NFAI acquires huge personal collection of filmmaker and historian Vijaya Mulay
New Delhi, January 18, 2021
The National Film Archive of India (NFAI) has acquired a huge collection of books and films from the personal collection of prominent documentary filmmaker and film historian Vijaya Mulay.
Mulay’s daughter and actress Suhasini Mulay donated the valuable collection to the NFAI. Vijaya Mulay was one of the pioneers of the film society movement in India and is acknowledged for her documentaries and educational communication.
The personal collection consists of more than 200 books, films in 16 mm format and multiple VHS tapes. The enormous number of books in different languages covers a vast variety right from Indian cinema, prominent filmmakers, fiction & non-fiction films to the world cinema and globally acknowledged filmmakers.
There are also magazines, journals, film dictionaries and brochures/official documents of various film festivals.
A 16mm print of an educational film, ‘Kishan And His Magic Chariot’ (1980), produced by Vijaya Mulay is a major feature of the collection. The film talks about ways of learning and teaching by bringing out the curiosity in the students to explore the world.
Some of the other titles of the received films are ‘The Indian Tomb’ (1921) which is co-written by celebrated filmmaker Fritz Lang, another one is a French documentary film ‘Calcutta’ (1969) by Louis Malle, the film was part of Cannes Film Festival, 1969, and ‘Moving Pictures’ (2000) by Colin Law, a documentary that presents a visual exploration of his personal collection of war images collected over five decades.
The highlight is one of the VHS consists a TV series called ‘J'ai fait un beau voyage’, the 3-episodes program with a legendary filmmaker from Italian cinema Roberto Rossellini, named ‘Heureux Qui Comme Rossellini’ broadcast from January 11-August 6, 1959.
It also has a documentary film directed by Suhasini Mulay, Tapan Bose and Salim Shaikh, ‘Bhopal: Beyond Genocide (1986)'. The painstaking documentary on the tragic incident unfolds the events after a poisonous gas leak on the night of December 3, 1984, from a pesticide plant in Bhopal.
“We are delighted and truly honoured to receive this substantial collection. I am thankful to Suhasini Mulay Ji for having faith in the NFAI and to donate the material for the preservation. I am sure this addition would be useful to film researchers across the world. We also appeal to all to deposit archival film-related material to NFAI so that it can be preserved for future generations and made accessible to film researchers,” said Prakash Magdum, Director, NFAI.