Writing Histories for Indian Cinema, Chapter Two

Organized by
Department of Film Studies, Jadavpur University
in collaboration with 
October 30-31, 2014
Anita Banerjee Memorial Hall, Jadavpur University main campus

The 2014 annual seminar organized by Department of Film Studies, Jadavpur University, wishes to revisit the theme of our 2009 seminar on Writing Histories for Indian Cinema. Apart from continuing the debates on Indian film history and historiography, this year’s seminar will focus on the ongoing archival initiative hosted at http://indiancine.ma, an initiative of the http://Pad.ma  project with which the Department and The Media Lab, JU, has become closely associated. While that platform promises to be a valuable research and teaching aid it has also generated debates about methodologies as well as the intellectual content of the discipline of film studies. 

The first of this two-day event shall focus on historical questions pertaining to periods, genres, regions, institutions and inter- media relationships.  The second day will begin with reflections on contemporary practice and then shift to the idea and practice of digital archiving, bringing on board questions such as conceptualizing regional cinemas or reconstructing filmographies against the new digital horizon. Practitioners and researchers who have worked on the http://indiancine.ma  platform shall critically reflect on their experience, followed by Cinemathon, a hands-on workshop to acquaint scholars and students with the processes of digital annotation.

Subhajit Chatterjee
Moinak Biswas

Seminar Coordinators


Day 1: Oct 30, 2014, Thursday

Welcome address: Head, Department of Film Studies
10-00 am-10.15 am
Tea break: 10.15- 10.30 am

Session I: 10.30 am-11.15 am

Chair: Moinak Biswas (Department of Film Studies, Jadavpur University)

Paper 1: Myths, Markets and Panics: Speculating about the Proto-Cinematic Historical Significance of the Popularity of Two Parsi Theatre Plays at the Turn of the Twentieth Century

Kaushik Bhaumik (Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi)

Session II: 11.15 am -12.00 pm

Chair: Sanjoy Mukhopadhyay (Department of Film Studies, Jadavpur University)

Paper 2: Theatre and Cinema: Aspects of a Cultural History

M. Madhava Prasad (English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad)

Session III: 12.00- 12.45 pm

Chair: Subhajit Chatterjee (Dept. of Film Studies, Jadavpur University) 

Paper 3: Risk, Precarity and Desire: ‘Accidental’ Histories of Film Work in Bombay's Early Talkie Industry (1930s-1940s)

Debashree Mukherjee (New York University)

Lunch: 12-45 pm- 1.30 pm

Session IV: 1.30 pm – 2.15 pm

Chair: Ashish Rajadhyaksha (Centre for the Study of Culture & Society, Bangalore)

Paper 4: Transitional Genres: Reflections on the Bengali ‘Mystery-Thriller’ Film in Post-Independence Era

Subhajit Chatterjee (Dept. of Film Studies, Jadavpur University)

Session V: 2.15 pm – 3.00 pm

Chair: Manas Ghosh (Dept. of Film Studies, Jadavpur University)

Paper 5: Resurgence of the Regional: Towards the 'New-Turn' in Marathi Cinema

Hrishikesh Ingle (English Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad)

Tea Break : 3.00-3.15  pm

Session VI: 3.15 – 4.00 pm

Chair : M. Madhava Prasad (English & Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad)

Paper 6: Watching Without Seeing: Contemporary Bengali Popular Films and Unpopulated Cinemas

Madhuja Mukherjee (Dept. of Film Studies, Jadavpur University)

Session VII: 4.00 pm – 4.45 pm

Chair: Anindya Sengupta (Dept. of Film Studies, Jadavpur University)

Paper 7: Cinema Halls: The Lost Neighbourhood

Dhriti Sundar Roy Chowdhury (Dept. of Film Studies, Jadavpur University)

Day 2: Oct 31, 2014, Friday

Session I: 10.30 am-11.15 am

Chair : Madhuja Mukherjee (Dept. of Film Studies, Jadavpur University) 

Paper 8: Bombay Noir

Lalitha Gopalan (The University of Texas at Austin, USA)

Tea Break: 11.15 am-11.30 am 

Session II: 11.30 am-12.15 pm

Chair: Abhijit Roy (Dept. of Film Studies, Jadavpur University)

Paper 9: Reconstructing the Filmography - Part II

Ashish Rajadhyaksha (Centre for the Study of Culture & Society, Bangalore)

Session III: 12. 15 – 12.45 pm 

Chair: Shradhanjali Tamang (Dept. of Film Studies, Jadavpur University)

Presentation on History/Historicity in Malayalam Cinema of the 1960s and 1970s

Satish Poduval (English & Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad)

Lunch: 12.45 – 1.30 pm 

Session IV 1.30 – 3.15 pm

Chair: Ashish Rajadhyaksha 

Indiancine.ma panel presentations by research scholars associated with Pad.ma, CAMP, Mumbai and the Media Lab, Jadavpur University:

Ananya Parikh 
Debashree Mukherjee 
Maharghya Chakrabarty 
Utsab Sen

Coffee Break: 3.15-3.30 pm

Session V: 3.30- 5.00

Cinemathon: Indiancine.ma workshop 

To be conducted by Zinnia Ambapardiwala, Ananya Parikh  and Ashish Rajadhyaksha 

Valedictory Address: 5.00 pm


The video art programme of the 2021 Asian Art Biennial

Presented by Pad.ma


is an ongoing public-access media archival project, centered around video as a medium of documentation, collection, argumentation and exchange. Its objective is to consolidate, densely annotate, and make available online several scattered collections of video material, to begin with in Mumbai and Bangalore. Pad.ma is a collaboration between oil21.org, CAMP, Majlis, Point of View, the Alternative Law Forum, and other future contributors.

Fwd: Re: Archive

The central event of a month-long gathering organised around the 10th anniversary of Pad.ma the footage archive, and the 5th anniversary of Indiancine.ma.

Into the Midst Workshop

Months long workshop initiated by a group of artists in and around Delhi. To analyse contemporary mediation and media theory as a general phenomenon, to discuss emerging practice and theory, and to produce new work.
Part 1 @Sarai, April 20-22, 2024

Broken Cameras

The Neighbour Before the House
Al Jaar Qabla Al Daar
الجار قبل الدار

What the Cameras Saw and Remembered

Two films by CAMP
Al Jaar Qabla Al Daar (The Neighbour before the House)
From Gulf to Gulf to Gulf

Captial Circus (2009)

The Unfaithful Octopus
MAIIAM Contemporary

To See is To Change

with Bombay Tilts Down (2022) and A Photogenic Line, (2019) as part of Photo 24, Melbourne.
In this pair of large-scale works, CAMP explore two sides of their practice; one that produces experimental film and video, often with unusual equipment and angles of participation, and another that creates and animates archives of moving images, documents and photography.


Low-End Therapy
By Swadesi crew Kaali Duniya (Bamboy/Tushar Adhav) with guest MC's Kranti Naari, Pratika, MC Mawali, Khabardar Revolt.
BassBrahma and RaakShas Sound
Equality on the dance floor.


A tour of the work with CAMP in three acts.
12 January 7 pm, ft. Bamboy
13 January 6 pm
14 January 7:30 pm
20 January 7 pm

Bombay Tilts Down in Mumbai!

7-channel environment. 13 mins, on loop with two alternating soundtracks

A vertical landscape movie in facets. Filmed remotely by one CCTV camera from a single-point location atop a 35-floor building on E. Moses Road during the pandemic.

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