Film Heritage Foundation announces Dev Anand Film Festival

A retrospective of four of Dev Anand’s films will be held across 30 cities in India before his centenary date, September 26. Photo: DNH Media

Ahead of the 100th birth anniversary of Dev Anand on September 26, Film Heritage Foundation has announced a unique festival titled Dev Anand@100 – Forever Young that pays tribute to the timeless entertainment icon.

The two-day weekend celebrations, held jointly in association with NFDC-NFAI (National Film Development Corporation Of India and National Film Archive of India) and PVR Inox will be conducted on September 23 and 24 across 30 cities and 55 cinema halls all over India.

The not-for-profit organization founded by filmmaker and archivist Shivendra Singh Dungarpur has curated a tailored collection of films, and audiences can spend the weekend with Dev Anand in his different memorable avatars as the romantic hero, the dashing spy and the fun-loving rogue.

Audiences in Mumbai, Pune, Goa, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Trivandrum, Chennai, Bangalore, Lucknow, Kolkata, Guwahati, Indore, Jaipur, Nagpur, Chandigarh, New Delhi, Gwalior, Rourkela, Raipur, Noida,  Kochi, Aurangabad, Vadodara, Surat and Mohali among other cities will get an opportunity to watch these landmark films on the big screen: C. I. D. (1956), Guide (1965), Jewel Thief (1967) and Johny Mera Naam (1970).

Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, filmmaker and director, Film Heritage Foundation states, “After a successful run with Bachchan Back To The Beginning and Dilip Kumar – Hero Of Heroes to commemorate Amitabh Bachchan’s 80th birthday and Dilip Kumar’s birth centenary respectively, we knew that there was no way that we could allow the birth centenary of Dev Anand to go uncelebrated.”

Shivendra goes on, “We wanted to honor his legacy by screening four of his milestone films. The films are among my personal favorites, as I consider Vijay Anand (who has directed all except C.I.D.) as one of the most stylish directors of Indian cinema. The festival also marks an important collaboration between Film Heritage Foundation and NFDC-NFAI, who have restored the four films and partnered with us to enable us to showcase these films. The Gregory Peck of India, as Dev Anand was often called, continues to be a beloved star, and we are thrilled that contemporary audiences will have the opportunity to watch some of the films that made him an enduring legend. This is another milestone in Film Heritage Foundation’s journey to bring classics of Indian cinema to modern viewers, because, after all, these films are a part of our history and culture and if we don’t know where we came from, we won’t know where we are going.”

Dev’s son, Suneil Anand, states, “I am pleased to hear that Film Heritage Foundation is planning a film festival on a large scale across India to commemorate my father, the legendary Dev Anand’s 100th birthday. I am aware of the work they do, and I would like to congratulate them on their endeavor. I personally like my dad’s work, as the leading man, in Johny Mera Naam. I think this is because the character he played closely resembled his real personality. It was an ideal vehicle for him to showcase his histrionics, mannerisms and his suave dressing sense. Jewel Thief was another such film – it had the trappings and the look of slick Western and European cinema.”

He adds, “Dad set fashion trends in many of his films – with his cap, high collars, scarves, jackets and colorful attire. Even his hairstyles were being copied by his fans. Dad could have easily gone to Hollywood. In fact, an established Hollywood casting agency had even offered to represent him and had lined up several projects for him. But being a true Indian at heart, he decided to remain in his motherland. Time marches on, mindsets change, and trends evolve. However, with each new generation of movie goers and aficionados, Dev Anand continues to remain an inspiration to the youth of India and the rest of the world. He was unanimously given – and continues to hold – the title of an evergreen romantic superstar. Not one to rest on his laurels, dad continued to make exciting movies under the Navketan banner. As we celebrate dad’s centennial, I’d like to say that dad’s movies were decades ahead of their time. I sometimes feel we still haven’t caught up with them. I am sure the festival will be a big success and that contemporary audiences will rediscover the youthful magic of my father – who will stay forever young on the silver screen. In the continuing legacy of Dev Anand and Navketan, I am currently making a Hollywood-based film, dedicated to my dad, called Vagator Mixer, which will release shortly worldwide. The show goes on.”

This festival also marks the very first time a government body has collaborated with a not-for-profit organization for a festival of such scale. To showcase the appeal of Dev Anand to a new generation and rekindle the nostalgia for those enthusiasts who have cherished his work, NFDC-NFAI embarked on an arduous journey of restoring the four classics of the charismatic actor in 4K resolution. The restoration of the films was undertaken as part of the National Film Heritage Mission and funded by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

Prithul Kumar, Joint Secretary (Films) and Managing Director, NFDC, states, “It is important for the public to witness Dev Anand on the big screen once again, and in a manner he was viewed during his heyday decades ago. NFDC-NFAI is sparing no efforts to ensure these films are presented in the best way possible, as hundreds of restoration artistes, technicians, graders, DOPs, sound engineers and archivists, spread across multiple cities, are hard at work to once again bring these films to life. Showcasing the restoration of Dev Anand’s films on the occasion of his centenary, as a joint endeavor between both film archives, along with our esteemed partners, INOX and PVR, is a testament to our shared commitment to preserving India’s cinematic heritage. We aspire to sustain these collaborative efforts, to provide broader public access to the gems of Indian cinema, in the quality they are meant to be seen.”





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