IFFI ‘classics’ section to open with Guru Dutt’s Pyaasa

A restored version of Guru Dutt’s Pyaasa will be the opening film in the ‘Indian Classics’ section at the 45th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) 2015 to be held in Goa.

Produced and directed by Guru Dutt, the 1957 film had an ensemble star cast including Guru Dutt, Waheeda Rehman, Mala Sinha, Johnny Walker, Rehman, Mehmood and Tun Tun.

“The screening of Pyaasa will be held on November 21 at Azad Maidan in Panjim that has a capacity of over 1,000 people. There is a huge fan following of Guru Dutt all over the world who have not been able to see this ageless classic in its original form and glory.

“We will also be re-releasing the film theatrically worldwide after the festival,” said Sushil Kumar Agrawal, CEO of Ultra Media and Entertainment, which has restored the film.

The most challenging part in restoring Pyaasa was of sourcing the authentic materials to complete the preservation, Agrawal said.

“After much effort, we found the original camera negatives of the film at an archive in India. However, a lot of the parts of the negatives were either damaged or lost,” he said.

In September, the restored film had world premiere in the competition section at the 72nd Venice Film Festival. It competed with 20 other prestigious restored films from all over the world and was also screened in the ‘restored classics’ section of the recently concluded 17th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival. 

Besides Pyaasa, eight more films under the ‘classics’ section to be screened at the Azad Maidan venue in ‘open air screening’ format are Jait re Jait, Manthan, Bhavani Bhavai, Is Raat ki Subaah Nahi, Uttarayanam, Ek Din Achanak, Ajantrik and Do Bigha Zameen”. 
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