Important to recognise immense contribution of projectionists to Indian cinema: Bachchan

06:26 PM Jul 24, 2023 | PTI |

As the fate of single-screen theatres ”hangs by a thread”, megastar Amitabh Bachchan says that many projectionists have lost their livelihood and it is important to recognise their contribution to the history of Indian cinema.


In a recorded video message shared with Mumbai-based Film Heritage Foundation and its founder Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, Bachchan appreciated the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award for Cinema Projection’ that has been instituted by the FHF to celebrate the ”unsung heroes” of the film industry.

Bachchan, in his over a minute-long video, said, ”The world of a projector, a beam of light in a dark room theatre, and flicker of images on the big screen. That was, what cinema was for me”.

”As the fate of single-screen cinemas, unfortunately, hangs by a thread, many of these projectionists have lost their livelihood. It is important to remember and recognise their immense contribution to the history of Indian cinema,” he said.

The veteran cine actor said he was pleased to learn that Film Heritage Foundation had instituted a ‘Lifetime Achievement Award for Cinema Projection’ to celebrate the unsung heroes, ”who brought the magic of cinema to the silver screen”.


Dungarpur on Sunday said the foundation will honour three projectionists with this award at a special event, to be held on Wednesday at Mumbai’s heritage Regal Cinema, a single-screen theatre built in 1933. The awards will be an annual affair, he said.

”The megastar of Indian cinema has shared a video message with us, ahead of the ceremony in which veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah will be the chief guest. And Bachchan sahab’s support has bolstered our confidence to work further on preservation of cinematic heritage,” Dungarpur told PTI. The inaugural lifetime achievement award for cinema projection has been instituted “to honour film projectionists who have dedicated their lives to showcasing films on the big screen”, the FHF said.

The three awardees are Mohammed Aslam Fakih of Regal Cinema Mumbai; P A Salam, National Film Archives of India (NFAI), Pune; and Lakhan Lal Yadav, Amardeep Cinema and Raj Talkies, Raipur.

They will also receive Rs 50,000 each in honour of their contribution to the field, which they have served for over 50 years, both in celluloid and digital mediums, Dungarpur said.

FHF, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to supporting the conservation, preservation and restoration of Indian cinema, is also conducting a three-day workshop on film projection in practice which began in Mumbai on Monday.

On the last day of the workshop, the foundation will screen Kamal Amrohi’s 1949 classic “Mahal” on 35 mm vintage print to celebrate the analogue-era legacy of cinema at Regal Cinema.

Two newly-restored films — “Tiger of Eschnapur” (1938) and “Nosferatu: The Symphony of Horrors” (1922) — will be screened on July 24 and July 25 respectively, as part of the workshop, Dungarpur said.


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