17th century love story to be screened in Delhi
After Hyderabad and Kolkata, Shiraz: A Romance of India – a rare Indian silent film with a special live score provided by Anoushka Sharma - will be screened in Delhi and Mumbai on November 4 and 5 respectively.
Shiraz tells the love story of the 17th century princess who inspired the construction of the Taj Mahal. For the modern viewer the appeal of Shiraz is the extreme rarity of a sophisticated silent feature film made outside the major producing nations of the West, the gorgeous settings and costumes and the glories of the spectacular fort at Agra and of course the iconic Taj Mahal, a central character here in its own right. Two infamous kisses that take place in the film will definitely surprise modern audiences and are really quite extraordinary for Indian cinema of the period. Shiraz was adapted from Niranjan Pal's play, the first Indian playwright to have his work performed in the West End.
The screening of Shiraz in Kolkata by British Council and British Film Institute (BFI) was in a unique collaboration with Sangit Kala Mandir, as a part of the UK-India year of the culture, 2017.
A world leader in film restoration, the BFI holds the original negative material of Shiraz in the archive. Franz Osten's sumptuous Indian silent classic has been meticulously re-mastered by the conservation team at the BFI National Archive.
Deeply rooted in the Indian Classical music tradition, Anoushka, at a young age of 20, had already made three classical recordings and received her first Grammy® nomination, thereby becoming the first Indian female and youngest-ever nominee in the World Music category.
Through her bold and collaborative approach as a composer, Anoushka has encouraged cross-cultural dialogue whilst demonstrating the versatility of the sitar across musical genres. As a result, Anoushka has created a vital body of work with a prominent roster of artists such as Sting, M.I.A, Herbie Hancock, Pepe Habichuela, Karsh Kale, Rodrigo y Gabriela, and Joshua Bell.
Following the Indian tour Shiraz will screen around the UK in January 2018 and be released on Blu-ray by BFI.