P.K. Nair, founder director of the National Film Archive of India (NFAI), Pune, is no more. He was 86.
Paramesh Krishnan Nair, who had dedicated his life to preservation of films and building the collection of films at the NFAI, was instrumental in archiving several landmark Indian films, especially from beginnings of cinema in India, such as Dadasaheb Phalke’s Raja Harishchandra and Kaliya Mardan and Bombay Talkies films such as Jeevan Naiya, Bandhan, Kangan,Achhut Kanya and Kismet as well as S.S. Vasan’s Chandralekha and Uday Shankar’s Kalpana.
Mr. Nair joined the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune as a research assistant in 1961 and went on to play a key role in the setting up of the NFAI in 1964. He was appointed assistant curator in 1965, and continued with the NFAI till 1991 and, by the time he retired as NFAI director, he had acquired a whopping 12,000 films for the archive. Of these, 8,000 were Indian and the rest foreign films.
A documentary on his life titled ‘Celluloid Man’ , made by Shivendra Singh Dungarpur. The film won two National Awards at the 60th National Film Awards, including Best Biographical Film and Best Editing.
Nair was awarded the Satyajit Ray Memorial Award in 2008.
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