Aradhana: ‘Aradhana’, ‘Amar Prem’ among 7 Shakti Samanta films to be restored | Kolkata News

KOLKATA: The National Film Development Corporation of India-National Film Archive of India (NFDC-NFAI) recently acquired negatives of Shakti Samanta‘s ‘Kashmir Ki Kali’, ‘Aradhana‘, ‘Kati Patang’, ‘Amar Prem’, ‘Chinatown’, ‘An Evening in Paris’ and ‘Howrah Bridge’. Currently, these Hindi films are on their way to being restored in 4K resolution by NFAI. Samanta’s son -Ashim Samanta- also wants to give all six Bengali films directed by the filmmaker for 4K restoration at NFAI as part of the restoration project under the National Film Heritage Mission.

Restoration work will first begin with ‘Aradhana’. According to NFDC’s managing director Prithul Kumar, “NFDC-NFAI is planning to restore Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore’s ‘Aradhana’ for the first time in 4K. This is part of the restoration project under National Film Heritage Mission, which is an initiative of the ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Last year, NFDC-NFAI acquired multiple negatives of Shakti Samanta’s films, graciously provided by his son, Ashim Samanta, for long-term preservation.” “While restoring old movies it’s important to digitise them in 4K resolution. That is the display format on which these films will be consumed by modern audiences,” Kumar said.
Ashim told TOI that he has 42 films of Samanta,including the six in Bengali. “The negatives of some of them are with NFAI. I’ve restored all my films on 2K and have spent at least Rs 4 lakh -Rs 5 lakh on restoring each. I want to have them restored in 4K resolution,” he said.
Born in Burdwan, Samanta had primarily worked in Bombay Talkies. His Bengali films include ‘Aradhana’ (1969), Uttam Kumar-Sharmila Tagore’s ‘Amanush’ (1975), Ashok Kumar-Uttam Kumar-Sharmila Tagore’s ‘Ananda Ashram’ (1977), Rakhee-Amitabh Bachchan’s ‘Anusandhan’ (1981) and Mithun Chakraborty-Mandakini-Tanuja’s ‘Andha Bichar’ (1990). The last Bengali film he directed was the Prosenjit-Arpita-Indrani starrer ‘Devdas’ (2002).
One of Ashim’s biggest regrets is that scenes from cult films which didn’t make it to the final cut weren’t preserved. Two songs from ‘Kashmir Ki Kali’ were deleted, but no footage survived. “My father had shot a comedy, ‘Naughty Boy’, with Madhubala and Kishore Kumar. Some 10 reels were shot. Due to failing health, she couldn’t complete it and her portions were scrapped. She was replaced by new actress Kalpana (Mohan), but the chemistry was not even 10%. Back in the day, nobody thought about preserving a 10-reel film. It was thrown away,” Ashim said.

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