Amitabh Bachchan, Martin Scorsese Announce 7th Edition of Film Preservation and Restoration Workshop

Archivist Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, ace filmmaker Martin Scorsese and megastar Amitabh Bachchan on Friday announced the 2022 edition of Film Preservation and Restoration Workshop.

Organized by Dungarpur-led non-profit organization Film Heritage Foundation in partnership with Scorsese’s The Film Foundation (TFF) and the International Federation Of Film Archives (FIAF), the seventh edition of the workshop will be held from December 4 to 10 at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalay (CSMVS Museum) here.

Since its inception in 2015, the training program has traveled successfully to cities such as Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata and attracted endorsements from film luminaries like Shyam Benegal, Naseeruddin Shah, Kamal HaasanMani Ratnam, SS Rajamouli, Nagarjuna, Chiranjeevi, Prosenjit Chatterjee and Goutam Ghose.

Designed by David Walsh, training and outreach coordinator at FIAF, the workshop will include theory and practical group sessions about the preservation and restoration of celluloid and digital films and film-related material like paper, photographs, and 3D objects.

Besides, there will be daily screenings of restored classics from around the world at Regal Cinema, Mumbai, These include 2021’s Behula, a rare Indian silent film starring Patience Cooper, one of the earliest superstars of silent cinema in India. The line-up also features titles such as A Hard Day’s Night (1964), Raging Bull (1980), In The Mood For Love (2000), Il Conformista (1970) and Tham (1978).

Shivendra Singh Dungarpur said he is glad the workshop is returning after a gap of three years. “It’s been a monumental task to put the workshop together this year with very limited resources and climbing costs. But we knew we had to make up for the lost time and the lost momentum that we built up over six years traveling around the country and training over 300 people in India and the neighboring countries.

“The world stopped during the pandemic, but time didn’t stop for the countless films that continue to be in danger of being lost,” the archivist said in a statement. He added that the Film Preservation and Restoration Workshop has had a tremendous impact and are crucial for building up a pool of archivists to save the country’s film heritage.

Amitabh Bachchan, who has been a staunch supporter of FHF, said the training program has sparked a movement for film preservation not just in India but in the neighboring countries as well. “We would like to thank FIAF and Martin Scorsese and The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project for their unfailing support since our first workshop. Special thanks to our superb faculty from leading film archives and museums around the world who take the time to come to India and share their knowledge and expertise with our participants.

“Today, the Film Heritage Foundation is known around the world not just for this unique training initiative, but for our sterling work including the archiving and conservation of films and film-related memorabilia, film restoration, curation of festivals, our oral history program and our publications,” the 80-year-old actor said.

Bachchan further said he hopes the initiative will inspire the film fraternity and those who value the country’s film heritage to come forward and support Film Heritage Foundation.

Martin Scorsese said The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project has been a proud partner of the Film Heritage Foundation’s film preservation and restoration workshops in India since they began in 2015. Till date, the workshops have given over 300 participants the skills necessary to preserve and restore motion pictures, he added.

“It’s tremendously gratifying to see how instrumental this initiative has been in generating the strong interest in film preservation that we’re currently witnessing in India and its neighboring countries. Local archivists trained at the workshops are now working to safeguard cinema history at archives in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal. This year, applications will also be open to residents of Middle Eastern countries, and with faculty from the US, Italy, Portugal, France, the UK, Switzerland and Germany, this is a truly global effort,” Scorsese, 79, said.

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