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Film societies to launch campaign for restoring ancestral houses of auteurs

PTI | Kolkata | Updated: 02-02-2020 13:52 IST | Created: 02-02-2020 13:49 IST
Film societies to launch campaign for restoring ancestral houses of auteurs
Representative image Image Credit: ANI

The Federation of Film Societies of India (FFSI) has decided to launch an international campaign to restore the ancestral houses of auteurs Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak and Mrinal Sen in neighboring Bangladesh, a senior official said. The FFSI - the apex body of film-screening societies in the country - is planning to renovate the properties of the three icons, which are now lying in a dilapidated condition in Bangladesh, as they have great historical significance, its vice-president Premendra Majumder said.

The matter will be brought to the notice of the Union Ministry of Culture, Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) and UNESCO, as the Bangladesh government had been insisting that the properties be preserved and maintained, he told PTI. Majumder said Ray's ancestral houses at Mashua and Kishoreganj, about 115 km from Dhaka, is in a shambles and film activists from Bangladesh had appealed to the Sheikh Hasina government for its immediate renovation.

Ghatak's ancestral house at Rajshahi, 245 km from Dhaka, was leased out in 1987-88 by then Bangladesh government for construction of a homeopathic college by razing down a large part of the old structure, he said. In December last year, the remaining portion of the building was demolished to build a cycle stand, following which the entire film community in Bangladesh and Bengalis in Toronto voiced protests, supported by eminent personalities such as Tanvir Mokammel and Nasiruddin Yusuf Bachhu, he said.

The Bangladeshi film fraternity then signed a petition, urging the government to protect the ancestral houses of Ghatak, Ray and Sen. Sen's ancestral house in Faridpur, 130 km from Dhaka, now belongs to a private owner, who has partly demolished the old structure.

"Luckily, the original house in Faridpur, where his family lived, still stands and can be renovated and preserved," FFSI General Secretary Amitava Ghosh said. Ray's family has welcomed the move.

"We will be happy if the properties are renovated and preserved. It is a welcome step," Sandip Ray, son of the Oscar-winning filmmaker, said.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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