Mumbai: The film festival ‘Dilip Kumar Hero Of Heroes’, which will showcase the milestone films of the ‘Tragedy King’ such as ‘Aan’, ‘Devdas’, ‘Ram Aur Shyam’ and ‘Shakti’, will be held on December 10 and 11.
With a career spanning five decades, Mohammed Yusuf Khan, popularly known as Dilip Kumar, ruled the silver screen with his work earning him the title of ‘Abhinay Samrat’ (king of acting).
The actor first tasted success the same year India attained Independence – 1947, and steadily built his success over the next few decades, courtesy films such as ‘Andaz’, ‘Aan’, ‘Daag’, ‘Devdas’, ‘Azaad’, ‘Naya Daur’, ‘Madhumati’, ‘Paigham’, ‘Gunga Jumna’, ‘Ram Aur Shyam’ and the epic ‘Mughal-E-Azam’.
The festival will cover over 30 cinema halls in 20 cities across India and will honour the screen legend through its showcase. The festival is being organised by the Film Heritage Foundation.
Talking about the showcase, Saira Banu states: “I am so happy that Film Heritage Foundation is celebrating Dilip Sahab’s 100th birthday on December 11th this year by screening some of his most popular films in cinemas across India. They could not have chosen a more apt title to commemorate India’s greatest actor – Dilip Kumar: Hero Of Heroes. He was my favourite hero from the time I was 12 when I first saw him in ‘Aan’ in Technicolor. It will be a joy to watch him back on the big screen, larger than life, like he has been in my life.”
Earlier the Film Heritage foundation, which is dedicated to supporting the conservation, preservation, and restoration of the moving image and is a member of the International Federation of Film Archives, hosted a special film festival dedicated to veteran megastar Amitabh Bachchan, who is also their cause ambassador.
Talking about the upcoming festival Big B states: “As Dilip Kumar turns 100, I am so glad that we at Film Heritage Foundation are celebrating his legacy with this festival of films in theatres that will showcase some of his memorable performances in the cinema. I would urge every film lover and contemporary actor who has not watched Dilip Kumar larger than life not to miss the incredible opportunity of watching this giant among actors back on the big screen. It will be a master class in acting. Even today I am learning every time I watch his films.”
Dilip Kumar is the first actor to introduce the process of method acting which finds its roots in theatre practitioner Konstantin Stanislavski’s ‘The System’.
Heaping further praise on Dilip Kumar, Big B called him his idol: “Dilip Kumar was and is my idol. I am yet to meet an actor who could match his faultless performance, his flawless diction and the intelligence and commitment he brought to his craft. His every spoken word was poetry and when he appeared on the screen, everything else was a blur. I had the privilege of sharing the screen with him just once and the experience was one I will cherish.”
He further mentioned: “I was deeply disturbed to hear that many of his films are not in a condition to be screened in cinemas and that is a tragedy. Film Heritage Foundation is working day and night to ensure that the work of legends like Dilip Kumar survives and is preserved and restored to be shown to new generations of audiences. I’d like to thank Ajay Bijli and the PVR Cinemas team for enabling us to bring classic cinema back to the big screen.”
Audiences in cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida, Pune, Bareilly, Kanpur, Varanasi, Allahabad, Raipur, Indore, Surat, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Hyderabad will get a first-hand experience of witnessing the sheer magnetism and versatility of one of the greatest actors of Indian cinema on the big screen through four of his landmark films over two days.
Ulga Nayagan Kamal Haasan mentions that the legendary actor has paved the way for Indian actors with his craft: “Yousuf Sahab set an international bar for Indian actors to follow. Erudite, eloquent and excellent in his chosen field. Cinema can make people believe that those who have departed are still alive. In that context to me Dilip Kumar ji is one of the world’s best actors alive. It’s an incredible feat by the Film Heritage Foundation and I’m grateful to them for keeping my heritage alive.”
The advisory council of Film Heritage Foundation is comprised of such stalwarts as Shyam Benegal, Kamal Haasan, Girish Kasaravalli, Gulzar, Gian Luca Farinelli, Jaya Bachchan, Krzyszt of Zanussi, Mark Cousins, and Kumar Shahani.