Film academics begin work on new Indian Cinema archive

An archive of material that could shed new light on Indian cinema history has been loaned to De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) by the Cinema Museum in London.

Dr Monia Acciari, a VC2020 Senior Lecturer, will be working collaboratively with Dr Hrishikesh Ingle Assistant Professor in Film Studies at the English and Foreign Language University, Hyderabad, India. Work will begin next month to document the archive, curating and cataloguing the finds.

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The collection will be the first permanent Indian Cinema archive at a UK university. Already, Dr Acciari has found two scripts with the original censor comments, glass slides and song books from Bollywood films.

She said: “It is very, very exciting to have found these already, as we have not even begun the proper cataloguing of this archive, so who know what we will find?

“The first step will be to understand what is there, have a clear cataloguing system in place, and try to understand what this archive tells us about Indian films histories across countries. I will be working with my colleague Dr Ingle from the English and Foreign Language University in Hyderabad in India, where there is a centre of excellence in film studies. From what we understand, the material documents Indian cinema from the 1950s to the 1970s…but we hope to find something that dates before that."

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The materials were at London’s Cinema Museum but had not been researched or documented. Working with DMU’s renowned Cinema and Television History Institute (CATHI) ensures that these materials are able to be catalogued and restoration work carried out. In the future they can be used for research and public impact.

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The Cinema Museum was opened in 1986 to safeguard the future of a collection begun by film enthusiasts Ronald Grant and Martin Humphries. Its focus is on British and American cinema but it is increasing its interest of world cinema.

The Cinema Museum is fundraising to secure its future with a series of events being planned for the year. Click here to find out more: http://www.cinemamuseum.org.uk/2018/the-spring-season-2019-dates-for-your-diary/
Dr Acciari, co-curates the Leicester Asian Film Festival in 2017, and is also principal investigator on a collaborative research project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council which looks at dubbing and subtitling in Bollywood films in Europe with forthcoming events planned in Vienna, Rome and Budapest.

Posted on Wednesday 20th February 2019

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