Mumbai: Film Heritage Foundation on Friday announced a film festival to celebrate Amitabh Bachchan's 80th birthday, as a part of which movies featuring the megastar will be screened in 17 cities across the country.
The not-for-profit organisation, founded by filmmaker and archivist Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, has curated a collection of 11 blockbuster films such as “Don”, “Kaala Patthar”, and “Kaalia”, in partnership with leading multiplex chain PVR Cinemas.
The four-day day event, titled 'Bachchan Back To The Beginning', will open on October 8 and close on October 11, the star's birthday. The gala will cover 172 showcases and 30 screens across 22 cinema halls all over India.
Bachchan said he never thought he would see a day that all these films from his early career would be back on the big screen.
"It is a remarkable initiative of the Film Heritage Foundation and PVR to showcase not just my work, but the work of my directors, fellow actors and technicians of the time who made these films possible.
"It brings back an era that is gone, but not forgotten. This is why saving India's film heritage is so important. I hope that this is just the beginning of many festivals that will celebrate landmark films of Indian cinema back on the big screen," the 79-year-old actor said in a statement.
According to the press release issued by Film Heritage Foundation, audiences across cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Surat, Baroda, Raipur, Kanpur, Kolhapur, Indore, and Bachchan's hometown Prayagraj will get to see some of superstar's landmark films in cinema halls.
Other titles to be screened as part of the festival are “Kabhie Kabhie”, “Amar Akbar Anthony”, “Namak Halaal”, “Abhimaan”, “Deewar”, “Mili”, “Satte Pe Satta”, and “Chupke Chupke”.
Dungarpur, director of Film Heritage Foundation, said the festival aims to provide audiences with a cinematic experience of Bachchan's movies.
“Growing up, I was the biggest Amitabh Bachchan fan. I am so glad that the Film Heritage Foundation is paying tribute to Mr Bachchan on his 80th birthday with the first-of-its-kind country-wide four-day festival.
"It has been a mammoth task putting together the best of his early films that launched him as a superstar and to showcase these films so that audiences across the country can enjoy the films the way they were originally screened on the big screen,” added Dungarpur.
As a special incentive to his fans, PVR Cinemas has made available a movie pass at Rs 400 that can be purchased online through the PVR App and web.
The pass can be redeemed across all days in any of the 22 cinemas where the movies are running. Single movie tickets would be priced Rs 80, according to the press release.
Dungarpur said he is thankful to PVR Cinemas for coming on board to screen the iconic films of the veteran actor.
He also thanked film producer Siddharth Roy Kapur for his support that enabled them to do the festival and mount the exhibition of Bachchan's memorabilia at a PVR theatre in Juhu, suburban Mumbai. The exhibition has been curated by film historian, author and archivist S M M Ausaja.
It will entail a diverse and carefully curated collection of memorabilia, including rare vintage posters, unseen shooting stills from the superstar's career, commissioned artworks, photographs, LP jackets, magazine covers, a giant seven-feet standee and the original "Shahenshah" costume.
Ajay Bijli, Chairman & Managing Director, PVR Ltd, said they are delighted to partner with Film Heritage Foundation for the festival.
“We are so happy that for the first time ever we are able to stage a festival of this kind of Mr. Bachchan's films across the country to celebrate his work at the scale that is befitting the biggest icon of Indian cinema,” Bijli said.