Such acquisitions are important for future generations of cineastes and scholars, says institute’s Director
The city-based National Film Archive of India (NFAI) on Tuesday acquired the original camera negative of filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani’s popular satire PK.
Besides the negative, Mr. Hirani also handed over nearly 300 cans consisting of initial rushes of the film and outtakes of his other hugely popular Aamir Khan starrer 3 Idiots (2009) to NFAI Director Prakash Magdum for preservation in the premier film archive.
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“The significance of the acquisition of the negative of PK (2014) is that it is one of the last films to be shot on celluloid. Mr. Hirani also generously gave us a large number of posters, lobby cards and still photographs from films that constitute his body of work,” said Mr. Magdum, who met the director in Mumbai today.
Remarking that Mr. Hirani was one of the major contemporary filmmakers who had carved a niche through his distinguished filmography, Mr. Magdum said negatives of the director’s earlier films like Munnabhai MBBS (2003), Lage Raho Munnabhai (2006) and 3 Idiots (2009) — all major commercial successes — were already part of the NFAI vaults.
“It is the duty of a filmmaker to ensure that the original negatives of his or her films are preserved for posterity and for the entertainment and study of future generations of cineastes and scholars. I appeal to all filmmakers to support the NFAI in this important endeavour,” said Mr. Hirani, an alumnus of Pune’s Film and Television Institute of India (FTII).
Written, edited and directed by Mr. Hirani, PK, which featured Aamir Khan in the quirky titular role of a humanoid alien, smashed all extant box office records besides being an incisive political satire on Indian society.
“The film is a wonderful, unique comment on superstition and other foibles of contemporary Indian society and hence we were looking forward to acquiring the negative despite the film being a fairly recent one. Mr. Hirani, who is known for his light-hearted yet trenchant takes of social issues, had co-produced it along with Vidhu Vinod Chopra. Moreover, as the transition from celluloid to digital in terms of production of films in India happened during 2013-14, it was all the more important to have this film for preservation,” Mr. Magdum said.
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