Film scholar P K Nair passes away

India’s pioneering film archivist and film scholar Paramesh Krishnan Nair passed away in Pune, Maharashtra. He was 82.

He had won the epithet of ‘celluloid man’ for his lifelong dedication towards the acquisition and preservation of cinematic heritage of the country. He was founder and director of Pune based National Film Archive of India (NFAI) in 1964.

About Paramesh Krishnan Nair

  • Born in 1933 in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. His interest in films began in 1940s after seeing Tamil mythological dramas such as Bhakta Prahlada and Ananthasayanam.
  • His stint with the NFAI started as assistant curator in 1965 and 17 years later, he became its director in 1982.
  • A passionate film archivist, he had collected and archived over 12,000 films of which 8,000 were Indian over three decades of career with NFAI till his retirement 1991.
  • Even after his retirement in 1991, he continued to support NFAI in its cause towards film preservation and film archiving.
  • He was also instrumental in popularizing the culture of film literacy throughout India through the film appreciation courses.
  • He was instrumental in acquiring for the archive several landmark Indian films like Dadasaheb Phalke’s Raja Harishchandraand Kaliya Mardan and works of legendary filmmakers such as Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen, Ritwik Ghatak, V. Shantaram, Raj Kapoor and Guru Dutt.
  • In 2012, Shivendra Singh Dungarpur had made an award-winning documentary Celluloid Man based on his life and works.
  • He was often regarded as the Henri Langlois (French film archivist and cinephile) of India because of his lifelong dedication towards the preservation of films in India.

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