As Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan has been selected for the prestigious FIAF 2021 award by the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) for his commitment and contribution towards the cause of film preservation, actor-filmmaker-politician Kamal Haasan and Oscar-winning composer AR Rahman emphasised the need for film preservation and restoration.
“Roja, my first film that became a major success has been preserved by Film Heritage Foundation so that audiences can still enjoy it, almost 30 years later. In these unprecedented times when we are talking about survival, cinema has the power to help us survive. Film Heritage Foundation has been fighting a lone battle with very little support to save our films and music for six years now, and we need to support them when they are preserving our work as an integral part of culture and history for posterity,” said Rahman.
He also called for support for Shivendra Singh Dungarpur led Film Heritage Foundation that is working towards preserving the film heritage of India.
Kamal Haasan added: “Films are our heritage and if we forget where we came from, we might not be able to fix our destination at all. We need to preserve most of our great works that are lost now. Unlike in Hollywood, we have lived for the day and are repenting now. For the sake of the film industry, we owe our gratitude to the Film Heritage Foundation for doing what the industry should have done, for reviving that passion and reminding us what needs to be done for our film heritage.”
Filmmakers Martin Scorsese and Christopher Nolan, who also share a long-standing relationship with India through their affiliation with Film Heritage Foundation, will bestow the award on Big B at a virtual presentation, on March 19.
Rahman was recently roped in as ambassador of the BAFTA Breakthrough initiative in India.
The initiative marks the British Academy of Film and Television Arts’ (BAFTA) first steps into India. The talent hunt initiative will enable the Academy to identify and nurture up to five talents working in film, games, or television in India. The exercise, known as BAFTA Breakthrough initiative, is part of the Academy’s year-round effort to support new talent, operating alongside their Awards ceremonies.
As part of the initiative in India, a jury of British and Indian industry experts will select five talents from across India to take part in the year-long mentoring and guidance program. The chosen talent will also connect with and learn from the British and Indian creative industries, and will be promoted as BAFTA Breakthrough artistes globally.
BAFTA Breakthrough has been running in the UK since 2013 and in China since 2019, but this marks the first time the initiative is recognising talent from India.