World Book Fair celebrates cinema

New Delhi: It`s a packed house at Hall No 7 at the ongoing World Book Fair as "Sahib, Biwi aur Ghulam" plays on screen, the black and white film having the desired effect on its audience when its heroine Meena Kumari shyly lowers her eyes to Guru Dutt`s drawling voice.

Literature`s date with celluloid has been a long one during the 100 years of Indian cinema and celebrating this appropriately the Delhi World Book Fair 2012 has chosen "Point of View: Towards Hundred Years of Cinema" as its theme.

"From the beginning, books have been the inspiration for films and it is wonderful that this year it is also being celebrated as the focus of the fair. The big debate on what is better – films or books – will always continue but it is time we stop looking at the relationship as films vs books and rather look at them in totality," says noted film critic Aruna Vasudev as she mused about filmmaker Satyajit Ray`s celluloid adaptations of Rabindranath Tagore`s short stories and novels.

With entries of 300 titles on Indian cinema, visitors can have an insight into the world of Bollywood at the nine-day fair as screenplays, scripts and dialogues of classics like "Mother India" and "Pyaasa" adorn the shelves at the pavilion.

Biographies of noted film personalities such as Dev Anand, Rajnikanth, Pran, Raj Kapoor and many others have been racked up for fans to get a glimpse of their favourite star`s life. Meanwhile, for the music lovers, compilations of yesteryear classics to modern day hits are all available in paperback covers.

Three braille books – "Cinema of Satyajit Ray", "Balraj, My Friend" and "Dada Saheb Phalke" ? have also been released at the book fair for the benefit of the visually impaired.

Also, sitting at one corner of the pavilion is the Arriflex (Model -2 C), 35mm camera, used by prominent filmmakers like Tapan Sinha, Satyajit Ray, Ritwick Ghatak and Mrinal Sen, to give an impression about the process of filmmaking in the bygone era. Gramophone and old film reels are the other attractions at the fair from the yesteryear cinema.

The fair is hosting 1,300 exhibitors in 2,500 kiosks in 10 halls at the Pragati Maidan venue spread over 45,000 square metres.

Eminent film and theatre personalities like Farooque Sheikh, Amol Palekar, Deepti Naval, Sushma Seth among others are expected to attend discussion sessions scheduled during the fair that will end on March 4.