London: Raja Harischandra was spotted in the British capital!A rare screening of what is regarded as the first ‘fully Indian’ full-length feature film: Dadasaheb Phalke’s “Raja Harishchandra”, was organised at London’s British Film Institute (BFI), in Southbank.
A S Rajan, Minister Co-ordination, Indian High Commission, who was the chief guest at the event, said that Indian cinema has spread its wings in the west.
He said the period films and classics produced by South Asian Cinema Foundation (SACF) was a highly significant, innovative and welcome step.
“The Indian High Commission will extend its full support to the SACF for such projects and performances,” he added.
Before the screening, SACF director, documentary filmmaker and film historian Lalit Mohan Joshi, outlined the history of India’s silent era and highlighted how it was moulded by pioneers like Save Dada, Hiralal Sen, J F Madan and Dadasaheb Phalke.
This was SACF’s second major project in recent years after organising the screening of film pioneer Niranjan Pal’s silent classic “Light of Asia” (1925) in 2011 with live music composed by Vishwa Prakash.
The team included UK’s most sought after tabla player Mitel Purohit, dilruba player Avtar Singh Namdhari, sitar player Surmet Singh Dhadyalla and vocalits Uttara Sukanya Joshi and Kusum Pant Joshi.
There was also a discussion about the most creative period of Indian film history when filmmakers like Mehboob Khan, Bimal Roy, Raj Kapoor and Guru Dutt produced memorable films in which music played a crucial role.