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Garga's book on documentary films wins National Award

New Delhi, Sep 7 (IANS) Film historian Bhagwan Das Garga's book on the history of documentary films in India, 'From Raj to Swaraj: The Non-fiction Film in India', won the National Award for the Best Book on Cinema published in 2007.

2009-09-07T19:38:00Z

New Delhi, Sep 7 (IANS) Film historian Bhagwan Das Garga's book on the history of documentary films in India, 'From Raj to Swaraj: The Non-fiction Film in India', won the National Award for the Best Book on Cinema published in 2007.

The awards were announced in New Delhi Monday.

Octogenarian B.D. Garga's book 'From Raj to Swaraj...' published by penguin Books-India is an account of the history of non-fiction film-making in India, from the colonial times to the post-Independence era. A product of rigorous archival research, it is full of previously unpublished information and visuals from the author's personal collection.

The book traces the century-old history of newsreels and documentaries in the country.

Beginning with an account of the early works of people like Hiralal Sen, J.F. Madan and Harishchandra Bhatwadekar, who pioneered the newsreel, Garga describes what were among the first non-fiction films - Jyotish Sarkar's coverage of the anti-Partition demonstration in Calcutta, 1905, and Charles Urban's spectacular film on the 1911 Delhi Durbar.

Garga also chronicles the landmark events in the development of non-fiction films in India like the propaganda films during the first and second World Wars, the passing of the Cinematograph Act in 1918, the establishment of the Censor Board and Lowell Thomas's journey across the country to film 'Romantic India', Louis de Rochemont's controversial coverage of police repression in 1930, the series of 'The March of Time' films on India and the founding of the film advisory board.

Garga is one of India's most eminent film scholars and a founder member of the National Film Archive, Pune. He began working in films under V. Shantaram and has written, directed and produced over fifty documentary films.

In the fifties, Garga worked with various film units in Europe and at the Mosfilm Studios, Moscow. He later served as a member of the film advisory board and was honoured by the Film Federation of India for his contribution to the growth of cinema in the country.

He is also the author of 'The Art of Cinema: An Insider's Journey through Fifty Years of Film History (published by Penguin-India)' and 'Indian Cinema: A Passage to Bollywood', which will be published by Penguin soon.

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