Guru Dutt’s Pyaasa to be showcased at 72nd Venice Film Festival
In a significant moment for the Indian film industry, Ultra Media & Entertainment presentation “Pyaasa”,a timeless Indian cult classic of 1957 starring Guru Dutt, Waheeda Rehman & Mala Sinha has become the only Indian film restored by an Indian company to be officially selected in the prestigious “Venice Classics” section at the forthcoming Venice Film Festival in September 2015.
Ultra Media & Entertainment, who are the negative rights owners of Pyaasa, have restored this film completely for the grand occasion with an objective of preserving and presenting it in its original quality to the global audience. Pyaasa will be screened on 11th September 2015 at 2pm and 12th September, 2015 at 9am in “Sala Volpi” auditorium at Venice Film Festival.
On this momentous occasion, Mr. Sushil Kumar Agrawal, CEO, Ultra Media & Entertainment Private Ltd. said “It gives us an immense pleasure to present a cult classic like “Pyaasa” to the global audience. There is a huge fan following of Guru Dutt all over the world who have not been able to see this ageless magic in its original form and glory. It took us nearly 4 months to restore this film frame by frame and we are happy that the final outcome of the restored version can now be seen in its original form. Out of the many classics that we have restored, “Pyaasa” has a special place in our hearts. It is one of the rarest gems of Indian Cinema and we take great pride in preserving it and showcasing it globally. In fact the film has already created substantial buzz and we have several distribution enquiries from various parts of the world. We are also planning a major theatrical release of Pyaasa post its screening at the Venice Film Festival.”
Ultra has major plans to promote and market the film at the festival. 2 screenings of the film is scheduled at the festival venue. Ultra expects a huge demand from International Distributors, Sales agents, ancillary content aggregators & exhibitors for the restored version of “Pyaasa” at the festival. The most challenging part after acquiring the rights was sourcing the authentic materials to complete the preservation. After much effort, Ultra found the original camera negatives of the film at an archive in India, However a lot of the parts of the negatives were either damaged or lost.
Ultra decided to use as much parts as possible from the original Camera Negative and a few parts were used from 35mm prints. A new digital transfer was created in 2K resolution on the ARRISCAN film scanner. This in-house technology of Ultra Studio & Digital Lab (a division of Ultra Media & Entertainment Pvt. Ltd) helped in applying a multidisciplinary, data-centric approach to the entire film’s restoration process.
Once the complete film was digitally transferred, came the most challenging part of restoration. Thousands of instances of dirt, lines, scratches, splices, warps, jitters and green patches were manually removed frame by frame under careful supervision by experienced artists. The in-house talented professionals used a specialized film content mending and defect removal mechanism in their repair process. They carefully selected the best way to restore this priceless classic to its original quality.
The original monaural soundtrack was remastered at 24-bit from the 35mm optical soundtrack. Clicks, thumps, hiss and hum were manually removed frame by frame at the sound studio of Ultra Media & Entertainment .The film will be presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1 “Venice Classics” has been a crucial section of the Venice Film Festival which has been successfully premiering world class restored classics in the festival. The prime objective of this section is to bring back to spotlight old, underestimated and neglected films of the past which has been restored an year back by film archives, cultural institutions or production companies around the world.
Pyaasa is the beautiful lament of Vijay (Guru Dutt), an unemployed young man who after being disowned by his brothers, sets out to carve a niche for himself as a poet in society. However, his hopes are crushed when rejections come his way, one after another. A jilted lover, Vijay is despondent when he comes across Gulabo (Waheeda Rehman), who seems to be the only pillar of support in his life. Throughout the movie, Vijay expresses shock and despair at the world so harsh, where people are blinded by avarice. Even his friends and family change colors like a chameleon when it comes to fulfilling their own desires. Overcome by grief, Vijay immerses himself into inebriety. Pyaasa is a well thought out story of an anguished man, seeking love and respect. The film is written by Abrar Alvi and cinematographed by the veteran Mr. V.K.Murthy. Producer & Directed by Guru Dutt, this all time classic have an ensemble star cast like Guru Dutt, Waheeda Rehman, Mala Sinha, Johnny Walker, Rehman, Mehmood, TunTun etc. The movie boasts of one of the best performances of S.D. Burman, Sahir Ludhianvi, Mohammed Rafi, Geeta Dutt, Hemant Kumar to produce one of the most lyrical Hindi musicals ever. The film comprises of evergreen songs like Jaane Woh Kaise Log, Yeh Duniya Agar Mil, Jaane Kya Tune Kahi etc.