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CFSI to release unseen films in phases


Mumbai:  Connoisseurs of classic cinema will be treated to a host of rare films, which include creations of noted directors Shyam Benegal and Riturparno Ghosh, as the Children’s Film Society of India is set to release a rich package of 251 films in phases.

Having been produced since CFSI’s inception in 1956, these children films failed to get released in theatres due to reluctance of production houses, which preferred commercial films over them.

A few prominent films awaiting the release are Benagal’s “Charandas Chor”, “Heerer Aguthi” by Ghosh, “Woh” from Buddhadeb Dasgupta and ‘Laadli’ (The Darling) by Mazahir Rahim, among others.

Many of these movies, made in as many as ten regional languages, have won prestigious national and international awards.

The scope of meaningful cinema and the distribution system were not democratic and children filmmakers did not get opportunities to screen their films in cinema halls, which further discouraged the making of children films, according to CFSI CEO Shravan Kumar.

“Initially, we shortlisted 100 films from our archive and converted them into digital cinema package or commonly known as DCP-2K that enables films for theatre screening in multiplexes,” Kumar told PTI.

The reels of these films were converted into the digital format and stored in the National Film Archive of India. “Gattu” was the first film that was released in July 2012.

Kumar said CFSI was also in the process of developing a dedicated website for information related to the screening of films.

“We would also ask schools and residential associations to screen these films on their premises,” he said.

On the delay in getting these films released in earlier years, Kumar said, “There were two reasons. First, the system was not democratic and the concept of ‘might is right’ ruled and only commercial films received favourable treatment.”

He said the advent of “corporatisation” of distribution and exhibition is the second reason that “has pushed over the scope for meaningful cinema including the children’s cinema.”

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