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Exhibition of rare film stills, old posters and film memorabilia

Film stills and posters of Sabu and Merle Oberon

Thursday, 15th and 16th May 2014
Inaguration at 6:15 pm on 15th May
Venue: The Nehru Centre, 8 South Audley Street, London, W1K 1HF

This Exhibition is a part of our project - A Hidden Heritage - Indo-British Collaboration in Cinema in UK (1930-1951)

This unique exhibition of portraits, film stills, film memorabilia, old posters, film magazines and reviews, books, drawings and artwork is part of a film heritage project organised by the South Asian Cinema Foundation (SACF) with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

SACF’s exhibition will be inaugurated by His Excellency, The Indian High Commissioner to the UK, Mr. Ranjan Mathai.

During the course of the project, SACF has been carrying out research that highlights some highly significant but hidden and nearly forgotten bits of Indo-British film history. Led by film historian and documentary filmmaker, Lalit Mohan Joshi and Chief Researcher Kusum Pant Joshi, SACF’s research reveals that during 1930 and 1951 there were numerous instances in which Britons and people of south Asian origin worked in collaboration in the field of cinema in UK. The exhibition will showcase the work of Sabu, the 11-year old from South India who became UK’s first child star and an international celebrity in the 1930s. It will also throw light on the remarkable life of an Anglo-Indian actress, Merle Oberon who moved from Calcutta to London, was discovered by UK’s movie moghul, Alexander Korda, worked in films with top actors including UK’s Laurence Olivier and went on to make a mark in Hollywood.

Commencing from the 1930s, the exhibition will also focus on Indian filmmaker Niranjan Pal and actor Himansu Rai and Devika Rani who won international acclaim by creating landmark silent films like Light of Asia (1925), Shiraz (1928) and A Throw of a Dice (1929) and Karma (1933), the first Indo-British talking film made in Hindi and English was completed in London and released in UK. The exhibition will finally dwell on Jean Renoir’s The River (1951), based on the novel and screenplay of famous English writer Rumer Godden. Shot in Bengal with huge financial and artistic input from many Indians, it became an international landmark. The concluding link of the exhibition will highlight the crucial link between UK and Satyajit Ray, the Indian filmmaker who placed India on the world's film map.

A power point presentation summarising the main findings of the SACF film heritage project will be presented by SACF’s Chief Researcher, Dr Kusum Pant Joshi who has also curated the exhibition with the help from project volunteers. Kusum has also produced and co-edited with Lalit Mohan Joshi a Who’s Who of the era entitled: A Biographical Dictionary of Anglo-Indian Cinema (1930-1951) with a foreword by Prof Jeffrey Richards, Film and Cultural Historian, Lancaster University. Lalit Mohan Joshi’s documentary on the subject will be ready by August. David Somerset, Education Curator, BFI Southbank and Dr John Eade, Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, Roehampton University of Surrey and Visiting Professor, University College London will attend as guests.

This unique exhibition of portraits, film stills, film memorabilia, old posters, film magazines and reviews, books, drawings and artwork is part of a film heritage project organised by the South Asian Cinema Foundation (SACF) with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.


Heritage Lottery Fund

 

 

SACF’s exhibition will be inaugurated by His Excellency, The Indian High Commissioner to the UK, Mr. Ranjan Mathai.

 

During the course of the project, SACF has been carrying out research that highlights some highly significant but hidden and nearly forgotten bits of Indo-British film history. Led by film historian and documentary filmmaker, Lalit Mohan Joshi and Chief Researcher Kusum Pant Joshi, SACF’s research reveals that during 1930 and 1951 there were numerous instances in which Britons and people of south Asian origin worked in collaboration in the field of cinema in UK. The exhibition will showcase the work of Sabu, the 11-year old from South India who became UK’s first child star and an international celebrity in the 1930s. It will also throw light on the remarkable life of an Anglo-Indian actress, Merle Oberon who moved from Calcutta to London, was discovered by UK’s movie moghul, Alexander Korda, worked in films with top actors including UK’s Laurence Olivier and went on to make a mark in Hollywood.

 


Commencing from the 1930s, the exhibition will also focus on Indian filmmaker Niranjan Pal and actor Himansu Rai and Devika Rani who won international acclaim by creating landmark silent films like Light of Asia (1925), Shiraz (1928) and A Throw of a Dice (1929) and Karma (1933), the first Indo-British talking film made in Hindi and English was completed in London and released in UK. The exhibition will finally dwell on Jean Renoir’s The River (1951), based on the novel and screenplay of famous English writer Rumer Godden. Shot in Bengal with huge financial and artistic input from many Indians, it became an international landmark. The concluding link of the exhibition will highlight the crucial link between UK and Satyajit Ray, the Indian filmmaker who placed India on the world's film map.

 

A power point presentation summarising the main findings of the SACF film heritage project will be presented by SACF’s Chief Researcher, Dr Kusum Pant Joshi who has also curated the exhibition with the help from project volunteers. Kusum has also produced and co-edited with Lalit Mohan Joshi a Who’s Who of the era entitled: A Biographical Dictionary of Anglo-Indian Cinema (1930-1951) with a foreword by Prof Jeffrey Richards, Film and Cultural Historian, Lancaster University. Lalit Mohan Joshi’s documentary on the subject will be ready by August. David Somerset, Education Curator, BFI Southbank and Dr John Eade, Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, Roehampton University of Surrey and Visiting Professor, University College London will attend as guests.

- See more at: http://southasiancinema.com/events-detail.php?ed=27#sthash.4mi6JVJU.dpuf

The above findings are part of the research which ensued in the project - A Hidden Heritage: Indo-British Film Collaboration (1930-1951)

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