Since long, India has been the leading nation in the charts of numbers of movies produced in a year. With a great figure of 900-1000 movies produced annually, Indian Film Industry has a lot to share with the world and the nation. We have the largest film industry in the world based on quantity of movies produced. Bigger achievements have greater stories to share. With an approximate worth of $3 billion, the industry is ruling the silver screen at global arena since a century.
Starting from the movie Raja Harishchandra by Dadasaheb Phalke in 1913 till date, Indian Film Industry has a lot to share about its glorious history. The National Council of Science Museums (NCSM), headquartered at Mumbai, gave the country the first National Museum for Indian Cinema (NMIC), which was inaugurated by our Honorable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on January 19, 2019. The museum will be operational under the aegis of the Films Division of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India.
The first museum of the country to celebrate Indian Cinema is dedicated to elite and outstanding film personalities, movie setups and studios, trendsetting and landmark movies and cinema works produced in India ever since the inception of the Film Industry. Rs. 140-crore is the cost incurred in the construction of this state-of-the-art museum spread over an area of 12000 square meters at the Film Division premises at Peddar Road in Mumbai. The museum is equipped with interactive displays, mobile exhibitions, 3D compatible theatres with 4K projection setup and 7.1 surround sound.
The museum complex comprises of two buildings – a 5-storeyed New Museum Building and a Victorian Gothic Bungalow of 19th Century. The second unit is named Gulshan Mahal, which is a conglomerate of galleries and exhibitions displaying rich memories associated with the initial stages of Indian Film Industry. The building has four exhibition halls based on different themes like “Gandhi and Cinema”, “Children’s Film Studio”, “Technology, Creativity and Indian Cinema” and “Cinema across India”.
The day of inauguration of the National Museum for Indian Cinema was a day of celebration for Mumbai, but reason of celebrating the same at Kolkata cannot be neglected. Amidst notable and eminent personalities of Bollywood, the museum also dedicated its galleries and exhibition spaces in highlighting the contribution of Kolkata Film industry in Indian Cinema. Galleries dedicated to the works of Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak and Mrinal Sen spreads its aura claiming the contribution of Kolkata Film Industry during the silent era of Indian Cinema. The displays are also enriched with time-rich collection of costumes worn by all time favorite on-screen couple Uttam Kumar and Suchitra Sen. Kolkata shared the glances of its unmatched contribution to Indian Cinema in the silent and talkies era. Pioneers like S Madan, Hiralal Sen, Himangshu Ray, Devaki Bose, Nitin Bose and Raichand Boral made the city proud as their impeccable works glittered in the exhibition displays.
Mr. Indranil Sanyal, a Senior Curator of National Council of Science Museum expressed, “The beauty of New Theatres is that it had produced films in both Bengali and Hindi and have some of the biggest names like Prithviraj Kapoor of Bollywood associated with them.” Mr. Indranil Sanyal played a lead role in the development of the National Museum for Indian Cinema. Mr. Sanyal also explained, “We are happy that we have been able to give Kolkata’s Aurora Films its pride of place. This studio set up in 1911 is the oldest surviving studio in the country. It has not only given us costumes to display, but also a range of cameras and other film equipments of yore.” The vibrancies and elegance of the central portion of the museum is enhanced by the Ray-Ghatak-Sen Hall, which focuses on the two most widely used language of Indian Cinema – Hindi and Bengali.
The museum has done all that is required to highlight the importance of the contribution made by Kolkata Film Industry in enriching and gilding the glorious paths of achievements for the Indian Film Industry.