‘Dev Anand @ 100 – Forever Young’, a film festival celebrating the birth centenary of screen icon Dev Anand, opened on Saturday evening with packed shows of the actor’s popular films Johny Mera Naam and Guide at PVR Juhu in Mumbai.
The two-day event, curated by Film Heritage Foundation (FHF), showcases four of the actor’s movies. The other two films, CID and Jewel Thief will be screened on Sunday.
Waheeda Rehman, Dev Anand’s co-star in films such as CID and Guide, actor Jackie Shroff, filmmaker Sriram Raghavan, and FHF director Shivendra Singh Dungarpur introduced the two titles marking the opening of the festival.
Rehman recounted being introduced to Dev Anand on the sets of CID, the 1956 film which marked her Hindi cinema debut.
“I feel very lucky that I did my first film CID with Dev sahab. When we were introduced, I called him ‘Dev sahab’, he said ‘Waheeda, you won’t call me Dev sahab’. I said ‘I’m not that ill-mannered, you are elder to me and such a big star. This is my first film. How can I not call you Dev sahab?’ He said, ‘I don’t feel comfortable when someone calls me ‘sahab’, I feel like a school teacher. So, just call me Dev’,” the 85-year-old star said at the event.
Dev Anand was the “only actor I addressed by first name”, she added.
“Not once did he make me feel that he is such a huge star or older to me in age. He made me feel comfortable and was cooperative. I’m proud to have worked with a legend like Dev Anand. I wish he was here. I’m sure up there he must be feeling happy. He has received so much love from us,” the actor said.
“He was, is and will remain evergreen. He was a charming personality, dedicated, punctual and a thorough gentleman,” she further said.
Rehman also credited the late actor for her casting in Guide, the 1965 film directed by his brother Vijay Anand. Dev Anand produced and starred in the film.
“It was such a pleasure to have worked with him. He was one of the reasons behind me being (cast) in Guide. He had said ‘No one will play Rosie other than you, Waheeda’,” she said.
The screening was also attended by Vaibhav Anand, son of Vijay Anand, the families of Dev Anand, Chetan Anand, Prem Nath and Jagdish, as well as actors Mink Brar and Divya Dutta.
“The response has been amazing. The cinema halls were packed in many parts of India. It was so good see such a young crowd come and watch these films. It was an amazing experience. It’s almost houseful everywhere,” Dungarpur, also a filmmaker and archivist, told PTI.
Ahead of the festival, FHF ambassador, megastar Amitabh Bachchan, also took to X to congratulate the not-for-profit organisation for the retrospective.
The festival, held jointly in association with NFDC-NFAI (National Film Development Corporation Of India – National Film Archive of India) and PVR INOX, is taking place across 30 cities and 55 cinema halls all over India.
The restoration of the films for ‘Dev Anand@100 – Forever Young’ was undertaken as part of the National Film Heritage Mission and funded by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.