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Legendary filmmaker G. Aravindan's photo collection comes to NFAI


Pune: In a major acquisition, a trove of photographs and other materials from the private collection of legendary seven-time National Award winner filmmaker, the late Govindan Aravindan, has become a part of the National Film Archives of India (NFAI), an official said here on Friday.

Ramu Aravindan, son of the multi-faceted Kerala filmmaker, handed over the collection to NFAI Director Prakash Magdum during the Bengaluru International Film Festival.

"During a retrospective of Aravindan's films in Thiruvananthapuram two years ago, I met Ramu Aravindan and his mother, and requested them to trace and find such material. They did it and have handed it over to the NFAI," said a Magdum.

"The collection comprises mostly production stills, prints and transparencies and other material like leaflets, handouts, concerning all my father's films and documentaries, compiled from our family home," said Ramu Aravindan.

Aravindan is considered among the most iconic filmmakers of India and instrumental in shaping the aesthetic core of Indian cinema.

The NFAI has restored and preserved nine of his major films. They include "Uttarayanam" (1974), "Kanchan Seeta" (1977), "Thampu" (1978), "Esthapan" and "Kummaty" (both 1979), "Pokkuveyil" (1981), "Chidambaram" (1985), "Marattam" (1988) and "Vasthuhara" (1990).

Born in Kottayam, Aravindan was the son of the famed humour writer M.N. Govindan Nair, and started his professional life as a cartoonist with Malayalam language daily - 'Mathrubhumi' - in the 1960s.

Later, he shifted attention to theatre and music and helped establish two clubs -- 'Navarangam' and 'Sopanam' -- and collaborated with the eminent theater personality K.N. Panicker.

From 1974, Aravindan ventured into filmmaking and came out with several classics, including seven which bagged National Awards - "Uttarayanam", "Kanchan Seeta", "Thampu", "Chidambaram", "Oridathu" and "Vasthuhara".

He was conferred the country's fourth highest civilian award - Padma Shri - in 1990 and passed away in 1991, aged only 56.

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