On Monday, India acquired the DVD copy of the first-ever talkie version of 1935 Devdas by filmmaker P.C Barua. A visiting delegation from Bangladesh Film Archive handed over the film’s DVD to the National Film Archive of India (NFAI), which is located in Pune. This film is believed to be the first ever talkie version of Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s classic.
To return the favour, the NFAI handed over a copy of one of the well known and best films ever made in India, ‘Raja Harishchandra’, a silent film to the delegation visiting from Bangladesh. In 1928, a silent version of Devdas was made but P.C Barua’s 1935 version of Devdas is the first ever talkie of the series.
A delegation of three member led by Martuza Ahmed, Secretary, Ministry of information, Government of Bangladesh came to India to visit NFAI to study the Indian film archive. They also visited the state of the art film storage facility during their stay. During their visit, they handed over a DVD copy of 1935 Bengali version of film Devdas by P.C Barua as a good gesture.
Until now, NFAI had four versions of Devdas which includes three Hindi versions and one Telugu version of the film. The Hindi versions included Bimal Roy’s Devdas (1955), Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Devdas (2002) and Anurag Kashyap’s Dev D (2009).
Now that they have acquired the 1935 version of Devdas, a new shining feather has been added in NFAI’s cap. This is the first Devdas talkie in Bengali and holds a significant place in cinema.
The director of NFAI, Prakash Magdum said that this is a landmark moment in the history of film archive. “This is a landmark moment in the history of film archive as this was an important film for the Indian heritage and a very important addition to our collection,” Prakash Magdum said.
According to officials, India lost the Indian prints of this significant Bengal version of Devdas decades ago. Now only one copy of this film is available, which belonged to the Bangladesh Film Archives.