“The National Museum of Indian Cinema is a fantastic facility and though Bangladesh has some sort of film archive and film department, it is yet to have a facility like that. It’s an inspiring project and we will try to emulate it in our country”, said Member of Parliament of Bangladesh Sufi Faruq Ibne Abubakar in Mumbai. He was one of the members of the high-powered delegation from Bangladesh, comprising MPs and young leaders, which visited National Museum of Indian Cinema, Mumbai today. Noted film-maker Shyam Benegal was also present on this occasion.
Speaking to the delegation from Bangladesh, Shyam Benegal said: “The history of cinema of East Asia is only three years younger than that of the rest of the world. The very first film made in India was Return of Wrangler Paranjpye (1902), a silent documentary film by H. S. Bhatavdekar. Indians are very bad in conserving things, especially film artefacts; this creates many hurdles in film preservation. Globally, artefacts for film museums are gathered from junkyards; our efforts should be towards conserving instruments and cameras used in film-making. Though India is among the major countries having cinema museums in the world, there is a need for more efforts in collecting artefacts from personal collections and similar sources”.
Shyam Benegal spoke also about the film that he wants to make on the life and works of Bangladesh’s Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. For the movie to look realistic, the major cast and crew should be from Bangladesh; the writer also should be Bangladeshi and the dialogues should show Bengali as spoken in Bangladesh, rather than as spoken in India, said Shri Benegal. The movie will be made in Bengali and subtitles of other languages can always be added later on, he added.
Director General, Films Division, Prashant Pathrabe gave the delegation a brief of the department: “Films Division is a department under the Films Wing of Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India. It produces documentary films. It has regional offices in Bengaluru, Chennai and Delhi. It was set up in the year 1948 to disseminate public policies among the general public. Since there was no television at that time, film was a major medium of communication. Films Division was mandated with covering VVIP visits and has rare footages of important leaders. Films Division also produces short films and animation films. The Division has a very professional technical and production set-up. It has a very well-equipped camera section, editing section and state-of-the-art sound studio. So the entire sequence of work involved in making a film, television commercial, documentary or animation film can be performed here. It also has a treasure-trove of rare footage which can be accessed by film-makers for study and reference.”