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NFAI adds films of Sumitra Bhave and Sunil Sukthankar to its collection

These include features, shorts, documentaries and rare unseen footage directed by the filmmakers.

Photo: PIB Mumbai

Our Correspondent

The National Film Archive of India (NFAI) has added the works of the acclaimed filmmaker duo Sumitra Bhave and Sunil Sukhthankar to their collection. Sukthankar handed over prints of the features and shorts to archive director Prakash Magdum.

Sumitra Bhave (1943–2021): Filmmaker who continued her social work through cinema

In a statement, Sukthankar said, “NFAI has been part of our filmmaking journey and I am glad that these films will now be preserved at its facility. I hope the material is digitized so that it is accessible to the new generation.”

The films given to the archive includes 35mm prints of the Marathi features Dahavi Fa (2002), Badha (2006), Ha Bharat Maza (2012) and the short film Zid (2004). The filmmaker also gave 16mm prints of the feature film Zindagi Zindabad (1997) and the short films Bai (1985), Paani (1987) and Laha (1994).

A 16mm print of Kishan Ka Udan Khatola made by veteran filmmaker and film society activist Vijaya Mulay has also been added to the archive.

Speaking about the major acquisition, Magdum stated, “I had discussed this with Bhave last year, but unfortunately, she passed away. Their filmography, covering many important subjects of society, is valuable social documentation of the era. I am sure that this will be a valuable source of learning for students, researchers and budding filmmakers.”

The archive director also appealed to filmmakers and production houses to come forward and share their celluloid films with them.

According to the press release by the ministry of information and broadcasting, the collection mostly comprises cassettes of films in different magnetic media formats like DigiBeta, Betacam, U-matic, Digital Linear Tape, DV, MiniDV and VHS.

The titles include six versions of the short Karta, a film based on the renowned industrialist Shantanurao Kirloskar; the feature films Devrai (2004), Ek Cup Chya (2009) and Mor Dekhne Jungle Mein (2010); the short films Mukti (1990), Chakori (1992), Bewaqt Barish (2007), Mamta Ki Chhaon Mein,  Ekalavya, Samvad and Sarashi; documentaries Parting With Pride, Gautam Chya Aaichi Shala and Pilgrims Of light; episodes of the TV shows Katha Sarita (2011), Akherachi Ratra and Bhais Barabar.

It also includes a series of short films on language education Natigoti, How Shall I Address You and Adgula Madgula.  

In 2014 and 2015, Bhave and Sukthankar had handed over 35mm prints of some of their films. For Bhave’s 75th birthday in 2018, the late filmmaker had donated original handwritten screenplays of ten of her films to the film archive.