Naseeruddin Shah, Prateik Babbar attend screening of Shyam Benegal’s Manthan at Cannes Film Festival

The film’s restored version was showcased under the Cannes Classics segment on Friday
Naseeruddin Shah, Prateik Babbar attend screening of Shyam Benegal’s Manthan at Cannes Film Festival

The restored version of Shyam Benegal’s Manthan (1976), which is based on  Dr. Varghese Kurien’s milk cooperative movement, was showcased at the Cannes Film Festival on Friday under the Classics Segment. The screening was attended by Naseeruddin Shah, who starred in the film, joined by his wife Ratna Pathak Shah and Prateik Babbar, son of the late Smita Patil, who also had a prominent role in it.

Dr. Kurian’s daughter, Nirmala Kurian and the MD of Amul, Jayen Mehta were also present at the screening. The restoration work on the film was done by Film Heritage Foundation (FHF) and its founder Shivendra Singh Dungarpur also attended the screening. Shyam Benegal couldn’t attend the ceremony due to health reasons. 

FHF took to twitter to share some glimpses from the red carpet at the festival and wrote in the caption, “Film Heritage Foundation returned to the red carpet at Cannes for a third year in a row last night at the world premiere of our restoration of Shyam Benegal’s landmark film Manthan, produced by 500,000 dairy farmers, at the Cannes Film Festival 2024.”

In 2022, the FHF restored G Aravindam’s Thampu (1978) which was then screened at Cannes Classics that year. Last year, the Manipuri film Ishanou (1990) was restored and screened at the segment.

Manthan was a purely crowdfunded film that was made by donations of over 5 lakh farmers in Gujarat. The film’s screenplay was written by playwright Vijay Tendulkar with dialogues by Kaifi Azmi. The film also starred Girish Karnad playing the role of Dr. Kurein.

The film won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi in 1977 and it was also India’s official submission for the Academy Award that year. 

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