacita Dean).

“We want that they (industry people) should be awakened. They should realise that people from across the world are realising things and supporting us, so why not support here,” Dungarpur told PTI in an interview.

Founder of Film Heritage Foundation (FHF), Dungarpur says, film preservation is in a "horrible state" in India.

"It is not sad but shocking. People are not interested in preserving their heritage because they do not care. In India, do people preserve anything? It is a horrible state we are living in. The support has come from abroad for this and people here do not have time to hear and today everybody is calling me because this is happening here (Nolan's trip)," Dungarpur says.

Without taking names, Dungarpur says he reached out to almost the entire industry, including Bollywood and people from southern cinema, but never found any help.

"They just say what you are doing is great, we are proud of you. Instead of saying I will help you, I have been told others should come and help you.

"Everybody knows about our foundation, we have done three workshops. We have been voicing for this since three years. We are looking after the heritage of the film industry and we do not get funding to safeguard their heritage," he adds.

A roundtable discussion is also planned with prominent personalities of the Indian film industry to be attended by Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Kamal Haasan, Shyam Benegal and others.

Nolan will be present for the screenings of two of his recent films - Oscar-nomianted Dunkirk and Interstellar.

In 2015, Dungarpur had signed the petition Save Film and had requested Dean to visit India.

Dean contacted him last year and informed him that Nolan and she had decided to do the next edition of 'Reframing the Future of Film' in India.

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