The National Archives of India (NIA) has suddenly woken up to the fact that prints of early Indian movies have not been preserved – a mere 96 years after the first full length film by Dadasaheb Phalke (Raja Harishchandra) was released!
Here’s what prompted them:
"No prints of Alam Ara are available with the NIA. They are lost, only some still pictures and publicity material is available with them," a senior official in the ministry of information and broadcasting said.
And the NIA is planning on preserving all current and future movies from all Hindi and other language productions:
…the ministry has requested the Indian film industry to give copies of each and every film being produced in all parts of the country and those made till date to NIA, so that they can be preserved for future generations.
O well, better late than never. At least Love 2050 and Drona will be preserved for posterity (though I think Banno has done a better job at preserving Love 2050 than NIA can hope to)!