Film archiving comprises the collection of films and associated material for the purpose of preservation and permanent access in the broadest sense – research, re-use, re-release. Here at NFAI, the emphasis is on archiving for cultural purposes, to ensure the preservation and accessibility of films and related material as part of the national cultural heritage.
In compliance with the objectives of NFAI, the Documentation Section strives to trace, acquire, collect and preserve, for posterity the heritage of Indian Cinema, in the form of supportive documents including photographs, posters, song booklets, etc. apart from the films.
The collection of ancillary material in the Archive forms part of the visual culture of Indian Cinema, apart from the films which flicker on the screen.
The Research Documentation Section of NFAI houses a precious collection of material relating to every period of Indian cinema. It contains 1,57,687 still photographs. Prints of all unique photographs have been made so that they are available to researchers, authors etc. Among the publicity items are 23,748 film posters of various sizes, 14,210 song booklets, lobby cards, over 1,00,000 press clippings and old disc records. NFAI digitized its collection to avoid handling of the original material. Besides it has created a database which enables Scholars to retrieve a relevant information at the click of button.
Moreover, the section accepts donations, and also accepts ancillary material against nominal compensation.
Methodical housekeeping and cataloguing enables the section to manage the collection and facilitate its retrieval.
The archive supplies stills / photographs / soft copies to research scholars, journalists, festival organizers after the completion of administrative formalities. Researchers and students from India and abroad have access to the film and video collection, documentation section and the library.
Exhibitions: NFAI organizes Exhibitions of its ancillary material from time to time. Thematic Exhibitions, Exhibitions highlighting the works of Pioneers are also held.E.g. Multimedia Exhibition on Film Heritage / Classical of Indian Cinema, Rhythm, Ragas and Melody, Indian Panorama Films, Music and Songs in Indian Cinema, D.G. Phalke Awardees, Women in Indian Cinema and many more.