This programme is envisaged to address the issues of non-hegemonic practices in cinema that are being evolved from the lands away from the metropolises. These cinemas are local, both in terms of language of cinema and production process, self sufficient and far more agile than the industrialized cinema of the main centres. Further, due to the agile characteristics of digital format these cinema conventions are not bound by any geographical borders and instead are in the process of constantly evolving a hybrid form through a variety of influences. The marginalization of the lands and the people, in an interesting way, has manifested in their organic and yet hybrid cinema.
On Manipuri Cinema
Fried Fish, Chicken Soup and a Premiere Show
Director: Mamta Murthy
90 Min, HDV/DV, Stereo Sound, Production: 2012
The film is a journey with a Manipuri feature film unit through the landscape of picturesque hills and narrative traditions. As technology and army fatigues permeate the terrain the people continuously re-configure the narrative inheritance and the strategies to chronicle the contemporary. Traversing through various sites – the home based filmmaking convention, the courtyards as location for public life, the community imposed censorship and finally the phenomenal love for cinema, the film brings forth the very specific story of Manipur and its public culture in the 21st century.
Director : Mamta Murthy; Producer : Madhusree Dutta; Camera : Hodam Tommy Singh; Editor : Rikhav Desai; Sound : Partha Barman, Romi Lamabam, Boby John; Music : Arjun Sen; Translator : Oinam Prembrata, Oinam Thoilema
MIFF Mumbai in February 2012; SIGNS Film Festival, Kerala, 2012; Persistence Resistance, Delhi, 2012
National Award, Best Art/Cultural film; International Jury Award, Mumbai International Film Festival; Best Documentary at Federation of Film Societies of India, Keralam’s SIGNS festival
Cinema of Malegaon
Work in Progress
Malegaon, a textile industry town with large Muslim population, has a distinction of producing indigenous cinema for last 35 years. Many local film-makers, actors, script-writers (often all rolled into one), are power-loom workers by the day and film-makers in their hours of leisure. The multiple identities of workers and artists seem natural and seamless in the context of Malegaon.
The Malegaon films are distinct in their production process and narrative style, and yet mask themselves under the shadow of more gentrified film conventions. With titles such as Malegaon ka Sholay, Malegaon ka Superman, Khandesh ki Barat and so on, they are a flamboyant declaration of being copy of films made by industries with far greater outreach and attribute of desirability.
Kashmir and Cinema
Work in Progress
For the mainlanders in India who are habitual consumers of Bollywood films Kashmir, till the ‘90s, was only a land for picturesque romance and summer holidays. The landscape of Kashmir had been over-represented in the films to the level of making it a stereotype, yet Kashmir and Kashmiris never received any attention from the Indian colonizers. Things changed with the ‘insurgency’ and various movements for autonomy. Since the ‘90s, the political upsurge in the valley and the advent of video/digital technology coincided and Kashmir has been represented merely as a conflict zone.