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IFFI: Rani Mukherjee a star attraction on Day 6

Among those who walked the red carpet on Sunday, the sixth day of the film festival, was cricket legend Muthaiah Muralitharan, whose biopic 800 was released last month
Last Updated 26 November 2023, 23:36 IST

Actor Rani Mukherjee on Sunday charmed a hall full of film buffs with witty answers to a volley of questions.

She was in conversation with well-known film critic Baradwaj Rangan on ‘Delivering compelling performances’ at the 54th edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI).

“Baby ko bass pasand hain,” she said, quoting a line from a Salman Khan film song, when she was asked if directors were wary of using her deep voice to dub for her characters.

In her initial days, when she was cast in Ghulam (1998), the producers were not sure about retaining her voice, and got a dubbing artiste to do her portions. But she started dubbing for herself soon enough. She corrected a journalist who said Karan Johar had used a dubbing artiste for her character in Kuch Kuch Hota Hain (1998). “This shows people in your line of work sometimes go wrong,” she ribbed him.

Meri awaaz hi mera pehchaan hai,” (My voice is my identity), she said, suggesting that the industry had come to accept her tonality. The line again was allusive, a hat tip to a popular song written by Gulzar. Her voice is so distinctive that when she went out wearing a mask to buy provisions, people recognised her the moment she spoke. “Kirani Mukherjee,” she quipped, making herself the object of her humour.

Rani described how she has adapted the mannerisms of her characters, such as the one in Black (2005), where she played a girl with hearing and visual impairment, by closely watching people in the character’s circumstances. When Aamir Khan was planning Lagaan (2001), he asked her to stay with the cast and crew in a village for six months, but she had given her dates to another film for 20 days, and the producer refused to let her go, she recalled.

Among those who walked the red carpet on Sunday, the sixth day of the film festival, was cricket legend Muthaiah Muralitharan, whose biopic 800 was released last month.

The evening session at Kala Academy featured a presentation by film restoration and preservation expert Theodore E Gluck. Since 2004, he has worked on the restoration of many Walt Disney productions, including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Sleeping Beauty. Ujwal Nirgudkar, who advises the National Film Heritage Mission, moderated the session.

Digitisation began in the 1990s with VFX, theatres went digital between 2005 and 2010, and the quest for a digital camera whose quality would exceed that of film began in 2010, Gluck recalled. “Now that all these pieces are in place, how are we going to preserve new films that are born digital, and old films that have been remastered digitally?” he said, discussing new possibilities and challenges of preservation and archiving.

He described how a particularly difficult project involving the restoration of Satyajit Ray films had spurred the movement to digitise more works from the past. He asked film professionals to join The Academy Digital Preservation Forum, founded in the US, to discuss the road ahead.

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(Published 26 November 2023, 23:36 IST)

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