Indian cinema has never been just about Bollywood. Be it the landmark art house tradition in Bengali cinema with masterpieces by Satyajit Ray and Ritwik Ghatak, the path-breaking Malayalam cinema by masters like Adoor Gopalakrishnan or John Abraham, or Marathi cinema steeped in the culture of the land with the recent example of Sairat by Nagraj Manjule that is emerging as a runaway box office hit as well as a favourite among critics.
A poster of Marathi film Sairat that has received critical acclaim and rave commercial success
In recent years, regional cinema has seen some good time with international recognition of craft as well as commercial success. But the appreciation for cinema in languages other than Hindi still leaves much to be desired.
In fact, critic and South Asia consultant for the Berlin and Dubai International Film Festivals, Meenakshi Shedde, points out that in a recent interaction with young critics from colleges in Mumbai, she was shocked to see how little they knew about the position of Indian regional cinema on the world stage. “There were Marathi students who have hardly watched Marathi cinema and the situation was similar for people from other parts of the country,” recounts Shedde, also a columnist with mid-day.
While Indian cinema is made in 39 languages, apart from Hindi, very little of it is watched nationwide. “Several of these films have done tremendously well in the festivals and people here don’t even get to know about it. The loss is entirely ours,” she rues.
To bridge this gap and introduce cinema enthusiasts to the world of Indian regional cinema, AVID Learning has organised 101 Film Appreciation Work-shop that will study films that are being made with Indian sensibilities and cultural intricacies. These include Karthik Subbaraj’s Jigarthanda and Pawan Kumar’s U Turn.
The workshop will discuss filmmakers from all the languages with trailers of their films. This will act as an introduction, which people can later follow up. Participants can expect a guest appearance by a filmmaker who will share his journey from being an amateur storyteller to winning awards.
On: June 25, 10 am to 4 pm
At: Essar House, 11 KK Marg, Mahalaxmi.