Acclaimed actress Shabana Azmi on Thursday drew Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani's attention to reports that over 9,000 film prints are missing from the National Film Archive of India (NFAI), Pune.
"Smriti Irani, kindly look into reports of 9200 prints missing at National Film Archive, Pune. These are lost treasures and need immediate attention," Shabana tweeted.
The Indian Express daily accessed data from NFAI under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, and found out that 51,500 cans of film reels, and over 9,200 prints "were not physically present" at the archives. Also, 4,922 cans containing 1,112 film titles, which are not listed in the NFAI's registers, were present in its vaults.
A "missing" list includes hundreds of culturally and historically important titles, including celluloid prints of films by Satyajit Ray ("Pather Panchali", its sequel "Aparajito" and "Charulata"), Mehboob Khan ("Mother India"), Raj Kapoor ("Mera Naam Joker", "Awaara"), Mrinal Sen ("Bhuvan Shome"), and Guru Dutt ("Kaagaz ke Phool"), among others.