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Legendary film archivist P.K. Nair passes away

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He was instrumental in archiving several landmark Indian films such as Dadasaheb Phalke’s Raja Harishchandra and Kaliya Mardan.
P.K. Nair passes away

India’s pioneering film archivist,  film scholar, and founder director of the National Film Archive of India (NFAI), Pune, breathed his last on Friday morning (March 4th, 2016).

Paramesh Krishnan Nair, who had dedicated his life to preservation of films and building the collection of films at the NFAI, was instrumental in archiving several landmark Indian films like Dadasaheb Phalke’s Raja Harishchandra and Kaliya Mardan, Bombay Talkies films such as Jeevan NaiyaBandhanKangan,Achhut Kanya and Kismet, S.S. Vasan’s Chandralekha and Uday Shankar’s Kalpana.

Mr. Nair joined the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune as a research assistant in 1961 and went on to play a key role in the setting up of the NFAI in 1964. He was appointed assistant curator in 1965, and continued with the NFAI till 1991 and, by the time he retired as NFAI director, he had acquired a whopping 12,000 films for the archive. Of these, 8,000 were Indian and the rest foreign films.

His life and work has been immortalised in the documentary Cellulooid Man, made by Shivendra Singh Dungarpur.

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