November 2, 2015
11:00 am PVR Cinemas 3, Juhu

In 2013, as a gift to our cinema centenary, an online platform and community initiative dedicated to Indian cinema history was born. The websites unique features include time-based annotations and unprecedented ways of searching across the moving image through texts, cuts, colour, camera movements, documents and maps.

Join film historians Sidharth Bhatia, Ranjani Mazumdar, Gayatri Chatterjee and Ashish Rajadhyaksha, archivist P.K. Nair, and filmmakers Anand Gandhi, Kiran Rao and CAMP as they offer a glimpse into how they use this digital film archive.

Together they will take us through a sometimes dizzying panoramic arc from the era of black-and-white to the independent cinemas of the present: from the romances of the Bombay Talkies and smoky nightclubs of noir movies of the 1950s to the realism of the independents of this century.

Ashish Rajadhyaksha introduces the structure of the archive and excavates material of Bombay Talkies films to show how new digital research can happen.

Sidharth Bhatia produces an online edit along with his annotations of classic nightclub songs in 1950s Hindi melodrama.

Gayatri Chatterjee looks deep into Jogan (1950) by Kidar Sharma and Pakeezah (1972) by Kamal Amrohi to find special narrative and visual strategies present in the works of few Indian filmmakers.

Ranjani Mazumdar, on the occasion of the release of her annotated version of Anuraag Kashyaps unreleased debut film Paanch (2001), speaks of the expanded archives of the cinema.

Anand Gandhi and Recyclewala Labs exploit the many features of with an exhaustive Ship of Theseus (2013) reader including much more than the directors commentary.

Collaborative studio CAMP present the ethos behind sister archive (Public Access Digital Media Archive) and provoke ways of using archives as sites for production.

Kiran Rao and P.K. Nair respond.

Followed by a discussion with the speakers and audience Q and A. 


Sidharth Bhatia, journalist (The Wire), is also author of India Psychedelic, The Story of a Rocking Generation (2013) and Cinema Modern: The Navketan Story (2012).

Gayatri Chatterjee, author of book-length works on Awara (1992/2003) and Mother India (2002), is a Pune based film scholar who has taught at the Film Appreciation Course, NFAI/FTII since 1987 and been faculty at FTII (2006-2010) and Symbiosis School of Liberal Arts (2010-present).

Ranjani Mazumdar, author of Bombay Cinema: An Archive of the City (2007) is Professor, Cinema Studies, at the School of Arts & Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

Ashish Rajadhyaksha is co-editor of the Encyclopaedia of Indian Cinema (2001) and author of Indian Cinema in the Time of Celluloid: From Bollywood to the Emergency (2009).

Anand Gandhi is a filmmaker and writer deeply interested in philosophy, evolutionary psychology, innovation and transhumanism. Director of the multi-award winning Ship of Theseus (2013) and co-founder of Recyclewala Labs, and now Memesys Lab.

CAMP is a collaborative studio based in Bombay set up by artists Ashok Sukumaran and Shaina Anand in 2007 that combines film, video, installation, software, open-access archives and public programming with broad interests in technology, film and theory. Home to and

P.K. Nair is the founder and former Director of the National Film Archive of India, Pune, and Indias best known film archivist.

Kiran Rao is a screenwriter and director of Dhobhi Ghaat (2011), and a film producer deeply committed to promoting independent cinema and living screen cultures.

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