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Rare Cinematic Heritage: India’s only Pre-release 12-sheeter film poster on display in New Delhi

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The magnificent 12-sheet poster of Kranti on display at the IIC Gallery, New Delhi by Tuli Research Centre for India Studies is the only known 12-sheeter Pre-release Indian film poster with such high quality hand-painted art.

Commissioned by Manoj Kumar for the special pre-release publicity of Kranti in 1980-81.

Designed by the legendary poster and calendar designer Pandit Ram Kumar Sharma with a grand size of 60 x 240 inch, the poster is unique especially for the absence of the film’s name and credits, an idea never experimented before or after Kranti by any filmmaker. 

The film scripted by Salim Javed with Manoj Kumar was a blockbuster at the box-office marking the return of Dilip Kumar on silver screen after a long hiatus.

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“Kranti’s very rare pre-launch twelve-sheeter grand poster was a rare experiment by Manoj Kumar, one of the few film directors who got involved in all facets of the film, including publicity materials creatives, where he commissioned Pandit Ram K. Sharma, to create a brilliant teaser to his epic film, while Pamart Studio & Diwakar had already been commissioned for the regular publicity outreach. Very few copies survive today. This poster best epitomises the aesthetic delight of the fine-popular arts bridge which the very best of film art once represented,” elaborates Neville Tuli, Founder of Tuli Research Centre for India Studies, who acquired the work from auction over fifteen years ago.

Film Historian SMM Ausaja, while attending the Opening Preview of the Exhibition – Self-Discovery via Rediscovering India – where the poster is on display, adds “Scripted by Salim-Javed, Manoj Kumar’s Kranti was a top grosser of the year 1981, with an impressive 26 silver jubilees across India… The specially designed teaser poster, an idea of Manoj Kumar, was created to evoke curiosity among film-fans prior to its release. The gamble paid off as the film opened to cent percent collections and established itself as a box office blockbuster in no time!”

Tuli Research Centre for India Studies, Inaugural Exhibition – Self-Discovery via Rediscovering India is on from 16th to 30th March 2024 at the India International Centre Gallery, Max Mueller Marg, New Delhi. Do visit the exhibition and come face to face with such unique cinema and art memorabilia along with hundreds of other amazing artworks and artefacts of Indian cultural heritage and importance.


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