National Film Archive of India received a huge collection of films made by celebrated filmmaker duo, Sumitra Bhave and Sunil Sukhthankar. Shri Sunil Sukthankar handed over the valuable collection to Prakash Magdum, Director NFAI. This collection is a major acquisition of films for NFAI. The critically acclaimed filmmaker duo Sumitra Bhave and Sunil Sukthankar have made a large number of films over the years that have won multiple awards and recognition both in India and abroad. Smt. Bhave passed away last year.
Expressing his gratitude towards NFAI, Sunil Sukthankar said, “NFAI has been part of our filmmaking journey and I am glad that these films would now be preserved at its facility. I hope the material would be digitized so that it can be accessible to the new generation.”
The collection received today consists of 35mm prints of feature films Dahavi Fa (2002), Badha (2006), Ha Bharat Majha (2012) and short film Zid (2004). 16mm prints of feature film Zindagi Zindabad (1997) and short films Bai (1985), Paani (1987), and Laha (1994). A 16 mm film Kishan ka Udan Khatola made by another veteran filmmaker and film society activist Vijaya Mulay is also part of the collection.
Director, NFAI, Prakash Magdum expressed his happiness saying that, “Major collection of the National Award-winning director duo would be preserved at NFAI. I had discussed this with Smt Bhave last year but unfortunately, she passed away. Their filmography, covering many important subjects of the society, is a valuable social documentation of the era. I am sure that this will be a valuable source of learning for students, researchers and budding filmmakers.” He also appealed to filmmakers and production houses to come forward and deposit celluloid films at NFAI.
The duo significantly contributed to Marathi cinema with many noted short films, documentaries, TV shows and feature films. Be it Sumitra Bhave’s first short film Bai (1985) or the recent ones Kaasav (2017) and Dithee (2019), almost each and every film by the duo has won numerous national and international accolades. Their cherished filmography includes short films like Paani (1987), Mukti (1990), Chakori (1992), and highly admired films like Doghi (1995), Dahavi Fa (2002), Vastupurush (2002), Devrai (2004) and Astu (2016).
The major chunk of the collection feature cassettes of films, in different magnetic media formats like DigiBeta, Betacam, Umatic, DLT Tapes, DV, MiniDV, and VHS formats. The titles include duration wise six various versions of the short film Karta, a film based on the life of renowned Industrialist Shantanurao Kirloskar, feature films Zindagi Zindabad (1997), Devrai (2004), Ek Cup Chya (2009), and Mor Dekhne Jungle Mein (2010), short films Mukti (1990), Chakori (1992), Laha (1994), Zid (2004), Bewaqt Barish (2007), Mamta Ki Chhaon Mein, Ekalavya, Samvad and Sarashi, documentaries Parting with Pride, Gautam Chya Aaichi Shala and Pilgrims of light and TV show episodes of Katha Sarita (2011), Akherachi Ratra and Bhais Barabar. It also includes a series of short films on language education Natigoti, How shall I Address You and Adgula Madgula.
Earlier in 2014-15, the filmmaker duo had deposited 35mm prints of some of their films and in 2018, on Sumitra Bhave’s 75th birthday, she donated original handwritten screenplays of ten of her films to NFAI.