Shivendra Singh Dungarpur

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Shivendra Singh Dungarpur
Born (1969-08-25)25 August 1969
Patna, Bihar
Occupation Film director, Producer, Film Archivist and Restorer
Years active 1994 – present

Shivendra Singh Dungarpur (born 25 August 1969) is an Indian filmmaker, producer, film archivist and restorer. He established Dungarpur Films in 2001 under which banner he has directed and produced close to 500 commercials as well as documentaries and short films. He is deeply committed to the cause of saving India’s cinematic heritage and to this end he founded Film Heritage Foundation in 2014.

Early years[edit]

Shivendra Singh Dungarpur belongs to the royal family of Dungarpur State that still has its family seat in Dungarpur, Rajasthan and is the nephew of the late Raj Singh Dungarpur. He was born in Patna, Bihar. He was first introduced to cinema by his maternal grandmother, Usha Rani, Maharani of Dumraon. It was with her and his grandfather Maharaj Kamal Singh of Dumraon that he first saw classics ranging from Pakeezah to Chaplin's The Gold Rush. Shivendra Singh is an alumnus of The Doon School in Dehradun. He graduated from The Doon School in 1987 and went on to do a degree in History (Hons) from St. Stephen's College, Delhi. He came to Mumbai soon after to begin his career in film as an assistant director to his mentor, writer-lyricist and director, Gulzar. Subsequently he enrolled in the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) at Pune to study film direction and script writing. He graduated from FTII in 1994.

Dungarpur Films[edit]

Shivendra Singh Dungarpur started his production house Dungarpur Films in 2001.[1] The initial focus of the venture was on advertising films and corporate films, which was later expanded to include short films and documentaries. The company has produced or directed over 500 commercials and produced several documentaries and short films. These include award-winning public service campaigns on leprosy awareness, rural welfare projects, and on the efforts of the Indian Army in Kashmir. Several of the awards have been for films made on these topics and for outstanding commercials.

Celluloid Man[edit]

Shivendra's first feature length film was the 2012 documentary Celluloid Man, a film about P. K. Nair, India's pioneering film archivist who was the founder-director of the National Film Archive of India. Shivendra began filming the documentary in 2010 and it was completed in May 2012. The film premiered at the Il Cinema Ritrovato Festival in Bologna, Italy on June 26, 2012. The commercial release of the film was held across theatres in India on May 3, 2013, to coincide with the anniversary of the release of Dadasaheb Phalke's film Raja Harishchandra exactly one hundred years previously.

The documentary film has traveled to 50 film festivals in India and abroad, including the Telluride Film Festival, the 50th New York Film Festival, the International Film Festival, Rotterdam, the Hong Kong International Film Festival, the Edinburgh International Film Festival, the Shanghai International Film Festival, the International Film Festival of India (in Goa), the Mumbai Film Festival and the Goteborg International Film Festival. It was the opening film at the Sierra Leone International Film Festival, 2013, and the Kyiv International Documentary Film Festival, 2013. The film won two National Awards at the 60th Indian National Film Awards. These were the award for the Best Historical / Biographical Reconstruction and the Award for Best Editing that was presented to Irene Dhar Malik.

The Immortals[edit]

Shivendra’s second documentary is a film called The Immortals (documentary film). This film is a personal journey travelling through time and space to unravel hidden stories and rediscover objects and images that at one time were an integral part of the lives of these artists through which their creations came into being. It is a visual exploration of physical artifacts, personal spaces and living memories where the image speaks for itself, recreating the impression of each artist whilst telling the story of Indian cinema. The film depicts the paradox of India’s relationship with cinema: the romance and the power, the neglect and the worship.

Dadasaheb Phalke’s car abandoned by the side of a road; K.L. Saigal’s harmonium fallen silent like his voice; the homes of Satyajit Ray and Baburao Painter where films like Pather Panchali and Savkari Pash took shape; a hundred-year-old cinematographer sifting through letters from Jean Renoir speaking of a deep and abiding friendship; the whirring of the only surviving black and white lab at AVM Studios; the quest for Anthony Gonsalves . . . each image a reminder of how much we have lost, yet evoking memories that live on in spaces, objects and reminiscences of people.

The Immortals was completed in August 2015 and premiered at the 20th Busan International Film Festival in October. The film was screened at the 17th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival and was the opening film in the Documentary Section at the 21st Kolkata International Film Festival. “The Immortals” was selected for the National Competition Section of the Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) for Documentaries, Short and Animation Films.

Awards[edit]

2016 – Shivendra Singh Dungarpur won the Special Jury Award for “The Immortals” in the National Competition Section of the 14th Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) on February 3, 2016.

2014 – Shivendra Singh Dungarpur was awarded the Special Jury Award for Celluloid Man at the 13th edition of the Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) 2014 on 9 February 2014.

2013 – His first feature length documentary Film "Celluloid Man" (2012) has won two National Awards in India at the 60th National Film Awards for the Best Historical / Biographical Reconstruction and for Best Editing in 2013.[2] He also won the ”Nestor The Chronicler" award for the best archival film for Celluloid Man at the XII Kyiv International Documentary Film Festival 2013, Ukraine. Shivendra Singh was given the Bimal Roy Memorial Emerging Talent Award for his film "Celluloid Man" at a ceremony on 18 October 2013

2007 – IDPA (Indian Documentary Producers' Association) Gold for the best television commercial of the year for the VIP "Adjust" film

2007 – IDPA Silver in the television commercial category for the Havells "Rimpoche" film

2007 – IDPA Silver in the television commercial category for the Greenply "Court Case" film

2006 – IDPA (Indian Documentary Producers Association) Gold for the best television commercial of the year for the HSBC "Caterpillar" film

2006 – IDPA Silver in the television commercial category for the State Bank of India Life Insurance "Vase" film

2005 – IDPA Gold for the best television commercial of the year for the Times of India film

2005 – IDPA Gold for the best public service campaign for the Indian army in Kashmir

2003 – Indian Documentary Producers' Association (IDPA) Gold for the best public service film for leprosy awareness

He has won several awards for his advertising films as well.

Film preservation and restoration[edit]

Shivendra Singh is a patron of the British Film Institute and was a donor for the restoration of Alfred Hitchcock's silent film, The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog.[3] He facilitated the restoration of the Indian film, Uday Shankar's Kalpana (1948),[4] by Martin Scorsese's World Cinema Foundation, that was premiered in the Cannes Film Festival Classic section in 2012.[5] In 2013, Shivendra collaborated with the World Cinema Foundation again for the restoration of the 1972 Sinhalese film "Nidhanaya" directed by eminent Sri Lankan filmmaker Dr. Lester James Peries. The restored version of the film was premièred at the Venice International Film Festival, 2013.

He is a supporting member of the Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna, Italy along with the legendary Pathé film company. In 2014, he founded Film Heritage Foundation a not-for-profit organization based in Mumbai, dedicated to the conservation, preservation and restoration of the Indian cinematic heritage. He has been invited to be a member of the Artistic Committee of the Il Cinema Ritrovato Festival in Bologna that includes amongst others Alexander Payne, Thelma Schoonmaker, Jonathan Rosenbaum, Jean Douchet, Aki Kaurismäki, Peter Becker and Kevin Brownlow. He is also a member of the Honorary Committee of the Nitrate Picture Show, George Eastman House’s Festival of Film Conservation. He has also been appointed as a member of the Expert Committee of the National Museum of Indian Cinema.

Film Heritage Foundation[edit]

Film Heritage Foundation is a not for profit organization set up by Shivendra Singh Dungarpur in 2014. Recognizing the urgent need to preserve India's cinematic heritage, the foundation is dedicated to supporting the conservation, preservation and restoration of the moving image and to develop interdisciplinary educational programs that will use film as an educational tool and create awareness about the language of cinema.

Film Heritage Foundation is a pioneer in the field, being the first private organization dedicated to the conservation of the moving image in India. Since its inception, Film Heritage Foundation has brought the cause of film preservation and saving India’s cinematic heritage to the notice of the government, the film industry and the public. Film Heritage Foundation was accepted as an associate member of FIAF (International Federation of Film Archives) at the General Assembly held in Sydney in April 2015. This makes them the only other representative from India besides the National Film Archive of India (NFAI) on this international forum. Mr. Amitabh Bachchan is the brand ambassador of Film Heritage Foundation.

In February 2015, Film Heritage Foundation in collaboration with Martin Scorsese’s The Film Foundation and World Cinema Project, Cineteca di Bologna, L’Immagine Ritrovata and FIAF conducted the first ever Film Preservation and Restoration School India 2015 from February 22nd to 28th, 2015 at the Films Division, Mumbai. 53 students from India, Sri Lanka and Nepal participated in the course that was taught by a world-class international faculty. The aim of the workshop was to address current issues surrounding film preservation and restoration while providing participants with practical training in current restoration and archival best practices with a long-term goal of starting to train a pool of indigenous archivists and restorers who could take the movement forward.

Film Heritage Foundation also came out with its first publication titled “From Darkness Into Light: Perspectives on Film Preservation and Restoration” edited by Rajesh Devraj. This is also the first book on the subject in India. To quote from Michael Ewins’s review of the book for Sight and Sound Magazine “ . . . With the authority and acumen of its 13 international authors, it’s one of the most diverse collections ever published on the subject”.

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Language Notes
2012 Celluloid Man Director Documentary
2015 The Immortals (documentary film) Director English , Hindi , Tamil , Bengali Documentary

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Dungarpur Films homesite". Dungarpurfilms.com. Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  2. ^ http://dff.nic.in/NonFeaturedFilm_60th_NATIONAL_FILM_AWARDS_2012_Announced.pdf
  3. ^ British Film Institute (14 September 2012). "The Genius of Hitchcock | British Film Institute". Bfi.org.uk. Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  4. ^ "Restored Uday Shankar's 'Kalpana' still awaits Indian release". Mid-day.com. 9 July 2012. Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  5. ^ "The restoration man | Culture". Times Crest. 8 September 2012. Retrieved 18 September 2012.