A collection of 1,000 rare photographs of 1940s and ’50s Marathi films has been donated to the National Film Archive of India, Pune. The images were clicked by SM Ajrekar, who worked as a still photographer for Navyug, Ashok and Prabhat Film Company between 1942 and 1956. The photographs were donated to the organisation by Ajrekar’s daughter, Shambhavi Bal.

Some of the big projects that Ajrekar worked on include Jaga Bhadyane Dene Aahe (1949), Var pahije (1950), Sharada (1951), Narveer Tanaji (1952), Een Meen Sadeteen (1954) and Teen Mule (1954). Bal revealed that her father liked to experiment with lighting, and the final photographs, printed with a matt finish, showcase his use of contrasts between light and shade. At a ceremony in Pune, where the announcement was made, NFAI director Prakash Magdum also called on cineastes to come forward and donate their collections of material related to India’s film history for preservation.

Raja Paranjpe.

All images courtesy National Film Archive of India.