Biographical dictionary of Indo-British cinema launched


LONDON, Dec 7: A biographical dictionary of Indo-British cinema covering the period between 1930 to 1951 has been launched here, highlights many hidden success stories and the special relationship that existed between the two countries.

            Launched at the Nehru Centre here, the year-long project, ‘A Hidden Heritage: Indo-British Film Collaboration in UK (1930-1951)’, brought out by the South Asian Cinema Foundation (SACF) is edited by social historian Dr Kusum Pant Joshi and a film historian and documentary filmmaker Lalit Mohan Joshi.

            To mark the occasion a new film ‘East meets West’ was also screened on Monday, Lalit Mohan Joshi said in a release today.

            Britain’s leading cultural historian, Prof Jeffrey Richards of the Lancaster University who has written the foreword to the book, was the Chief Guest.

            The evening was chaired by Dr Charles Drazin, senior lecturer, film studies, Queen Mary University of London.

            Prof Jeffrey Richards said that for more than two centuries Britain and India have had a special relationship. The special relationship extended to the cinema as this book fascinatingly demonstrates.

            The event also celebrated the making of SACF’s new film ‘East meets West: Indo-British Cinematic Encounters’.

            Directed by Lalit Mohan Joshi, this documentary showcases the success of some ordinary Indians like Sabu and Merle Oberon, who by their efforts and luck rose to become huge stars in films made in Britain and in Hollywood.

            “Like our previous flagship project on Niranjan Pal this project too is unique and this documentary demonstrates and highlights many hidden success stories as well as the contribution of film personalities such as Dewan Sharar and Ghulam Iftekhar Rasool whose contribution is unrecognised even to this day”, Lalit Mohan Joshi said.

            “Over the past year SACF has been researching the hidden history of Indo-British film collaborations in the 1930s and 1940s.

            Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the project has uncovered fascinating new material on the better-known stars of that era, as well as stories of previously unknown collaborations between British and South Asian filmmaking personnel”, said Prof Rosie Thomas, Co-Director of India Media Centre, University of Westminster, London.

            Based on fresh research, SACF’s new publication is an A–Z of Britons, people of South-Asian-origin and some from other parts of the world who worked together in cinema in UK and India between 1930 and 1951.

            It includes a host of actors and actresses, novelists, story and scriptwriters, directors, producers, editors, lyricists, musicians, dancers, cinematographers and set designers connected with Indo-British cinema.

            Some Indian and British documentary filmmakers have also been included. (PTI)


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