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#5: Film Heritage in India

This is Film! 2023 #5: Film Heritage in India

For the fifth This is Film! session, we invite Shivendra Singh Dungarpur to discuss the work of Film Heritage Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to supporting the conservation, preservation and restoration of Indian cinema.

poster This is Film! 2023


The Film Heritage Foundation was set up by Shivendra Singh Dungarpur in Mumbai, India in 2014. It is dedicated to supporting the conservation, preservation and restoration of the moving image and to developing interdisciplinary programs to create awareness about the language of cinema. The lecture will focus on the challenges and role that FHF has played in putting the preservation of Indian film on the map.

In 2022, Film Heritage Foundation celebrated the legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan on his 80th birthday by showcasing landmark films from the 1970s and ‘80s that gave birth to the superstar. The Amitabh Bachchan film festival, conducted by the foundation on an unprecedented scale with simultaneous screenings in cinemas across India, functions as a vehicle for reviving interest in Indian classic cinema and the recognition of the importance of film archiving even amongst the general public.

Introduction by Giovanna Fossati (Chief Curator at Eye and Professor of Film Heritage at the University of Amsterdam). Discussion moderated by Anne Gant (Eye Filmmuseum) and Q&A in collaboration with the Master students of the This is Film! class at the University of Amsterdam.


Amar Akbar Anthony (Manmohan Desai, IN 1977, 184’)

Amar Akbar Anthony (1977) is a Hindi potboiler directed by Manmohan Desai that combined action, comedy and melodrama to become a huge box-office success when it was released. The film tells the story of three brothers – Amar (played by Vinod Khanna), Akbar (played by Rishi Kapoor) and Anthony (played by Amitabh Bachchan) who are separated in childhood, subsequently adopted by families of different faiths (Hindu, Muslim and Christian), and are finally reunited by fate in adulthood. Amar grows up to be a policeman, Akbar a qawwali singer and Anthony, a country liquor bar owner. The trio meet each other and become friends and donate blood to a flower seller, unaware that she is their mother and that they are brothers. As the story unfolds each of them falls in love. Through some incredible coincidences where the audience is required to suspend disbelief, the film culminates in a happy ending. The film continues to be beloved by contemporary audiences and has been touted as being a symbol of secularism in popular culture.


Shivendra Singh Dungarpur is the founder and director of the Film Heritage Foundation. He is an award-winning filmmaker, archivist and restorer who passionately believes in the cause of film preservation and restoration. In recent years, he has promoted many important restorations and supported professional workshops in collaboration with the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF).

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190 min.

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This is Film! 2023

This is Film! Film Heritage in Practice is an annual public lecture series devoted to notable projects in the fields of film restoration and film heritage, with international guest speakers and film screenings.

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A close-up of a coloured film strip features rainbow-coloured plumes of smoke in the background, two figures in fairy-like dresses stand on the left and right (campain image This is Film! 2023 (Het tovertoneel (Segundo de Chomón, FR 1907)))
still from Amar Akbar Anthony (Manmohan Desai, IN 1977)
still from Amar Akbar Anthony (Manmohan Desai, IN 1977)
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