Indian Classic ‘Manthan’ Shines at Cannes with Restored Premiere

Shyam Benegal’s Iconic Film Celebrates Dairy Revolution on International Stage

In a remarkable moment at the Cannes Classics Section, director Shyam Benegal’s acclaimed 1976 film ‘Manthan’ made a triumphant return with its newly restored version, marking a significant event for Indian cinema and the global film community.

Last night, the Film Heritage Foundation, led by archivist Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, graced the Cannes red carpet for the third consecutive year, presenting the restored masterpiece. Scheduled for a theatrical release in India on June 1, 2024, coinciding with World Milk Day, the film pays homage to Dr. Verghese Kurien, whose dairy cooperative movement revolutionized India’s milk industry.

Accompanied by actors Naseeruddin Shah, Ratna Pathak Shah, Prateik Babbar, and other esteemed guests, Dungarpur expressed his joy at showcasing another cinematic gem at Cannes. “Walking the red carpet for the third time and presenting this restored classic has been an incredible experience,” he remarked.

‘Manthan’, known for its portrayal of India’s transformation into a leading milk producer, was not only a critical success but also a pioneering example of crowdfunding in Indian cinema. It was funded by 500,000 dairy farmers who each contributed Rs. 2 to support its production.

The restoration of ‘Manthan’ was a collaborative effort involving Shyam Benegal, cinematographer Govind Nihalani, and the Gujarat Co-Operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd. (Amul), conducted at Prasad Corporation Pvt. Ltd.’s Post-Studios in Chennai and L’Immagine Ritrovata Laboratory. This renewed version promises to reintroduce a cultural milestone to audiences worldwide, celebrating both cinematic and socio-economic achievements.

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