ARCUREA is a unique endeavour undertaken by Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute (SRFTI), Kolkata. It is an initiative comprising of a national colloquium on archiving and restoration in the global context, and a cinema curation workshop for students with a foundational understanding about various aspects of film curation with a focus on Indian cinema. ARCUREA is a portmanteau word created by blending the words ‘archiving, curation, restoration, et al.’ A festival of restored films by the NFDC-National Film Archive of India (NFDC-NFAI), focusing on Indian film heritage and regional cinemas of India, will run parallel to the national colloquium and cinema curation workshop.
National Colloquium on Archiving and Restoration
The fundamental aim of the national colloquium is to explore the idea of film as a cultural heritage and to take stock of the current status, contemporary practices and historical and theoretical approaches to film restoration and archiving with a special focus on the Asian region. In the Indian context, the attempt will be to delineate historical junctures like the Silent Era, pre- and post-Independence periods, the emergence of Parallel Cinema, the impact of technological shifts like the coming of television, digital technology etc., and the role of institutions like the genealogy and evolution of public institutions devoted to cinema, such as Film Division, Film Finance Corporation (now NFDC), Film and Television Institute of India, International Film Festivals of India, the Film Society movement etc. The vision and mission, efforts and legacies of institutional initiatives like the NFDC-National Film Archive of India (NFDC-NFAI) and the National Film Heritage Mission will receive special attention in the context of film archiving, restoration and digitisation.
The proceedings of the national colloquium will be published via several formats such as detailed articles, transcripts of panel discussions, videos, etc.
A cinema curation workshop for students with a keen interest in film history, culture, and curation will follow the national colloquium. The primary objective of the cinema curation workshop is to provide students with a foundational understanding about various aspects of cinema curation with a special focus on Indian cinema. This includes imparting knowledge on the process of curatorial ideation, preparation, the methodologies employed, the epistemological considerations involved, as well as offering insights into the historical aspects of film curation within India and abroad. The potential of film curation as a professional and creative career option will also be explored in the context of emerging opportunities and programming at prominent film festivals, galleries, cultural events and art centres.
Festival of Restored Classics
ARCUREA will also include a festival of films restored by the National Film Archives of India (NFAI) as part of the National Film Heritage Mission (NFHM). This event will run parallel to the national colloquium and the cinema curation workshop.
ARCUREA will also explore the transformative power of art restoration through captivating live performances. Questions such as how artists revive and preserve their art forms, what artistic choices determine archiving, curation and restoration in the world of art, and whether art can bring the past to life and shape our understanding of the present, will be explored in these performances. Interactive art installations will also engage with notions of memory, fusion of cultural influences and the power of preservation.
ARCUREA 2024 will also include exhibitions of film memorabilia and online lectures on relevant themes.