SACF South Asian Cinema in UK

A Hidden Heritage: Indo-British Film Collaboration in U.K. (1930- 1951)

A Hidden Heritage: Indo-British Film Collaboration in U.K. (1930- 1951)

May 2013 – December 2014

SACF’s Heritage Lottery Funded project ran for a year and a half (from mid-May 2013 to December 2014) and uncovered a hidden and highly significant part of Indo-British film heritage in the UK.

Commencing from the 1930s, this research project first focused on pioneering Indian film director and story and scriptwriter Niranjan Pal’s A Gentleman of Paris (1931), Naval D. Gandhi’s Shikari (1932) and Himansu Rai and Devika Rani’s 'Karma'(1933). It then moved on to highlight the work of Sabu, the first Indian to become an international star and Anglo-Indian actress Merle Oberon who, after arriving in Britain as a nonentity, was transformed into a star under the direction of Hungarian-born British director Alexander Korda and went on to play the female lead opposite top actors such as Laurence Olivier and also made a mark in Hollywood.

The Indo-British film heritage project ended with French filmmaker Jean Renoir’s 'The River' (1951), an international landmark film (shot in Bengal), based on the novel and screenplay of famous English writer Rumer Godden. This gave them the opportunity to conclude with highlighting the crucial link between UK and Satyajit Ray, the India’s outstanding filmmaker who placed India on the world's film map.

During the project, SACF staff and volunteers interviewed some older people in London and recorded the memories of those who had watched films covered by the project in their childhood or youth. During the project, some volunteers were trained in basic research and assisted to search the British Film Institute and the British Library and archives to collate data and identify important but forgotten Indo-British films of the period.

A novel area of work undertaken by SACF during the project was to forge links with some London-based Primary School pupils, to introduce them to heritage material and films and to encourage them to respond to the project through their own drawings, film reviews and stories. Similarly, SACF also identified some adult volunteers with an interest in art and inspired them to participate in the project and respond to the project’s films and other heritage findings through their original sketches and paintings.

Training Opportunities

A mixed group of about 20 adult volunteers from all age groups and ethnicities received training and support in the following areas:

  • How to conduct and record Oral History interviews of older people regarding their memories of some films of the period covered by the project. (The volunteers received formal training with help from the Oral History Society).

  • How to carry out Film History research in some key London libraries and practical experience on how to conduct research and search, identify and collate film heritage material.

  • How to archive and digitise heritage resources gathered during the project from various sources.

  • How to plan, shoot and edit SACF’s heritage documentary film: East meets West – Indo-British Cinematic Encounters

Project Actvities & Learning for Volunteers

Volunteers were offered opportunities to get involved in the following activities of the film heritage project:

  • Research to identify relevant Indo-British collaboration films of the period covered by the project. A selection of these films (e.g. Elephant Boy, Wuthering Heights, The Thief of Bagdad), was screened in various London venues in partnership with supporting / participating organisations.

  • Helping to organise an exhibition: A Hidden Heritage: Indo-British film Collaboration in UK in two centrally located London venues to highlight and share project findings with the general public.

  • Become involved in producing SACF’s new publication: A Biographical Dictionary of Indo-British Cinema to highlight the contribution of the main personalities highlighted and uncovered by the project.

  • Get involved in producing and screening SACF’s new documentary on Indo-British film Collaboration: East meets West – Indo-British Cinematic Encounters

  • Help to organise workshops in a London school for pupils to highlight the importance of heritage, share the project’s findings with them, screen some children’s films and encourage pupils to respond to SACF’s project through their art work, stories, film reviews and creative writings.

Project Partners

During the project, SACF and a group of over 50 volunteers worked in collaboration with UK’s leading film organisation, the British Film Institute (BFI) in London and received active support from BFI’s Education Curator, David Somerset.

Other significant SACF partners included: Professor Jeffrey Richards, Emeritus Professor of Cultural History, Lancaster University, Dr Charles Drazin, Senior Lecturer, Queen Mary University of London, Professor Rosie Thomas and Dr. Ranita Chatterjee, Film Studies, University of Westminster, The Indian High Commission, The Nehru Centre and Westbrook Primary School, London.

The Project's Novel Contribution

By throwing light on some highly significant hidden but forgotten areas of film history in the UK, the project broke fresh ground and has laid the foundation for further in-depth research and exploration of this period.


Sponsors

Film stills and posters of Sabu and Merle Oberon

Exhibition of rare film stills, old posters and film memorabilia

Thursday, 15th and 16th May 2014
Inaguration at 6:15 pm on 15th May
Venue: The Nehru Centre, 8 South Audley Street, London, W1K 1HF

This Exhibition is a part of our project - A Hidden Heritage - Indo-British Collaboration in Cinema in UK (1930-1951)

This unique exhibition of portraits, film stills, film memorabilia, old posters, film magazines and reviews, books, drawings and artwork is part of a film heritage project organised by the South Asian Cinema Foundation (SACF) with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

SACF’s exhibition will be inaugurated by His Excellency, The Indian High Commissioner to the UK, Mr. Ranjan Mathai.

During the course of the project, SACF has been carrying out research that highlights some highly significant but hidden and nearly forgotten bits of Indo-British film history. Led by film historian and documentary filmmaker, Lalit Mohan Joshi and Chief Researcher Kusum Pant Joshi, SACF’s research reveals that during 1930 and 1951 there were numerous instances in which Britons and people of south Asian origin worked in collaboration in the field of cinema in UK. The exhibition will showcase the work of Sabu, the 11-year old from South India who became UK’s first child star and an international celebrity in the 1930s. It will also throw light on the remarkable life of an Anglo-Indian actress, Merle Oberon who moved from Calcutta to London, was discovered by UK’s movie moghul, Alexander Korda, worked in films with top actors including UK’s Laurence Olivier and went on to make a mark in Hollywood.

Commencing from the 1930s, the exhibition will also focus on Indian filmmaker Niranjan Pal and actor Himansu Rai and Devika Rani who won international acclaim by creating landmark silent films like Light of Asia (1925), Shiraz (1928) and A Throw of a Dice (1929) and Karma (1933), the first Indo-British talking film made in Hindi and English was completed in London and released in UK. The exhibition will finally dwell on Jean Renoir’s The River (1951), based on the novel and screenplay of famous English writer Rumer Godden. Shot in Bengal with huge financial and artistic input from many Indians, it became an international landmark. The concluding link of the exhibition will highlight the crucial link between UK and Satyajit Ray, the Indian filmmaker who placed India on the world's film map.

A power point presentation summarising the main findings of the SACF film heritage project will be presented by SACF’s Chief Researcher, Dr Kusum Pant Joshi who has also curated the exhibition with the help from project volunteers. Kusum has also produced and co-edited with Lalit Mohan Joshi a Who’s Who of the era entitled: A Biographical Dictionary of Anglo-Indian Cinema (1930-1951) with a foreword by Prof Jeffrey Richards, Film and Cultural Historian, Lancaster University. Lalit Mohan Joshi’s documentary on the subject will be ready by August. David Somerset, Education Curator, BFI Southbank and Dr John Eade, Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, Roehampton University of Surrey and Visiting Professor, University College London will attend as guests.

This unique exhibition of portraits, film stills, film memorabilia, old posters, film magazines and reviews, books, drawings and artwork is part of a film heritage project organised by the South Asian Cinema Foundation (SACF) with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.


Heritage Lottery Fund

 

 

SACF’s exhibition will be inaugurated by His Excellency, The Indian High Commissioner to the UK, Mr. Ranjan Mathai.

 

During the course of the project, SACF has been carrying out research that highlights some highly significant but hidden and nearly forgotten bits of Indo-British film history. Led by film historian and documentary filmmaker, Lalit Mohan Joshi and Chief Researcher Kusum Pant Joshi, SACF’s research reveals that during 1930 and 1951 there were numerous instances in which Britons and people of south Asian origin worked in collaboration in the field of cinema in UK. The exhibition will showcase the work of Sabu, the 11-year old from South India who became UK’s first child star and an international celebrity in the 1930s. It will also throw light on the remarkable life of an Anglo-Indian actress, Merle Oberon who moved from Calcutta to London, was discovered by UK’s movie moghul, Alexander Korda, worked in films with top actors including UK’s Laurence Olivier and went on to make a mark in Hollywood.

 


Commencing from the 1930s, the exhibition will also focus on Indian filmmaker Niranjan Pal and actor Himansu Rai and Devika Rani who won international acclaim by creating landmark silent films like Light of Asia (1925), Shiraz (1928) and A Throw of a Dice (1929) and Karma (1933), the first Indo-British talking film made in Hindi and English was completed in London and released in UK. The exhibition will finally dwell on Jean Renoir’s The River (1951), based on the novel and screenplay of famous English writer Rumer Godden. Shot in Bengal with huge financial and artistic input from many Indians, it became an international landmark. The concluding link of the exhibition will highlight the crucial link between UK and Satyajit Ray, the Indian filmmaker who placed India on the world's film map.

 

A power point presentation summarising the main findings of the SACF film heritage project will be presented by SACF’s Chief Researcher, Dr Kusum Pant Joshi who has also curated the exhibition with the help from project volunteers. Kusum has also produced and co-edited with Lalit Mohan Joshi a Who’s Who of the era entitled: A Biographical Dictionary of Anglo-Indian Cinema (1930-1951) with a foreword by Prof Jeffrey Richards, Film and Cultural Historian, Lancaster University. Lalit Mohan Joshi’s documentary on the subject will be ready by August. David Somerset, Education Curator, BFI Southbank and Dr John Eade, Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, Roehampton University of Surrey and Visiting Professor, University College London will attend as guests.

- See more at: http://southasiancinema.com/events-detail.php?ed=27#sthash.4mi6JVJU.dpuf

The above findings are part of the research which ensued in the project - A Hidden Heritage: Indo-British Film Collaboration (1930-1951)

The Elephant Boy

The Elephant Boy - Screening, Talk and Exhibition

Monday, 12th May, 2014
Venue - BFI, Belvedere Road, Southbank, London SE1 8XT

A Hidden Heritage - Indo-British Collaboration in Cinema in UK (1930-1951)

SACF is working on a film heritage project titled: A Hidden Heritage: Indo-British Collaboration in Cinema in UK (1930 –1951). Among the findings of the project are two actors of Indian origin who rose to international stardom – Merle Oberon and Sabu – on whom we are focusing through the events given below.

SabuSABU (1924-1963)

A simple but extremely gifted and intelligent lad who worked in the Elephant Palace of the Maharaja of Mysore in South India, Sabu, at the age of 11, sailed to London where he won fame and fortune after starring in Alexander Korda’s The Elephant Boy (1935), a film adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s Toomai of the Elephants. He was the first English actor of Indian origin to become an international star and a household name all over the world.

  • FREE talk titled: Sabu: The Elephant Boy & Child Stardom by Dr Jeffrey Richards at 11 am in NFT.
  • FREE Exhibition on Sabu in the Blue Room, BFI South Bank (afternoon)
  • Screening of: The Elephant Boy, starring Sabu at 2 pm in NFT.

Organised by the South Asian Cinema Foundation (SACF) in collaboration with the British Film Institute (BFI) South Bank, London with funding from The Heritage Lottery Fund.

Reel India

Reel India - Understanding Indian Cinema

Thursday 1st May and Friday 2nd May, 2014

The October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester Street, Bloomsbury, London, WC1N 3AL

This unique short course has been designed to introduce audiences to the vast cinematic heritage of India, from historic roots to unprecedented growth. It will convey how Indian Cinema is unique within world cinema and, as it passes its landmark 100 - year anniversary, deserving of far more global recognition. Sessions will be led by Lalit Mohan Joshi alongside Kusum Pant Joshi and Raza Ali Abidi.

Programme

Day 1: Thursday 1st May 2014

Session 1 — 10am to 11:15pm
The First Steps: The Silent Era to the Talkies

Indian Cinema was born on July 7th 1896 barely six months after the technology first appeared in the West. Despite this, it soon developed a form that was distinctly Indian. This opening talk will chart the emergence of cinema in India- from foreign curiosity to captivating new art form.

Session 2 — 11:45pm to 1pm
Boom and Bust: The Rise and Fall of the Studios

In 1931 Indian Cinema reached its next landmark - the release of its first talkie, Alam Ara. This was followed by the rise of the Studio System in the 1930s and 1940s. We will examine this period in depth and look at the significance of music at this time as well as its lasting centrality on Indian cinema.

Session 3 — 2pm to 3:15pm
The Classic Touch: Post-independence and the Golden Age

With political independence as its starting point, this period looks at he influential films of the 1950s and 1960s- the so called Golden Age of Indian Cinema. The directors of this era drew on diverse cultural sources including classical Indian literature, art and music and created epic productions such as Mughal-e-Azam, Mother India and Guide.


 Day 2: Friday 2nd May 2014

Session 1 — 10am-11:15pm
Let’s Get Real: India’s New Wave Cinema

In the 1950s, Satyajit Ray’s realism put Indian cinema on the global film map. In the 1960s and 1970s, Ray’s cinema as well as other factors led to the New Wave movement and films such as Ankur, Manthan and Bhuwan Shome.

Session 2 — 11:45pm-1pm
Going Big: The Era of Romance, Action and Superstardom

This session will contrast two Indian superstars of the 1970s- Rajesh Khanna as the fresh faced heart-throb and Amitabh Bachchan as the rugged action hero. We will discuss the contexts from which they emerged and examine the arrival of the majestic Khans in the 1990s.

Session 3 — 2pm-3:15pm
Into the Future: The Beginning of Independent Cinema

In our final talk participants will be led into the bold new world of independent cinema. We will discuss the changes the industry is undergoing with reference to important directors such as Anurag Kashyap, Sujoy Ghosh and Vishal Bhardwaj.

 ADMISSION: £15 per day
For reservation email - events@bagrifoundation.org
Further details at: www.bagrifoundation.org


About the speakers

Lalit Mohan Joshi is a respected film historian, critic and former BBC broadcast journalist. He is the co-founder of the South Asian Cinema Foundation (SACF) alongside Kusum Pant Joshi, who is a social historian, researcher and community worker. Raza Ali Abidi is a journalist and broadcaster with a long career working with the BBC Urdu Service. He has published many short-stories and has a deep understanding of Hindi film music.


The Bagri Foundation was founded in 1990. One of its key objectives is to encourage learning through scholarships, bursaries, lecture series and exhibitions. The Foundation seeks to promote a better understanding of art and culture, particularly of South Asia. In recent years it has helped fund major lecture series on aspects of Indian culture and history; including art, architecture and religion.

Merle Oberon in The Dark Angel

The Dark Angel - Screening and Talk

Monday - 14th April, 2014

BFI, Belvedere Road, South Bank, London SE1 8XT

A Hidden Heritage - Indo-British Collaboration in Cinema in UK (1930-1951) - Merle Oberon

SACF is working on a film heritage project titled: A Hidden Heritage: Indo-British Collaboration in Cinema in UK (1930 –1951). Among the findings of the project are two actors of Indian origin who rose to international stardom – Merle Oberon and Sabu – on whom we are focusing through the events given below.

Merle Oberon as Cathy in Wuthering  Heights, 1939MERLE OBERON (1911-1979)

who migrated from Calcutta in India to London in 1928, established herself as a mainstream actress in English films made in UK and Hollywood and starred opposite stalwarts such as: Laurence Olivier, Douglas Fairbanks, Fredric March, Marlon Brando and others.

  • FREE talk titled: The Dark Angel: Portrait of Merle Oberon by Dr Charles Drazin @ 11 am in NFT3, BFI, South Bank.
  • FREE screening of: The Dark Angel, starring Merle Oberon @ 2 pm in NFT, BFI South Bank

 

 


BFIHeritage Lottery FundOrganised by the South Asian Cinema Foundation (SACF) in collaboration with the British Film Institute (BFI) South Bank, London with funding from The Heritage Lottery Fund.

Merle Oberon as Cathy in Wuthering Heights, 1939

Wuthering Heights - Screening and Exhibition

Sunday - 5th January, 2014

BFI, Belvedere Road, South Bank, London SE1 8XT

 

A Hidden Heritage - Indo-British Collaboration in Cinema in UK (1930-1951)

SACF is working on a film heritage project titled: A Hidden Heritage: Indo-British Collaboration in Cinema in UK (1930 –1951). Among the findings of the project are two actors of Indian origin who rose to international stardom – Merle Oberon and Sabu – on whom we are focusing through the events given below.

MERLE OBERON (1911-1979)

Migrated from Calcutta in India to London in 1928, established herself as a mainstream actress in English films made in UK and Hollywood and starred opposite stalwarts such as: Laurence Olivier, Douglas Fairbanks, Fredric March, Marlon Brando and others.

  • FREE Exhibition on Merle Oberon in BFI’s Blue Room (4.00 – 6.00 pm)
  • Screening of Wuthering Heights starring Merle Oberon at 6.20 pm in NFT2

BFIHeritage Lottery FundOrganised by the South Asian Cinema Foundation (SACF) in collaboration with the British Film Institute (BFI) South Bank, London with funding from The Heritage Lottery Fund.

Naseeruddin Shah and Ajay Devgan in 'Omkara'

Screening 'Omkara'

Award Ceremony & In conversation with Vishal Bhardwaj

Sunday, 1st September 2013 at 2:00 PM
BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road, London SE1

Vishal BhardwajThe well-known film and music director Vishal Bhardwaj has risen to the top as an Indian filmmaker who has succeeded in creating a fine blend of art with popular appeal. A protégé of Urdu poet, lyricist and film director Gulzar, his film career started as music composer in Maachis (Gulzar, 1996). Bhardwaj made his directorial debut with Makdee (2002) but shot to fame with Maqbool (2003), his adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

Bhardwaj achieved cult status with his chilling spectacle Omkara (2006) which contemporises Shakespeare’s Othello by deftly making it relevant to present day India.

Played by Ajay Devgan, Omkara is a rural chieftain whose misguided trust in his lieutenant Langda Tyagi (Saif Ali Khan), makes him suspect his wife Dolly (Kareena Kapoor) of infidelity.

With recent films Kaminey (2009), 7 Khoon Maaf (2011) and Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola (2013), Bhardwaj is regarded as the most sought after ‘Bollywood’ filmmaker today.

After the screening of Omkara, Vishal Bhardwaj will be honoured with an award by the South Asian Cinema Foundation and will be in conversation with Lalit Mohan Joshi about his life and career followed by a Q&A session.

Namak Ishq Ka - Song still from Omkara

100 Years of Indian Cinema

SACF Presents Vishal Bhardwaj

Saturday - 31st August, 2013 at 6.30 PM

To celebrate 100 Years of Indian Cinema, SACF will present Vishal Bhardwaj as a leading music composer of popular Indian Cinema today. The following day, (Sun, 1 September) Bhardwaj will be honoured at the NFT1, BFI Southbank with SACF’s ‘Excellence in Cinema Award’ after the screening of his seminal film Omkara. He will also discuss his films and filmmaking at the NFT, Southbank.

At the Nehru Centre, Vishal Bhardwaj will speak to film historian/documentary filmmaker Lalit Mohan Joshi about his roots and passion for music, his work with Gulzar and how he entered and made it big in Hindi Cinema.

Some of Bhardwaj’s smash hits from Gulzar’s Maachis (1996) and his own films like Omkara (2006) and Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola (2013) will be rendered live by Rajan Shegunshi, Uttara Sukanya Joshi and acclaimed keyboard player, Sunil Jadhav.

Vishal BhardwajBorn and educated in northern India, he shifted to Mumbai to pursue a career in music. By blending great lyrics and earthy music with popular appeal, Bhardwaj has created a special niche for himself in Indian film music. Maachis where he made his debut as music composer, won him a Filmfare Award. He went on to win the National Award for Best Music for Vinay Shukla’s Godmother (1999). Thereafter, he has never looked back.

Makdee (2002) marked Bhardwaj’s directorial debut but it was Maqbool (2003), his adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth that made him famous. As a filmmaker, he achieved cult status with his chilling spectacle Omkara which contemporises Shakespeare’s Othello by deftly making it relevant to present day India.


BFIThe Nehru Centre

In association with the Nehru Centre and the BFI.

 

Director Shivendra Singh Dungarpur

11th Dada Saheb Phalke Memorial Lecture

"The Future of Indian Cinemas Past" by Shivendra Singh Dungarpur

Tuesday - 9th July, 2013 - 6:30 PM

As part of 100 years of Indian Cinema celebrations, well-known documentary filmmaker, Shivendra Singh Dungarpur delivered SACF’s 11th Dada Saheb Phalke Memorial Lecture - "The Future of Indian Cinema's Past".

Deeply committed to the preservation and restoration of cinema, Shivendra has been travelling all over India looking for old film prints and film memorabilia to preserve and is actively campaigning with contemporary filmmakers to archive their film prints.

In his lecture Shivendra talked about lost films of Indian cinema such as Alam Ara (1931) and the commitment to find them. He elaborated on the importance of creating awareness and attitudinal change for film preservation.

Shivendra Singh Dungarpur began his career as an assistant director to his mentor, writer-lyricist and director, Gulzar.

After graduating from FTII, Shivendra launched himself as a producer-director in 2001 under the banner of “Dungarpur Films”. Winner of two coveted Indian National Awards, Shivendra’s Celluloid Man is his first feature length documentary. It is a tribute to an extraordinary man, Mr. P.K. Nair, who built up the National Film Archive of India can by can in a country where film preservation is generally completely disregarded.
Chairperson: Robin Baker, Head Curator, BFI.

Special Guest: P.K. Nair, renowned film archivist and former founder director National Film Archive of India, Pune (around whom Celluloid Man is centred)

A still from Celluloid Man

Screening - Celluloid Man

Winner of two National Awards for 2012 from the Government of India, the documentary is about the life and work of legendary film archivist PK Nair.

Sunday - 7th July, 2013 - 2:00 PM

To celebrate 100 years of Indian cinema, we held a London Premiere of Shivendra Singh Dungarpur’s award winning documentary, Celluloid Man.

Celluloid Man - PosterOn 7 July 1896, a screening of six short films by the Lumière brothers took place at the Watson Hotel in Bombay. On this auspicious date we celebrate 100 years of Indian cinema with the screening of an award-winning documentary on the life and work of legendary archivist PK Nair, founder of the National Film Archive of India.

We were delighted to welcome PK Nair and director Shivendra Singh Dungarpur to discuss Celluloid Man with Lalit Mohan Joshi of the South Asian Cinema Foundation. There was a Q&A after the screening.

Shyam Benegal behind the Camera

SACF Excellence in Cinema Award: Shyam Benegal

The South Asian Cinema Foundation recognised the extraordinary achievements of Indian filmmaker Shyam Benegal.

Saturday 9th - Monday 11th June, 2013

Director and screenwriter Shyam Benegal is today considered the father of the 'New Wave' in Indian cinema. With a career spanning 50 years, his documentaries as well as his features are the work of a highly accomplished and deeply humanitarian filmmaker, unflinching in his critique of sexual and social inequality. The South Asian Cinema Foundation, in partnership with the Nehru Centre, presented him with the SACF Excellence in Cinema Award. Benegal and film historian, filmmaker and SACF director Lalit Mohan Joshi discussed a rich, enduring career, and the conversation included clips and an opportunity for the director to take questions from the audience.


Programme Schedule

Sat 9 June 13:30 NFT1
Bhumika (The Role) 1977
Dir. Shyam Benegal
With Smita Patil and Amol Palekar
143min. Hindi & Urdu with EST. PG.
Bhumika Poster
Sat 9 June 16:15 NFT1
SACF Excellence in Cinema Award to Shyam Benegal
Benegal to discuss his life and work with SACF Director, Lalit Mohan Joshi
Benegal in front of Bose poster
Sun 10 June 13:00 NFT3
Bhumika Masterclass with Shyam Benegal conducted by Prof. Rosie Thomas
Share the director’s view on the making of this masterpiece.
As a counterpoint to critical or academic perspectives, people joined this masterclass and shared a film director's own insight into the making of this major work. Taking a shot-by-shot look at fragments of Bhumika, director Shyam Benegal reflected on some of the key creative and practical challenges in the production process of this remarkable film.
Naseeruddin Shah and Smita Patil in Bhumika
Sun 10 June 17:45 NFT2
Junoon (Obsession) 1978
Dir. Shyam Benegal. With Shashi Kapoor, Jennifer Kendal, Shabana Azmi, Naseeruddin Shah, Ismat Chughtai, Nafisa Ali
134 mins. Hindi & Urdu with EST.
Junoon Poster

 


Mon 11 June 14:30: House of Lords, Committee Room 1
Benegal released Jaal: The Book one of the Kaal Trilogy, 2012
A new novel by Sangeeta Bahadur (By Invitation only)

Mon 11 June 18:30 : Nehru Centre, 8 South Audley Street, London W1K 1HF
Phalke Memorial Lecture: “New Indian Cinema Circa 2012” by Shyam Benegal. FREE
Benegal opened SACF’s Shyam Benegal Exhibition curated by Dr Kusum Pant
Joshi with Uttara S. Joshi.



SACF Excellence in Cinema Award: Shyam Benegal SACF Excellence in Cinema Award: Shyam Benegal SACF Excellence in Cinema Award: Shyam Benegal SACF Excellence in Cinema Award: Shyam Benegal SACF Excellence in Cinema Award: Shyam Benegal SACF Excellence in Cinema Award: Shyam Benegal SACF Excellence in Cinema Award: Shyam Benegal SACF Excellence in Cinema Award: Shyam Benegal SACF Excellence in Cinema Award: Shyam Benegal


Sponsors

BFIThe Nehru CentreBrunel University LondonAFPUniversity of WestminsterOxfam

Programme presented by BFI Southbank in collaboration with the South Asian Cinema Foundation, Nehru Centre, ICCR, Directorate of Film Festivals, Asian Foundation for Philanthropy, University of Westminster, AHRC Connected Communities, Brunel University.

 

Sita Devi (Rene Smith) as Queen Gopa in Light of Asia to be screened by SACF SACF will arrange live music with professional musicians to accompany the film.

Heritage events in London - Raising the Curtain on Niranjan Pal

SACF Honours Forgotten Indian Cinema Legend Niranjan Pal

Monday 6th - Saturday 20th August, 2011

SACF is to launch its final events by inaugurating an exhibition, releasing a book and screening a documentary on the life and works of Indian scenarist, screenwriter and filmmaker Niranjan Pal. As part of a year-long Indo-British Film Heritage project, SACF has been organising major events between 6 June–14 August, 2011 at the Watermans, Nehru Centre, BFI Southbank and Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan.

These event mark the culmination of a unique project to re-search a forgotten legend of Indian cinema, Niranjan Pal, so far ignored both in India and the west. Niranjan Pal not only remains till date, the most successful Indian in West End Theatre of London but was also the prime mover in the making of classic silent films like Light of Asian, Shiraz and A Throw of Dice that made him a symbol of Indo-British Collaboration in Cinema.

The SACF book Niranjan Pal – Light of Asia edited by Social Historian Kusum Pant Joshi with help from SACF heritage volunteers, has input from Dr Luke McKernan, Lead Curator, Moving Image Sound & Vision at The British Library and Joyojeet Pal the great grandson of Niranjan Pal, Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan.

SACF’s Director and film historian Lalit Mohan Joshi’s documentary Niranjan Pal – A Forgotten Legend will explore the fascinating journey of Niranjan Pal from a revolutionary nationalist to a playwright, filmmaker and celebrity screenwriter who gave Bombay Talkies great films like Achhut Kanya and Janmbhoomi, and Devika Rani, Himansu Rai, Najmul Husain and Ashok Kumar some of their best roles.

The event will be attended by the film academics, scholars, film students from SOAS, the University of Westminster and representatives from the British Film Institute. Descendants of Niranjan Pal – his granddaughter (Melita Malewar) from Chennai, his Cinematographer grandson (Deep Pal) from Mumbai and his greatgrandson (Dr Joyojeet Pal) from USA have also cooperated with and responded warmly to our project and are expected to attend.

SACF receives Heritage Grant to Explore Contribution of Niranjan Pal South Asian Cinema Foundation (SACF) has received a grant of £32,400 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for its project Lifting the Curtain: Niranjan Pal and Indo-British Collaboration in Cinema which will explore the contribution made by the Indian film legend who was based in UK between 1908 and 1929.

Sue Bowers, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund London, said: “This project will help to unlock little-known information about how the Indo-British film industry developed in the early years of the 20th century providing a valued source of information for film historians and academics both here and in the sub-continent.”

The project will focus on scenarist, film script and storywriter Niranjan Pal and the film-related activities in which he and others from the Indian subcontinent collaborated with Britons in the first two decades of the 20th century. One of the founders of Bombay Talkies in 1934, Niranjan Pal (1889-1959) was a pioneer who contributed in the making of many significant films through Indo- British collaboration.

“This Heritage Lottery grant is quite significant for the SACF in its tenth anniversary year and will go a long way in fulfilling our commitment to work for building film culture in UK. SACF’s Lifting the Curtain Project is significant as hardly anything is known about Pal's life and extraordinary achievements in the important field of Indo-British film heritage”, says Lalit Mohan Joshi, Director of SACF.

SACF, based in the west London borough of Hounslow, will produce and print 300 copies of an illustrated book on Niranjan Pal and his life in Britain (1908-29). They will also disseminate it to key organisations such as the British Library (BL) British Film Institute (BFI) and interested university, local and school libraries.

The year-long project will organise various film events, exhibitions and volunteer training workshops to showcase the theme of this novel heritage project in collaboration with community and statutory organisations such as The Watermans, Brentford; the Richmix Centre, Shoreditch; Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan, Kensington; Face Films; Redbridge; and the Nehru Centre, the cultural centre of the India High Commission in central London.

An important part of the Project will be to demystify heritage research by introducing a mixed group of 20 volunteers to London’s key libraries and archives including the British Library, British Film Institute and the National Portrait Gallery.

In the season of Niranjan Pal films which is part of this heritage project, SACF will work with volunteers to screen films like The Light of Asia (1925), Shiraz (1928) and A Throw of Dice (1929). To introduce an element of period authenticity, there is to be a special screening of one of the films where SACF will arrange live music with professional musicians to accompany the film.

Local communities will benefit greatly from the project and the participation of volunteers will be vital in all events including the production of the book on Niranjan Pal where their contribution and learning will be specially recorded and highlighted.

For further information and details please call South Asian Cinema Foundation (SACF): t. 020 8230 5765 or email info @southasiancinema .com

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