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Balu Mahendra's negatives despair

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Monday, January 08, 2007
Among the films produced world wide, Tamil films contribute a sizeable number. But there is no archive of Tamil films because of which, we are losing many good films.

Sathyajit Ray's Pather Panchali has won many international awards. On 50 years of having made it, it was decided to screen it at the Cannes Film festival. Only then did people realize that not even one negative of the film was available in India.

On enquiry, it was found that a university in California had purchased a print of the film after it got released. It was in a bad shape, so it was restored at a cost of one crore and then screened at Cannes.

A similar thing has happened to Balu Mahendra's Veedu and Sandhyaraagam. Speaking at the screenplay release of Adhu Oru Kanaakaalam, Balu Mahendra spoke emotionally, "The negatives of my films Veedu and Sandhyaraagam are so badly affected that they cannot be used. I thought my films would speak for me after my time. But even that is beyond repair now."

The Govt., is to be lauded for giving grants and exemptions to films. It would be worthy move if they could institute an archive for films, that is of top priority now!

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