India’s First Crowdfunded Film Manthan Receives Standing Ovation At Cannes Film Festival

India's First Crowdfunded Film Manthan Receives Standing Ovation At Cannes Film Festival

Film Heritage Foundation, a not-for-profit organization founded by filmmaker and archivist Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, returned to the red carpet at Cannes for a third year in a row last night for the world premiere of their restoration of Shyam Benegal’s landmark film ‘Manthan’ (1976) under the Cannes Classic Selection.

India's First Crowdfunded Film Manthan Receives Standing Ovation At Cannes Film Festival

Indian audiences can catch the premiere of the restored film in theaters nationwide on World Milk Day falling on June 1st, 2024.

Shivendra Singh Dungarpur lead the ‘Manthan’ entourage on the red carpet along with actors Naseeruddin Shah and Ratna Pathak Shah, Prateik Babbar (actor and son of the late actress Smita Patil), Nirmala Kurien (daughter of Dr. Verghese Kurien), Dr. Anita Patil Deshmukh and Manya Patil Seth (sisters of late actress Smita Patil) and the producers of the film Dr. Jayen Mehta (Managing Director, Gujarat Co-Operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd.).

Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, Director, Film Heritage Foundation states, “It was amazing walking the red carpet third time in a row and presenting another restored classic here in Cannes the head of Cannes Classic kept talking about the level of restoration various people came to me to talk about the restoration and said they cannot believe the level of restoration we missed Shyam Benegal as there was standing ovation which lasted for almost 5minutes after the film.”

India's First Crowdfunded Film Manthan Receives Standing Ovation At Cannes Film Festival

‘Manthan’ is a fictionalized version of the beginnings of the extraordinary dairy cooperative movement that transformed India from a milk-deficient nation to the world’s largest milk producer inspired by Dr. Verghese Kurien, the Father of the White Revolution. Remarkably, the national award-winning film which enlists late Girish Karnad, Naseeruddin Shah and late Smita Patil as its starcast is also India’s first crowdfunded film produced by 500,000 dairy farmers who contributed Rs. 2/- each towards the production of the film.

The film was restored by Film Heritage Foundation at Prasad Corporation Pvt. Ltd.’s Post – Studios, Chennai and L’Immagine Ritrovata Laboratory, in association with Gujarat Co-Operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd. (Amul), the cinematographer Govind Nihalani and the director Shyam Benegal.

Restoration Process

Manthan was restored using the best surviving elements: the 35 mm original camera negative preserved at the NFDC-National Film Archive of India and the 35 mm release print preserved at Film Heritage Foundation. Portions of the original camera negative had colour fading and variations, green mould and flicker, while many parts of the 35 mm print had scratches and vertical green lines. The sound negative had completely deteriorated and could not be used. The sound was digitised from the 35 mm release print. The film elements were repaired by the Film Heritage Foundation conservators and the scanning was done in Prasad Lab in Chennai. While the scanning and digital clean-up was done at Prasad under the supervision of L’Immagine Ritrovata in Bologna, the grading, sound restoration and mastering was done at the lab in Bologna. Both Shyam Benegal and Govind Nihalani, the cinematographer of the film, have been involved in the restoration of the film.

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