G Aravindan’s 'Kummatty' restored, upscaled into 4K in US; screened at The Film Foundation

A comparison of the visual before and after restoration | Screengrab/The Film Foundation

New Delhi: A restored version of the 1979 Malayalam classic "Kummatty" was screened by Martin Scorsese's The Film Foundation (TFF), the filmmaker has announced.

The Aravindan Govindan-directed film is being showcased in The Film Foundation Restoration Screening Room, a free virtual space that presents restored versions of old films, Scorsese said in an Instagram post on Monday.

"KUMMATTY (India, 1979, d. Aravindan Govindan) will be presented in The Film Foundation Restoration Screening Room. Tune in at 7:00pm BST/ET/PT for the screening accompanied by a live chat. The film will also be available on demand at 7:00pm local time," the multiple Oscar winner wrote alongside a number stills from the movie.

The Film Foundation is a non-profit organisation, which was founded by Scorsese in 1990, and it works with archives and studios to restore and preserve films from all over the world.

"Kummatty" was restored by The Film Foundation's World Cinema Project, Shivendra Singh Dungarpur's Film Heritage Foundation, and Cineteca di Bologna at L'Immagine Ritrovata laboratory, in association with General Pictures and the family of Aravindan Govindan, Scorsese said in the post.

The funding for the restoration was provided by the Material World Foundation, he added. "Restored in 4K using the best surviving element: a vintage 35mm print struck from the original camera negative and preserved at the National Film Archive of India. A second 35mm print with English subtitles was used as a reference. Color grading was supervised by the film’s cinematographer Shaji N. Karun. Special thanks to Ramu Aravindan," notes the website.

The Malayalam film follows a magician, named Kummatty, who travels from place to place and entertains children with dancing, singing and performing magic. During one such performance at a village, Kummatty turns a group of children into animals.


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