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NFAI has acquired about 2500 film posters of Indian cinema. The collection includes about 1500 Hindi film posters, in addition to a number of Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam ones. These posters range from 1942 onwards till recent times. The collection showcases the evolution of film publicity covering various techniques of poster-making.
The highlight of the acquisition is a very rare 6-sheet poster of Mughal-e-Azam (1960). The poster consists of six separate sheets and is of the dimensions 10 ft x 5 ft. It’s an offset print of a hand-painted poster. Thanks to its massive size, the poster achieves the astonishing feat of conveying volumes about the film. The poster has everything – from long shot depictions of the war sequence to a colourful snapshot of the sheesh mahal sequence, all done in beautiful brushstrokes.
To balance the grandeur of these two depictions, the poster also features two intimate portraits. Akbar (Prithviraj Kapoor) sheds a tear in an emotional moment with his son and heir Salim (Dilip Kumar) as they are about to go to war. The shadow of Akbar’s war gear on his face is gorgeously detailed. And to cap things off, there’s a heartrending portrait of Anarkali (Madhubala) in chains, one of the iconic images of Hindi cinema.
Another highlight of the acquisition is posters for 90 Amitabh Bachchan films, including one of his earliest films Sanjog (1971) and his unreleased film Zamaanat.