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Vintage photos of golden age artiste now in NFAI’s vaults

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Collection consists of unique sketch of Gajanan Jagirdar in and as Mahatma drawn by Bal Thackeray

In one more priceless acquisition of classic Indian cinema memorabilia, the private assortment of famend yesteryear actor-director Gajanan Jagirdar is now half of the vaults of the city-based National Film Archive of India (NFAI).

Jagirdar, who aligned his abilities carefully with the theories laid down by legendary Russian theatre practitioner Konstantin Stanislavski, did some of his most memorable work throughout the golden age of Marathi and Hindi cinema in the 1940s. He was related to the enduring Prabhat Studios throughout its heyday.

Ashok Jagirdar, son of the late actor-director, handed over 130 images and different memorabilia from his father’s private assortment to Prakash Magdum, director, NFAI.

“I was in touch with Mr. Ashok Jagirdar for the past few days and am grateful to him for his gesture in giving these priceless photos. We will be digitising them soon,” mentioned Mr. Magdum.

Speaking on the worth of the gathering, Mr. Magdum mentioned that the ‘jewel in the crown’ in the gathering was a black and white {photograph} in full costume and get-up of Jagirdar as Bal Gangadhar ‘Lokmanya’ Tilak in a Prabhat Studio manufacturing that by no means noticed the sunshine of day.

“This now-legendary image bears such an uncanny resemblance to the freedom fighter that on many occasions, Jagirdar’s image has been passed off as an original image of Tilak,” mentioned Mr. Magdum, shedding mild on the historic context of the images.

Yet one other outstanding image is an unique caricature sketch of the actor because the protagonist of a 1953 movie Mahatma drawn by then cartoonist Bal Thackeray, who subsequently based the Shiv Sena.

The movie was notable for having been written by famed litterateur P. L. Deshpande, identified affectionately as ‘Pu La’, and directed by Datta Dharmadhikari.

While he made an indelible impression because the 18th century Maratha choose Ramshastri Prabhune in the 1944 Prabhat Studious traditional Ramshastri, Jagirdar branched out to play supporting roles in a number of famous Bollywood classics of the 1950s and 1960s.

There are a number of images of Mr. Jagirdar in his iconic position as Ramshastri, attempting to manage stern justice in the cut-throat world of late 18th century politics of Peshwai Pune.

“He [Jagirdar] had received enormous critical acclaim while achieving widespread popularity for his role as Ramshastri. He had even been feted with the Best Actor and Best Director awards for this film by the Bengal Film Journalists Association,” Mr. Magdum mentioned.

In Bollywood, he was sometimes solid in the position of the heroine’s father, or as authority figures in movies such because the Dev Anand-starrer Hum Dono (1961), Grahasti (1963), and Guide (1965). “There are several images of Jagirdar from his Bollywood oeuvre, along with veteran artist David Abraham, and actor Rekha, in the collection. We are really delighted to receive these memorabilia which will be of considerable interest to both film scholars and cineastes,” mentioned Mr. Magdum, including that Jagirdar had additionally served as the primary principal of the fledgling Film and Television Institute of India [then known as Film Institute of India] throughout 1961-62.

“So, getting his photographs for preservation seems in a way like a homecoming due to the organic connection between the NFAI and the FTII,” mentioned Mr. Magdum.

One of the oldest images from the gathering is from a 1935 movie Asire Havis. Another nonetheless is from a 1938 movie Meetha Jahar in which Jagirdar appeared with actor Naseem Banu. Other notables embody Jagirdar’s stellar position as Mirza in V. Shantaram’s traditional 1941 Marathi movie Shejari, which was filmed as Padosi in Hindi.

“He was one of the first artistes from Mumbai to shoot in Lahore and his film Behram Khan (1946) became very popular. Some stunning outdoor photographs of the shooting of that film also form part of this collection,” mentioned Mr. Magdum.


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