A retrospective of Smita Patil films to mark the beginning of her 25th death anniversary had to be cancelled, as prints of most of her films were either in bad shape or were unavailable.
The Smita Patil Foundation, an organization that has been instrumental in keeping the memory of the actress alive, wanted to carry on the mission they began in New York at the Lincoln Film Center in November this year.
Arth, Bhoomika, Manthan, Bhavani Bavai, Mirch Masala, Umbatta, Bazaar, Mandi, Akaler Sandhene, Abhinatree were some of the shortlisted films to be screened at the festival.
The Patils approached Kiran Rao and Aamir Khan for help with logistical support. In fact, the Dhobi Ghat director wanted to do anything to make this happen. The retrospective was to kick off on December 13 (Smita's death anniversary) this year but had to be cancelled.
A source reasons, "Most of the prints of Smita's films are not readily available. Those available were not in shape to be screened. These prints need to be restored before they can be screened anywhere. Naturally everyone is very disappointed."
Says Manya Patil Seth, Smita Patil's sister "We were very keen on holding a retrospective for Smita this year, the way it was held in New York. We plan on holding the retrospective next year."
Says Smita's son Pratik, "I have not seen so many of my mom's films. I am sure today's generation would enjoy watching her cinema too."