Vintage Bachchan Back on the Big Screen – 11 iconic films, 4 days, 17 cities, 22 cinemas
In a world where the moving image has been reduced to content to be consumed on the go, on demand, on cellphones and personal devices, the cinema of the big screen and the shared audience experience that we know and love is facing its biggest challenge in India today. The Bachchan Back to the Beginning Festival curated by Film Heritage Foundation celebrates the legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan on his 80th birthday by showcasing landmark films from the 1970s and ‘80s that gave birth to a superstar.
Audiences first watched Amitabh Bachchan larger than life close to 50 years ago in these 11 iconic films on the big screen that saw the beginning of a phenomenon embodied in the Angry Young Man, the poet, the comic, the man next door . . . all the different avatars that this extraordinary actor captured in his unforgettable performances on celluloid. This festival in 19 cities and 25 cinemas over four days across the country we knew would have audiences thronging back to the cinemas and would change the perception that film heritage and classic cinema should be confined to retrospectives at festivals and cultural spaces that would see a handful of loyal fans in the audience. Bachchan Back to the Beginning is a people’s festival that will see fans of all ages and backgrounds come back to cinemas across the country to see the biggest superstar back on the big screen, the way these films were meant to be seen. We hope that this will also encourage producers and copyright holders to preserve and restore our endangered film heritage.
To coincide with the festival, Film Heritage Foundation has set up an exhibition that highlights significant moments and aspects of the superstar’s career captured for posterity through ephemera including rare and unseen photographs, art works and memorabilia. The exhibition has been meticulously researched and curated by film historian and author S.M.M. Ausaja, who had previously mounted exhibitions on Amitabh Bachchan’s 70th and 75th years respectively.
Film Heritage Foundation would like to thank Siddharth Roy Kapur for his support that enabled us to set up the exhibition and also to Fantico for loaning the Shahenshah costume for the exhibition.
As a special incentive to fans who want to enjoy all the films, PVR has made available a Movie Pass @ INR 400 that can be purchased online through the PVR App and Web. The pass can be redeemed across all days in any of the 25 cinemas where the films are being screened. For further information, please visit the PVR Website, www.pvrcinemas.com or download the PVR Mobile App.
“I didn’t think that I would see a day that all these films from my early career would be back on the big screen across the country. It is a remarkable initiative of 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.”
Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, Director, Film Heritage Foundation
“Growing up, I was the biggest Amitabh Bachchan fan. I used to break bounds when I was in school to watch his films and was often thrown out of class in college for sitting in the back benches and writing notes about his films. I am so glad that Film Heritage Foundation is paying tribute to Mr. Bachchan on his 80th birthday with the first-of-its-kind four-day festival on a scale that befits the biggest icon of Indian cinema. 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. I know that this will be the first of many festivals that will bring our cinematic heritage back to the theatres where it belongs.
I’d like to thank Ajay Bijli and the team at PVR for coming on board and making it possible to screen these iconic films in 17 centres around India from megacities like Mumbai and Delhi to smaller towns like Kolhapur, Surat, Kanpur and Indore. I would also like to thank my friend Siddharth Roy Kapur for his generous support that enabled us to do the festival and mount the exhibition of Mr. Bachchan’s memorabilia at PVR Juhu.”
- Abhimaan (1973) – directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee
- Deewar (1975) – directed by Yash Chopra
- Chupke Chupke (1975) – directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee
- Mili (1975) – directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee
- Kabhie Kabhie (1976) – directed by Yash Chopra
- Amar Akbar Anthony (1977) –directed by Manmohan Desai
- Don (1978) – directed by Chandra Barot
- Kaala Patthar (1979) – directed by Yash Chopra
- Kaalia (1981) – directed by Tinnu Anand
- Namak Halaal (1982) – directed by Prakash Mehra
- Satte Pe Satta (1982) – directed by Raj N. Sippy
BACHCHAN BACK TO THE BEGINNING EXHIBITION OF AMITABH BACHCHAN MEMORABILIA AT PVR JUHU IN MUMBAI
To coincide with the film festival, Film Heritage Foundation will set up an exhibition of rare Amitabh Bachchan memorabilia at PVR Juhu.
The narrative of the exhibition will be told through arresting framed visuals, celebrating decades of success, fan-frenzy and accolades. This one-of-its-kind exhibition of Amitabh Bachchan’s career would have a diverse and carefully curated collection of memorabilia, including vintage posters, commissioned artworks, photographs, LP Jackets, magazine covers, a giant 7 feet standee and the original Shahenshah costume. Meticulously researched to delight the visitors with rare and unseen visuals from the superstar’s career, the exhibition is being curated by film historian, author and archivist S M M Ausaja.
- Rare vintage posters
- Original Shahenshah costume
- Unseen shooting stills
- Select artworks
S.M.M. Ausaja, Film Historian and Author
“It’s an honour to be able to play a small role in celebrating the country’s biggest icon on his 80th year. This would be my third exhibition on the life and times of the superstar, after the previous ones on his 70th and 75th year celebrations. Am grateful to Shivendra Singh Dungarpur and FHF for this noble endeavour that needs to be applauded by the film fraternity as well as the country.”
‘Bachchan Back to the Beginning’ at the 70th Sydney Film Festival to celebrate Amitabh Bachchan retrospective
‘Bachchan Back to the Beginning’ at the 9th edition of India Film Festival of Alberta 2023 to celebrate Amitabh Bachchan retrospective in Edmonton, Canada
Amitabh Bachchan: Big B Forever at the 45th Festival Des 3 Continents to celebrate the Amitabh Bachchan retrospective in Nantes, France
“Film Heritage Foundation’s initiative to bring classic Indian films back on the big screen in India has been truly remarkable. I am so pleased to hear that they are co-presenting a selection of nine of my early films at one of the oldest and most reputed film festivals – the Festival des 3 Continents in Nantes, especially as it focuses on the cinema of Africa, Latin America and Asia. Many of these films gave me an opportunity to play a diverse range of characters and work with some of the most significant filmmakers of the time including Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Manmohan Desai, Yash Chopra and Ramesh Sippy. I hope that the festival audience will enjoy the selection of films that continue to give so much joy to viewers even half a century since they were made. Even though I will not be there in person, I am delighted that my daughter Shweta will be in Nantes to represent me at the festival.”
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