Showcasing India's rich film heritage over the past 100 years, the National Museum of India Cinema (NMIC) will open in Mumbai next month, Information & Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari has said.
Situated over a 6,000 square feet area in Gulshan Mahal, a heritage building on posh Pedder Road in south Mumbai, it will house an interactive walkthrough down memory lane of India cinema, now considered the biggest in the world.
"As Indian cinema enters a new century, the NMIC will be a small tribute of the ministry to the great film heritage of the country. We have also launched a Rs.6 billion National Film Heritage Mission to digitize the best of Indian cinematic works and archive them for the benefit of future generations," Tewari said at the Life OK Screen Awards in Mumbai late Tuesday.
The NMIC will be part of a larger complex of 50,000 sq.feet that will come up at the same premises in phases, the minister added.
He said it would serve as a 'ready-reckoner' of Indian cinema history showcasing technological aspects of production and screening of films as well as the social aspects during the past 100 years of its existence.
"Through interactive galleries, it will trace the evolution of celluloid from the Lumiere Brothers, Raja Harishchandra onwards, and showcase Indian cinema in three stages: the silent era, golden era and modern era," Tewari explained.
It will portray the footsteps of Indian cinema right from the silent films to the studio period, then recreate the times when stars and mega-stars dominated the silver screen.
Visitors to the NMIC can also watch clips of old classics on several monitors, listen to rare film music from the past, view the poster collection of landmark movies. A section on regional cinema will also be there.
The NMIC has got donations of equipment from famous yesteryears studios like Mehboob Studios, RK Studios and Prasad Studios besides private collectors.
The Films Division, set up in 1941 to produce short films to disseminate information during war time, has also given its old Eymo and Mitchel cameras and recording equipment. There are exhibits of even older instruments that created an illusion of movement, which were the precursor to the movie camera.
An advisory committee headed by filmmaker Shyam Benegal guided the Films Division in establishing the NMIC and it will be curated by the National Council of Science Museums, Kolkata, under the ministry of culture that managed 55 different kinds of museums in India.