Restored version of ‘Manthan’ to be screened across 50 Indian cities on World Milk Day

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Mumbai, May 23 (IANS) The 1976 classic ‘Manthan’ (1976), the restored version of which was recently showcased in the Classic section of the 77th Cannes Film Festival, will be screened in 50 cities across India on the occasion of World Milk Day on June 1.

The film presents a fictionalised version of the beginning of the dairy cooperative movement that turned India into the world’s largest milk producer inspired by Verghese Kurien, the Father of the White Revolution.

The film is also India’s first crowdfunded movie produced by 500,000 dairy farmers who contributed Rs 2 each towards its production.

The director of the film, Shyam Benegal, said in a statement, “I was so pleased to hear about the fantastic response that the restoration of ‘Manthan’ received at its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. But I am even more delighted that the restored film will be released in cinemas across the country. ‘Manthan’ will be the first restoration of one of my films that will have a theatrical release."

“When ‘Manthan’ released in 1976, it was a great success as the farmers came to see the film in droves, travelling in bullock carts from small towns and villages. I hope that 48 years later when the restored film comes back to the big screen this June, people across India will come to the cinema to watch the film," he added.

For the screening of the restored version, the Film Heritage Foundation and the Gujarat Co-Operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd. have collaborated with PVR-INOX Ltd. and Cinepolis India.

The film will be re-released on June 1 and June 2 across 50 Indian cities.

Veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah said in a statement, “Watching the restored ‘Manthan’ at its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival was a very emotional experience for me. I was overwhelmed by memories from almost 50 years ago when cinema was a vehicle of change, and was moved to tears by the standing ovation at the end, which was not just for myself. but for the film which has more than stood the test of time and also for the beauty of the restoration."

“I am delighted that the film is to be released in cinemas across India and I hope that people will not lose the opportunity to watch the beautiful restoration of a historic film on the big screen. I will be going to the theatre myself to watch the film again," he added.