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(1979, d. Aravindan Govindan)

*in Malayalam with English subtitles



Feature 01

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Restoration Credits

Restored by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project, Film Heritage Foundation, and Cineteca di Bologna at L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory, in association with General Pictures and the family of Aravindan Govindan. Funding provided by the Material World Foundation.

About the Film

An adaptation of a Central Kerala folk-tale featuring a partly mythic and partly real magician called Kummatty (played by the famous musician and dancer Ramunni in his screen debut), who comes to entertain a group of village children with dancing, singing and magic tricks. In one such game, he changes the children into animals. One boy, changed into a dog, is chased away and misses the moment when the magician breaks the spell restoring the children to their human form. The dog-boy has to wait until Kummatty returns. Shot in a scenic village in the northern Malabar region of Kerala, KUMMATTY was Aravindan Govindan’s personal favorite of his own films and among Indian film critics, it is unanimously considered a masterpiece. Please note: There is partial nudity at several points in the film. In these scenes, the character of the grandmother appears on screen wearing only a skirt. 

Restoration Details

Restored in 4K using the best surviving element: a vintage 35mm print struck from the original camera negative and preserved at the National Film Archive of India. A second 35mm print with English subtitles was used as a reference. Color grading was supervised by the film’s cinematographer Shaji N. Karun. Special thanks to Ramu Aravindan.

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About The Film Foundation Restoration Screening Room

The Film Foundation (TFF), in partnership with DelphiQuest and Oracle Corporation, has created a virtual space to showcase its preservation/restoration program. Films restored with TFF support will be made available on the second Monday of each month, free of charge, for audiences to discover. The programming will feature a diverse range of restorations, from classics to avant-garde, independent, documentary and short films, from every era, genre, and region of the world. The monthly screenings will be presented through the DelphiQuest platform, available through your web browser, and will be accompanied by supplemental materials that focus on the restoration process and celebrate the collaborative nature of film preservation by highlighting the work of the foundation’s archive and studio partners. The Film Foundation Restoration Screening Room is supported by Oracle Corporation, which provides cloud storage and infrastructure capabilities. Learn more about the work of The Film Foundation.