His love affair with the world of cinema began as a child when, during his summer vacations to his maternal grandmother, in the erstwhile state of Dumraon in Bihar, she would book the entire cinema hall for a screening for two. Sitting in the stalls, the grandmother and grandson duo would savour cinematic montages all day long. During these old-school movie marathons, the little boy would be captivated in absolute wonder as Pakeezah’s Meena Kumari scintillated to Inhi Logon Ne. Chandi Mistri, his grandfather Kamal Singh of Dumraon’s projectionist would open up the film cupboard for them to choose from a series of Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy, John Ford and Frank Capra films.
The nostalgic smell that emanated from that film cupboard, as well as the sheer fascination for moving images continues to drive his passion for film making to the present day, when Shivendra Singh of Dungarpur proudly stands not only as a highly accomplished filmmaker, but also as India’s pioneering figure for film heritage preservation.
This August, Rajputana Collective is honoured to narrate the inspiring story of Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, from his days as an aspiring filmmaker to his present day legacy, which includes nearly six hundred commercials, documentaries and short films, India’s very first film preservation foundation and two National Awards amongst several other notable accolades. Through personal insights and accounts narrated by the man himself, Rajputana Collective celebrates the unique journey, vision, and most importantly, the extraordinary spirit of a man who dared to pursue his dreams.