Delhi book fair marks centenary of Indian cinema

NEW DELHI: Discussions on subjects like “Converting Books to Films” and book releases by a large number of personalities from the film world marked the 20th Delhi Book Fair which had the centenary of Indian cinema as its theme.

Three books were released in Braille on cinema for the visually challenged. The Fair also saw the launch of the popular comic ‘Champak‘ as an audio-CD by Vishv Books.

The Fair, spread over four different halls, had one theme pavilion with over 300 publications on Indian cinema, and saw the presence of several film personalities for various events and book releases, including actor Farooq Sheikh, lyricist Javed Akhtar, Deepti Naval, and Nandita Das.

The theme pavilion was also notable for screening some black and white films of masters like Satyajit Ray and others, apart from displaying the gramophone player and records, film reels and spools and how they gave way to newer technologies.

The fair had a theme-based exhibition - Point of View: One Hundred Years of Indian Cinema - to celebrate the relationship between literature and cinema. Dual special volumes on art of behaving and a change of Urdu on Hindi cinema – "Johare Adakari” and “Urdu and Bollywood" – were released on 29 February.

A book by wellknown critic-turned filmmaker Khalid Mohammed, ‘Two mothers and other stories’ published by Om Books was released by actor Anil Kapoor to coincide with the Fair.

Held every two years in Pragati Maidan, the fair focused on the role and contribution of the cinematic medium towards popular culture on the centenary year celebrations of the Cinema.

“The world book fair featured several film celebrities and authors. The aim was to highlight and portray the works on Indian Cinema,” said National Book Trust Director M A Sikandar.

Earlier at the beginning of this year, the NBT came out with a calendar showcasing the cinema based on literature. The main idea behind such an initiative is to portray the mutual relationship between books and cinema.

Though cinema came to India in July 1896, the first indigenous feature film – ‘Raja Harishchandra’ by D G Phalke after whom the Dadasaheb Phalke awards are named – was made in 1913. It was decided to mark the centenary this year as the next fair would be in 2014.

A total of 27 countries and several international organisations took part and some ministerial delegations of foreign countries also visited the fair, including those of France and UAE.

The event saw around 1,300 publishers with 2,500 book stalls. A rare exhibition of books authored by Rabindranath Tagore marked the 150th centenary of his birth, and the Delhi pavilion marked 100 years of the capital.

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