Manthan to release in 50 cities across India

After the resounding success of the world premiere of the Film Heritage Foundation’s restoration of Shyam Benegal’s 1976 film ‘Manthan’ at the Cannes Film Festival 2024, the Film Heritage Foundation and the Gujarat Co-Operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd. have collaborated with PVR-INOX Ltd. and Cinépolis India to release the restored classic in 50 cities and 100 cinemas across India on June 1 & 2, 2024.

‘Manthan’, 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, 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 featured a stellar cast including Girish Karnad, Naseeruddin Shah, Smita Patil, Dr. Mohan Agashe, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Anant Nag, and Abha Dhulia. ‘Manthan’ was shot by renowned cinematographer and director Govind Nihalani and the music was composed by eminent music composer Vanraj Bhatia.

Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, Director, of the Film Heritage Foundation states, When Film Heritage Foundation takes up the restoration of a film it is with the ultimate aim of bringing it back to the public for which it was made. Funded by 500,000 farmers, ‘Manthan’ is a film made by the people for the people and we knew that it was imperative that the restored film be shown back on the big screen to reach the widest audience possible. I am so pleased that audiences across the country in cities ranging from the big metros like Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata, and Chennai to smaller cities like Dharwad, Kakinada, Nadiad, Bhatinda, Panipat and Kozhikode will have the opportunity to watch the beautifully restored film.”

Shyam Benegal states, “I was so pleased to hear about the fantastic response that the restoration of ‘Manthan’ received at its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. But I am even more delighted that the restored film will be released in cinemas across the country. “Manthan” will be the first restoration of one of my films that will have a theatrical release. When ‘Manthan’ was released in 1976, it was a great success as the farmers themselves came to see the film in droves, traveling in bullock carts from small towns and villages. I hope that 48 years later when the restored film comes back to the big screen this June, people across India will come to the cinema to watch the film.”

Naseeruddin Shah states, “Watching the restored ‘Manthan’ at its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival was a very emotional experience for me. I was overwhelmed by memories from almost fifty years ago when cinema was a vehicle of change and moved to tears by the standing ovation at the end, which was not just for myself but for the film which has more than stood the test of time and also for the beauty of the restoration. I am delighted that the film is to be released in cinemas across India and I hope that people will not lose the opportunity to watch a beautiful restoration of a historic film on the big screen. I will be going to the theatre myself to watch the film again.”

Govind Nihalani states,Having been involved in the restoration of ‘Manthan’ and seen the painstaking effort that Film Heritage Foundation has put in over many months to ensure that the restoration is as true to the original work as possible, I cannot wait to watch the film back on the big screen, the way it should be watched and to see the work that Shyam and I envisioned nearly fifty years ago come back to life again.”

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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