2500 Indian film posters archived by NFAI

Mughal-e-azam giant poster remains the highlight

Cinema

August 5, 2017

/ By / Kolkata



A rare poster of Mughal-e-azam archived by NFAI

A rare poster of Mughal-e-azam archived by NFAI

The National Film Archive of India (NFAI) in an attempt to preserve the history of Indian cinema has acquired about 2500 film posters of Indian cinema – an effort that can aptly be put under the bracket of ‘better late than never’.

Observed as a major acquisition in recent times, the collection of film posters includes about 1500 Hindi film posters along with Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam film posters of yesteryears. These posters range from 1942 onwards till recent times. A recent press release from the NFAI notes that the collection tries to showcase the evolution of film publicity covering various techniques of poster-making.

Mughal-e-Azam Poster steals show

The giant 10 ft x 5 ft poster of the iconic Indian film Mughal-e-Azam (1960) is considered as the highlight of the acquisition. A very rare 6-sheet poster consisting six separate sheets with an offset print of a hand-painted poster has considerably gained much traction after the announcement. Quite routine to its massive production, the poster size truly depicts astonishing feat of conveying volumes about the film. The poster has everything, the NFAI release states; from long shot depictions of the war sequence to a colourful snapshot of the sheesh mahal sequence, all done in beautiful brushstrokes.

To balance the grandeur of these two depictions, the poster also features two intimate portraits. Akbar (Prithviraj Kapoor) sheds a tear in an emotional moment with his son and heir Salim (Dilip Kumar) as they are about to go to war. The shadow of Akbar’s war gear on his face is gorgeously detailed. And to cap things off, there’s a heartrending portrait of Anarkali (Madhubala) in chains, one of the iconic images of Indian cinema.

Other notable posters

Another highlight of the acquisition is posters for 90 Amitabh Bachchan films, including one of his earliest films Sanjog (1971) and his unreleased film Zamaanat.

In addition to this, Hindi films like Roti (1942), Sher-e-Baghdad (1946), Anmol Ghadi (1946), Atom Bomb (1947), Stunt Queen (1947), Pugree (1948), Sant Namdev (1949), Apna Desh (1949), Sant Namdev (1949), Veer Ghatoktach (1949), Deedar (1951), Alam Ara (1956), Dilli Ka Thug (1958), Phagun (1958), Manzil (1960), Razia Sultana (1961) etc. are a part of this collection. The posters are of 20×30 and 30×40 dimensions.

“This has been a significant addition to NFAI’s ever-growing collection of film related material. We appeal to all film lovers to come forward and provide films and film-related material so that it can be preserved for future generations, said Prakash Magdum, director of NFAI.

The fresh acquisition also includes posters featuring Fearless Nadia, for the films Sher-e-Baghdad (1946), Stunt Queen (1947), 11 o’clock (1948) and Shamsherbaaz (1953). There are numerous posters featuring Dilip Kumar, Madhubala, Raj Kapoor, Meena Kumari, Guru Dutt, Nargis, Shammi Kapoor, Dev Anand, Mumtaz, Dharmendra, Dara Singh and many more. The collection covers a large range of actors and stars from all eras.

A big chunk of the collections is posters for mythological and historical films such as Sampoorna Ramayan (1961), Shree Ganesh (1962), Veer Abhimanyu (1965), Shankar Sati Anusuya (1965), Veer Bhimsen (1964), Laxmi Narayan (1951), Balram Srikrishna (1968). Also included are over 120 wall posters of Tamil films, 150 recent films and 600 South Indian language films (mainly Kannada and Telugu).

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