“In not too distant a future,” hopes Arun Dutt, the legend’s son and director of Guru Dutt Films Private Limited.
Arun who came to Jaipur on Friday to inaugurate the 2nd Jaipur International Film Festival said the digitisation and colourisation process was already underway. “I wish it may be released tomorrow but since the colourisation needs to be done with perfect care, it is hard to predict the time it may take,” he said.
He hopes the coloured version of Sahib Bibi Ghulam will be as successful as Mughal-e-Azam but the original black and white prints which have its own nostalgic value will also be preserved.
Quite resembling his father, very modest and courteous, Arun, who lost his talented father at a very early age, feels film production was not his cup of tea. It makes him sad to recall that film critics never did a fair appraisal of his father’s movies when he was alive. His contribution was realised and recognised only when his films were screened in France in 1980s. Like Rabindranath Tagore, his own people noticed his art after the West applauded it, he told Deccan Herald.
Film making in Guru Dutt’s days was quite difficult and full of challenges, he feels. It was a blessing in disguise perhaps for one worked hard on innovative ideas, something which has left on technology now. When cinematographer V K Murthy and Guru Dutt got together to film Waqt ne kiya kya haseen sitam, the innovative idea of having a glass roof was created to reflect sun through a mirror for the special effect, he recalled.
Arun is part of the technical committee at the National Film Archives in Pune, working on restoration of 1,000 films and documentaries.
“It is quite an ambitious project that aims to digitise old movies and documentaries, as old as 1913,” he said.
Digitisation is an expensive proposition requiring nearly Rs 35-40 lakhs for each film, he added.