Remembering India’s pioneering film archivist and film scholar P. K. Nair on his 85th birth anniversary.
Nair Saab won the epithet ‘celluloid man’ for his impeccable body of work as the founder and former director of the National Film Archive of India (NFAI).
Born in 1933 in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, Nair’s interest in films began with 1940s Tamil mythological dramas such as “Ananthasayanam”and “Bhakta Prahlada”.
His stint with the NFAI started in 1965 as assistant curator. And 17 years later, in 1982, he became its director.
When he retired in April 1991, he had collected over 12,000 films, of which 8,000 were Indian. These include the works of legendary filmmakers such as Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak, Mrinal Sen, V. Shantaram, Raj Kapoor and Guru Dutt.
Nair also archived films of international stalwarts like Ingmar Bergman, Akira Kurosawa, Andrzej Wajda, Miklos Jancso, Krzysztof Zanussi, Vittorio De Sica, and Federico Fellini.