The Habitat Film Festival (HFF) in collaboration with the Khwaja Ahmad Abbas Memorial Trust presented a special exhibition of selected photographs and film posters of Khwaja Ahmad Abbas as part of the special presentation — KA Abbas: The City As A Metaphor, a curated package of films written/ directed by Abbas.
An Indian film director, novelist, screenwriter, and a journalist in the Urdu, Hindi and English languages, Abbas was the maker of important Hindi films that won widespread critical recognition and accolades. As a screenwriter, he is considered to be one of the pioneers of the Indian parallel or neo-realistic cinema. He also wrote the best of Raj Kapoor’s films — Awara (1951), Shree 420 (1955), Mera Naam Joker (1970), Bobby (1973) and Henna (1991).Advertisement
His column ‘Last Page’ holds the distinction of being one of the longest-running columns in the history of Indian journalism. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1969 by the Government of India.
The exhibition includes film posters and stills of Abbas’s films such as Naya Sansar (1941), which won the Bengal Film Journalists' Association Award for the best story and screenplay; Saat Hindustani (1969), which marks Amitabh Bachchan’s acting debut; the landmark children’s film Munna (1954), which was also India’s first songless film; Do Boond Pani (1971), which was a film on water scarcity in the deserts of Rajasthan; amongst many others.
The exhibition also features some rare photographs from the travels of Abbas. The photograph of his meeting with Yuri Gagarin, the first astronaut to journey into outer space in 1961, is displayed here. Abbas’s also published the book, Till We Reach the Stars: The Story of Yuri Gagarin, in the same year.
Capturing the international craze for Raj Kapoor’s landmark film Awara (1951) is the picture of a massive hoarding which was displayed over Moscow theatre where the film played to full houses. The presentation also showcases film stills from some of Abbas’s influential films.
The exhibition is on till 28 May at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi as part of the festival.