Reliance Mediaworks restores Mrinal Sen’s Khandahar; to premiere at Cannes

MUMBAI: Reliance MediaWorks has restored Mrinal Sen’s award-winning film Khandahar that premieres in the Cannes Classic 2010 programme on 15 May, 2010.


The original 1984 Khandahar, which tells the story of a city-based photographer who falls in love with a heartbroken woman living in a ruined village, had suffered from a number of material issues including bad splices, tearing, dirt, scratches, flickers, stabilization, grains, noises, splice bumps, and image warps. Similarly the film’s audio was impaired with various anomalies following years of deterioration.


As a part of the National Film Archive of India’s initiative, for digital restoration and content processing of over 1000 classic films, Reliance MediaWorks, undertook a restoration process for Khandahar, at its India facility.


The Reliance MediaWorks team repaired Khandahar’s film reels and carried out a chemical cleaning process, using an ultrasonic film cleaning system, to remove the physical dirt and residues. The audio and images were processed through a series of automatic restoration modules and manually repaired by skilled restoration artists, to clean up the majority of the problems. The film was digitally captured in 2K resolution, without any pre-processing, using a film scanner specially designed for scanning archival films which preserved the resolution and arrangement, without clipping or crushing the image of the original film.


Khandahar, now benefits with sharper, consistent visuals and audio. The restored files were color graded under guidance of veteran filmmaker, Govind Nihalani and rendered out in XYZ as per DCI specification, therefore resulting in a richness of color. The film was encoded into Digital Cinema Package (DCP) in the original aspect ratio of 1.37 along with French subtitles.


"Reliance MediaWorks has a unique blend of best in class restoration tools and proprietary technologies, coupled with organically created talent pool that enables us to offer the optimum combination of scale, skills and solutions for all restoration needs including challenging restoration projects like Khandahar," said Digital Media Imaging COO Hemen Doshi.


Reliance MediaWorks CEO Anil Arjun added, "In a relatively short time frame, Reliance MediaWorks has established an integrated international presence in the film restoration service space and offers high end restoration and image enhancement services across India, US, UK and Japan. Our processes are internationally bespoke and ground-breaking as we continue to develop our technology. We are honored to have worked on restoring Khandahar and excited that the Cannes International Film Festival has recognized Khandahar in its Cannes Classics 2010 section."