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NFAI acquires over 450 glass slides of films from Telugu cinema’s ‘Golden Age’

In a major acquisition, the Pune-based National Film Archive of India (NFAI), the country’s premier film repository, has added more than 450 glass slides of the films from the golden heyday of Telugu cinema to its ever-burgeoning vaults.

These glass slides constitute a veritable pictorial history of the ‘Golden Age’ of Telugu cinema from the late 1930s to the mid-1950s and feature a number of artistically important, trend-setting films and classic social dramas which made Telugu cinema a force to reckon with in the regional cinematic sphere.

The acquisition includes glass slides from 70 films like Y.V. Rao’s pathbreaking social drama about widow remarriage Malli Pelli (1939); B.N. Reddi’s classic Vande Mataram (1939); the popular swashbuckler hit Keelu Gurram (1949), featuring Akkineni Nageswara Rao and Anjali Devi, and the famous N.T. Rama Rao starrer Daasi (1952) — a critically acclaimed adaptation of Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s classic ‘Devdas’ among others.

“We are indeed thrilled to have acquired these glass slides. All of them are in black and white and are of 70 Telugu films from 1939 to 1955. Together, they form an integral part of the early Indian cinema viewing experience while bringing to fore the vitality, innovation and originality of Telugu cinema,” said NFAI Director Prakash Magdum.

The slides, made by pressing a film positive between two thin glass squares, were used for announcing new attractions before the commencement of a film or during intervals in theatres, says Mr. Magdum.

Miniatures of poster

“The film positives used to prepare the glass slide were miniatures of the film poster or publicity material for newspapers and magazines. Presently, NFAI has over 2,000 such glass slides of Hindi, Gujarati and Telugu films in its collection,” he said.

Commenting on the significance of the collection, Arti Karkhanis, in-charge of documentation at the NFAI, said: “These glass slides give a bird’s eye view of the publicity scenario in the Telugu industry in its formative years. It has a great reference value for film researchers, and we will soon digitise them.”

‘Significant discovery’

“Glass slides are exquisite records of Indian cinematic heritage, and we are happy to preserve these in our archival collection. In the wake of fast-changing technologies, having these glass slides in such huge numbers is a rare and significant discovery. I appeal to all film lovers to come forward and deposit film footages, photographs, posters, lobby cards and other such material so that they can be preserved,” said Mr. Magdum.


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Printable version | Sep 25, 2021 3:20:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/nfai-acquires-over-450-glass-slides-of-films-from-telugu-cinemas-golden-age/article35642041.ece

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