Film Heritage Foundation and Martin Scorsese’s The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project join hands to restore Girish Kasaravalli’s landmark Kannada film “Ghatashraddha” (1977) supported by The Hobson /Lucas Family Foundation.

Film Heritage Foundation is proud to announce yet another collaboration with Martin Scorsese’s The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project to restore Girish Kasaravalli’s landmark Kannada film “Ghatashraddha” (1977). The decision to restore “Ghatashraddha” is in line with Film Heritage Foundation’s policy to restore hidden gems of Indian cinema and to showcase them to contemporary audiences.

Film critic Omar Ahmed writing for the BFI in July 2023 included “Ghatashraddha” in his list of the 10 Great Indian Arthouse Films of the 1970s. He wrote, “Kasaravalli was deeply influenced by Italian neorealism, which is reflected in the use of natural lighting, documentary aesthetics and location shooting. His film documents Yamuna’s obliteration at the hands of the Brahmin community, traumatised by a patriarchal system of religious hypocrisy.”

It is a matter of great pride that Film Heritage Foundation’s proposal to restore “Ghatashraddha” was accepted by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project and that the funding for the restoration will be provided by Hobson / Lucas Family Foundation helmed by renowned filmmaker George Lucas and his wife Mellody Hobson.

The restoration will be done at L’Immagine Ritrovata in Bologna, Italy, one of the best film restoration labs in the world. The source element for the restoration is the original camera negative preserved at the NFDC-National Film Archive of India.

Film Heritage Foundation has collaborated in the past with Martin Scorsese’s The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project to restore Aravindan Govindan’s milestone Malayalam films “Kummatty” (1979) and “Thamp̄” (1978). “Thamp̄” was selected for red-carpet world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in 2022.

SHIVENDRA SINGH DUNGARPUR

FILMMAKER, ARCHIVIST AND DIRECTOR, FILM HERITAGE FOUNDATION:

“Film Heritage Foundation has been working on restoring films from every region of India with a special focus on artistic regional films many of which are in danger of going out of circulation and falling off the map. While we are also involved with restorations of major films like “Sholay” and Bimal Roy’s films for instance, we have restored Aravindan Govindan’s Malayalam films “Thamp̄” and “Kummatty”, Aribam Syam Sharma’s Manipuri film “Ishanou”, Nirad Mohapatra’s Odia film “Māyā Miriga” and are working on the restoration of Shyam Benegal’s “Manthan”. With 14 National Awards to his credit, Girish Kasaravalli is a leading light of Kannada cinema and we preserve his material in our archive.  His first film “Ghatashraddha” was an obvious next choice for us to propose for restoration to The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project. We are so pleased that they agreed to collaborate with us and delighted that George Lucas and Mellody Hobson will be supporting the restoration through the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation.”


GIRISH KASARAVALLI

DIRECTOR, GHATASHRADDHA

“I am overwhelmed to know that The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project (WCP) founded by the renowned filmmaker, Martin Scorsese is joining hands with Shivendra Singh Dungarpur’s Film Heritage Foundation for the restoration of GHATASHRADDHA, the film which marked my debut as a film-maker in the year 1976. I am given to understand that this restoration work is to be funded by the HOBSON /LUCAS FAMILY FOUNDATION of Mr. George Lucas and his wife Mrs. Mellody Hobson. I am deeply touched and thank them all for their benevolence. The fact that my film has been selected for restoration by none other than that doyens among filmmakers, is a matter of pride and great honour. I am thankful to Mr. Scorsese and WORLD CINEMA PROJECT, and Mr. George Lucas and Mrs. Mellody Hobson and HOBSON/ LUCAS FAMILY FOUNDATION.

I would also like to give my sincere thanks to Mr. Shivendra Singh Dungarpur of FILM HERITAGE FOUNDATION who not only did put forward the proposal for restoration but also pursued it to its logical conclusion. Under his guidance, The Film Heritage Foundation has been rendering yeoman service in the area of archival preservation and restoration. It is a joy to see that the restoration-work at the Foundation is undertaken with so much love and care for the art-form along with due respect to the innate vision of the filmmaker. I have donated all the material pertaining to GHATASHRADDHA that was in my possession as a rightful owner to Film Heritage Foundation for the purpose of preservation and restoration. It is heartening to know that the restoration work on the film would be completed well before 2026 which marks the 50th anniversary of its making. I just can’t wait to see the restored version of my film in all its pristine beauty.”


SYNOPSIS: GHATASHRADDHA (THE RITUAL, 1977)

“Ghatashraddha” is an award-winning Kannada film that marks the directorial debut of Girish Kasaravalli. It is based on a short story by eminent Kannada writer Dr. U.R. Ananthamurthy that left a deep impression on the filmmaker when he read it in high school.

Set in South India, the film describes the ostracism of a young woman who transgresses the rigid sexual code of the orthodox Brahmin society. The style is deceptively simple in telling the story of Yamuna, a child widow living with her father in the Vedic school which he runs. Seduced and made pregnant by the teacher of the local government school, Yamuna attempts suicide but is rescued by a young student of her father’s called Nani with whom she has a deep bond of affection. She agrees to an abortion – equally suicidal, for, though she survives, she is left in pain and is made an outcast by her own father, who performs a funeral rite for his still-living daughter. In this rite, an earthen pot, symbol of fertility, is broken.


CAST AND CREW DETAILS:

Ghatashraddha (The Ritual) India, 1977, Girish Kasaravalli

108 mins, Black & White, Kannada, English Subtitles, Aspect Ratio 1.37:1

Direction and Screenplay: Girish Kasaravalli, Story: Dr. U. R. Ananthamurthy, Dialogue and Art Director: K. V. Subbanna, Cinematographer: S. Ramachandra, Editor: Umesh Kulkarni, Sound: K. S. Krishna Moorthy, Music: B. V. Karanth, Production Controllers: S. M. Shetty and Umesh K. G., Producer: Sadanand Suvarna / Suvarnagiri Films

Cast: Meena Kuttappa, Narayana Bhat, Ajit Kumar, Jagannath, Suresh, Shantha, H. S. Parvathi, Ramakrishna, Ramaswamy Iyengar


RESTORATION CREDITS:

“Restored by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project and Film Heritage Foundation at L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory.
 
Funding provided by the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation.”

NEWS ARTICLES:

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Dainik Jaltedeep
The Federal
Hyderabad Times

 


Delhi Times
Bengaluru Times
Bombay Times
Goa Times

Bombay Times
Chennai Times
Pune Times
Goa Times

The New India Express
Hindustan Times
Variety Magazine
The Hindu

COLLABORATORS

THE FILM FOUNDATION’S WORLD CINEMA PROJECT

Created in 1990 by Martin Scorsese, The Film Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and preserving motion picture history.

By working in partnership with archives and studios, the foundation has helped to restore over 1000 films, which are shared with the public through programming at festivals, museums, and educational institutions around the world. The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project has restored 58 films from 30 different countries representing the rich diversity of world cinema. In 2017, WCP partnered with FEPACI (the Pan African Federation of Filmmakers), UNESCO, and the Cineteca di Bologna to launch the African Film Heritage Project (AFHP), an initiative to locate, preserve, and disseminate African cinema. The foundation’s free educational program, The Story of Movies, teaches young people – over 10 million to date – about film language and history. The Film Foundation Restoration Screening Room presents monthly film restorations, free and accessible through any web browser. www.film-foundation.org