Dilip Kumar, considered one of India’s greatest actors, will be honored at a bespoke, heritage festival starting next month.
Dilip Kumar Hero of Heroes Utsav will be held on December 10 and 11 to mark the hero’s birth centenary. Kumar (aka Yusuf Khan) died at the age of 98 in July last year.
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The festival is organized by the Film Heritage Foundation, which is behind an upcoming film restoration workshop in Mumbai and whose director Shivendra Singh Durgapur was at Film Bazaar this week and spoke on a panel about restoration.
The festival will screen Kumar’s four landmark 1952 films “An”, “Devdas” (1955), “Ram Or Shyam” (1967) and “Shakti” (1982) at cinema venues in over 30 cities across India. The host cities include Mumbai, Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida, Pune, Bareilly, Kanpur, Varanasi, Allahabad, Raipur, Indore, Surat, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Bangalore and Hyderabad.
“Dilip Kumar turns 100! What an incredible opportunity to bring one of the greatest actors of Indian cinema back to the big screen. He is truly the ‘Hero of Heroes’ as even today he is an actor that the biggest stars look up to. Even though some of these films were released nearly seventy years ago. , Dilip Kumar’s power of acting, his craft as a method actor and his charisma make him ageless,” said Durgapur.
But before selecting the festival, Durgapur and FHF first had to overcome the problem of decaying or missing materials.
“I was so excited about how much [Kumar’s] I can make movies to mark the occasion. Little did I know then that I would have the opposite problem. I was shocked and heartbroken to discover that many of his great films survived only in low-resolution formats that could not be projected on the big screen,” said Durgapur.
“I painstakingly put these pictures together and many people asked me why some of their favorite Dilip Kumar films were not included. I hope this will be a wake-up call for filmmakers and producers to realize that time is running out and they should look at saving their films before it’s too late.”
“Yusuf sahab has set an international bar for Indian actors to follow. Scholarly, eloquent and excellent in his chosen field. Movies can make people believe that those who are gone are still alive. In that context Dilip Kumar ji to me is one of the best actors alive in the world,” said leading Indian actor Kamal Haasan.
“I would urge every film lover and contemporary actor who has not seen Dilip Kumar larger than life, not to miss this incredible opportunity to see this giant of actors on the big screen. It will be a master class in acting,” said Amitabh Bachchan, leading actor and ambassador of FHF. “I am yet to meet an actor who can match his flawless acting, his flawless dialogue and the intelligence and commitment he brought to his craft. Every word he uttered was poetry and when he appeared on screen, everything else was a blur.”
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