‘Kalpana’ is now in a godown in Mumbai

Kalpana, the film directed by Uday Shankar and originally released in 1948, was forgotten and neglected until it was restored and screened at the Cannes Film Festival. But the film, which was restored by World Cinema Foundation (WCF), founded by Martin Scorsese, is now in trouble. The parcel carrying the original ‘master positive’, ‘dupe negative’ and eight reels of the restored print is languishing in a godown in Mumbai, awaiting clearance from customs officials.

The man who procured the rights of Kalpana and sent it to WCF for restoration, Shivendra Singh of Dungarpur Films, is anxious. According to him, the word ‘restored’ hasn’t augured well with the customs department. “The film now belongs to the National Film Archives of India (NFAI). The NFAI has submitted relevant papers and paid the dues, but the officials are yet to hand over the parcel, which has been lying in the godown for three weeks. The prints need to be stored well, not in a godown during the monsoons,” says Shivendra Singh, who is now in London for the world premiere of the restored version of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1926 film, The Lodger: A story of the London Fog.