To commemorate hundred years of Indian Cinema, National Book Trust, India organised a special theme pavilion on Indian cinema and literature - POINT OF VIEW: An International Rights Exhibition of Books on Indian Cinema (towards hundred years of Indian cinema). This special pavilion aimed at showcasing and documenting publications on cinema in India by bringing out an Annotated Rights Catalogue. It also highlighted the role of the publishing industry and contribution of the cinematic medium towards popular culture. Smita Dwivedi brings an update of cinematic nine days at New Delhi World Book Fair. The 20th edition of New Delhi World Book Fair, which celebrated 100 years of Indian Cinema drew a large number of book lovers and cine buffs. Many film and theatre personalities like Javed Akhtar, Farooq Sheikh, Amol Palekar, Satish Kaushik, Sushma Seth, Muzaffar Ali, Shahbaz Khan participated in panel discussions and other literary activities at the pavilion.
NBT, in association with National Film Archive of India, Pune, under the section ‘Literature that Walks, Talks and Sings’ screened some of the classic, black & white and colour movies like Devdas, Pather Panchali, Umrao Jaan, Suraj Ka Satvan Ghoda, etc. On the concluding day, three movies - Charulata (directed by Satyajit Ray), Uski Roti (directed by Mani Kaul) and Athithi (directed by Tapan Sinha) were also screened.
“Cinema has a lot of power. Indian cinema is unique for two of its important attributes, first its great unifying power in a country as diverse as ours and second, its immense contribution in promoting the country abroad,” said SY Quareshi, chief election commissioner at a programme titled ‘The Legends of Cinema who Fought with Cancer.’ On the occasion, Quareshi released a poster and a Pink Ribbon Book Tag as Corporate Social Responsibility of the book industry to contribute one rupee for every single book sold. He also handed a cheque from the publishing fraternity to Dr Lal, representative of Indian Cancer Society.
Speaking on the occasion, Sandeep Marwah, director of Asian Academy of Film & Television and the founder of Noida Film City said, “There has been a tendency to separate cinema from serious literature. I am happy that this book fair has demolished that myth.”
Eminent theatre and film personality, Sushma Seth who has worked in famous television serial Hum Log and several films read out passages from her book titled Stageplay: The Journey of an Actor. During the session, she shared her experience as a theatre and film actor and interacted with people. She said that her thirty years in cinema had been wonderful.
A panel discussion titled ‘Blurred Images: Representation of the Marginalized in Contemporary Indian Cinema and Literature’ was also organised in which Prof Satish Kumar Verma, film critic from Punjab; Mangesh Dabral, eminent poet, editor and film observer; Asghar Wajahat, noted playwright and scriptwriter; Asad Zaidi, acknowledged poet, critic and publisher and S Anand, editor and founder of Navayana participated. The panelists discussed in length about the politics of representation in mainstream media, arts, literature and cinema in the post-colonial India.
Javed Akhtar, renowned lyricist released a book titled The Company Red, authored by Shantanu Dhar. Satish Kaushik, famous actor and director and Dipa Chaudhary were also present on the occasion.
A panel discussion on the topic ‘Lights, Camera, Rights!’ was organized in which Amarnath Verma, CMD, Star Publishers; VK Karthika, publisher, HarperCollins; Mitadru Basu, commissioning editor, Oxford University Press and Dipa Chaudhary, chief editor, Om Books International participated.
All the panelists in the discussion were of the view that our books have great potential. Like films, our books are also ambassadors of India and introduce our country to the world. Indian books are popular in the world. Selling their rights in the international market may be difficult but still possible.
Muzaffar Ali, renowned film-maker of the movie Umrao Jaan released the book Representation of Awadh Culture in Indian Cinema, authored by Muntazir Qaimi. Prof Imtiaz Ahmad from Jawaharlal Nehru University was also present on the occasion.
Two original titles in Urdu titled Jauhar-E-Adakari, authored by Latafat Hussain Kazi and Urdu aur Bollywood, authored by Suhail Akhtar Warsi were released by Javed Akhtar, renowned lyricist and Amol Palekar, eminent actor and film-maker in a book-release function.
Amol Palekar said that the people of Maharashtra have an obsession for drama and reading as well. He said that a few days back, a book in Marathi was released at a literary function held at Maharashtra and one lakh copies of the book were sold the same day.
Shahbaaz Khan, noted actor mesmerized the audience while delivering the dialogues of the play Amir Khusro to bring into light the significance of the language to convey emotions of a character in a play or cinema. Aneez Azmi, eminent theatre personality and the author of the book also spoke on the occasion.
An audio-video presentation on ‘Style and Techniques of Adaptations’ was also given by Santosh Pathare, young film critic. He opined that there is always likelihood of transformations in adaptations and it is not possible to present the literature in similar manner. He said that literature and cinema are two different entities and cannot be compared. He said that a film-maker presents adaptations in his own style. It is necessary to give a new look to a film as an author’s expressions are limited to words only while a film-maker can express his views without a dialogue in a movie. He gave an example of Devdas, which has been adapted differently by different people. For example, one Devdas in which Dilip Kumar acted, later in which Shahrukh Khan acted and most recent one is Dev D in which Abhay Deol acted.
Rajat Barjatya, CEO of Rajshree Media, a sister concern of Rajshree Productions gave a talk on the literary influences of their major films like Uphaar, Nadiya Ke Paar, Hum Apke Hai Kaun, etc. He also gave an audio-visual presentation on their efforts to bring films and other content through new media like internet, mobiles, i-pads etc and interacted with the audience.
Farooq Sheikh, eminent actor in a session on ‘The Act of Reading’ interacted with the audience where he shared his perceptions about books, reading and cinema. The moderator of the session was Avinash Pandey, executive vice president, Star TV.
To familiarize people, particularly young, with works of legendary film-makers like Satyajit Ray, Sheikh said, books on their works should also be written. Talking about the advancement in technology, he said that there is no harm if children use internet to search for good content and information.
Dr Jabbar Patel, eminent theatre and film director discussed about the literary backdrop of his film making with young film critic, Santosh Pathare. He said that he was very happy to see the select books on cinema, posters, camera, etc being exhibited at the pavilion. He also invited NBT to participate in the upcoming Pune Festival to encourage young people towards reading habit. While discussing about representing literary works in the form of a film or drama, he said that adaptations are trans-creations and not transformations. And sometimes it is difficult for a film-maker to present the complete theme of literary adaptations due to technical or other reasons. He also spoke of the creativity of the director who can even turn a small short-story into a beautiful film.
To commemorate 91st birthday of famous poet Sahir Ludhianvi, a film on the life and work of the poet was screened (Courtesy: Rajya Sabha) in a programme Sahir Ludhianvi Ki Yaad Mein (In Memory of Sahir Ludhianvi). The programme was organized by International Melody Foundation and Star Publications Pvt Ltd. Amarnath Verma, CMD, Star Publishers, an old time close friend of Sahir shared his memoirs with the great poet, he was in tears while remembering his close friend.
A workshop on ‘Writing Film Appreciation’ was organized by NBT in association with National Film Archive of India, Pune. While inaugurating the workshop, Vibha Puri Das, secretary, Ministry of Human Resource Development, said that this is wonderful that NDWBF has taken the theme on cinema to encourage young people towards reading habit and was hopeful that through this workshop, they will get to know about different flavours of writing on films. Anil Zankar, a media professional with 30 years of experience in film-making discussed about the art of scriptwriting in Indian context. He said that writing for film is specifically a special task. A script is not complete in itself unlike literature. It is always a draft which undergoes many changes as producers and directors of the film decide what will finally go in the film.
Anupam Siddhartha of SIMC, through an audio-video presentation discussed about various aspects on ‘How to Read a Film.’
A panel discussion on ‘Urdu Language and Indian Cinema’ was organized for the promotion of Urdu language. The speakers in the discussion were Farooq Sheikh, eminent film actor; Sagar Sarhadi, noted film-writer and director; Javed Siddiqui, noted screen writer and playwright; Salim Arif, eminet theatre activist; Basharat Ahmad Farooq, well-known critic and Prof Aziz Siddiqi, well-known writer and critic. The speakers discussed about the significance of Urdu as a language of communication for common people, print and electronic media. They also discussed about its role in enriching Indian Cinema by providing it with unique idiom, audio-visual form and grammar.
All in all, it was a treat for all book lovers and people who appreciate and love good cinema!
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