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Shashi Kapoor’s Shakespeare Wallah undergoes 2K digital restoration; will be re-released in USA

The Merchant Ivory production will have a limited release in New York City on 10 November.

Sonal Pandya

The 1965 family drama Shakespeare Wallah, starring Shashi Kapoor and Felicity Kendal, has been fully restored by the Cohen Media Group and is the first of the media group’s re-release of Merchant Ivory Productions’ remastered library of 30 films.

Writer-director James Ivory worked with Cohen Media Group as creative director on the restoration of the films and their re-release. Cohen acquired the library of 21 feature films and nine shorts and documentaries and plans to release them as well.

The film was restored from 35MM composite fine grain master held at the archive of the George Eastman Museum, while the scan and 2K digital restoration was completed in collaboration with the British Film Institute’s Unlocking Film Heritage programme.

Shakespeare Wallah, with music composed by Satyajit Ray, was based on the Shakespeareana Company travelling theatre managed by Geoffrey Kendal. Set in post-colonial India, the story follows the daughter of Tony Buckingham (Geoffrey), Lizzie (Felicity) who falls for a dashing Sanju (Kapoor), who is also wooing film star Manjula (Madhur Jaffrey).

In real-life, Kapoor was married to Geofrrey's eldest daughter Jennifer.

Shakespeare Wallah will have a limited release in New York City on 10 November at the Quad Cinema, and will be released on 15 December in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles at the Laemmle Ahrya Fine Arts theatre.  

A gorgeous new poster of the film has also been commissioned along with the restoration and re-release. After the theatrical run in 2017, a Blu-ray release of the film is due in 2018.