India In Flux: Living Resistance presented at MIFF

 Shweta Kishore.
Shweta Kishore.

India In Flux: Living Resistance at Melbourne International Film Festival 2014 is the first public presentation of a curated Indian documentary film programme in Australia.

Co-curator Shweta Kishore said the project was motivated by the desire to expand knowledge and appreciation of Indian screen cultures amongst Australian audiences.

“The programme presents a stirring vision of social resistance and struggle, authored by filmmakers who work in multiple geographical and production settings,” Ms Kishore said.

“The curation takes a historical approach to documentary cinema and includes imaginative expressions of cinematic language as well as new ways of relating to the traditional documentary subject, the ‘victim’ or subaltern.

“Comprising of six feature length and one medium length documentary film, the curation is interested in works that devise original cinematic idioms to engage with their political concerns.”

Ms Kishore said the programme extended to two filmmaker events, Currents of Dissent, a panel discussion with filmmakers Deepa Dhanraj and Anand Patwardhan, and film critic Meenakshi Shedde, about the structures and issues that are central to this cinema and its practitioners.

“The second event, a Documentary Directing Master Class with Anand Patwardhan offers an intensive engagement with the conceptual approach and film techniques of one of the world’s foremost political filmmakers’,” she said.

“As documentary cinema is in the midst of global churning and new players and agendas attach to the form, the capacity for this practice to maintain autonomy lies in plurality; dispersal of production sites and distributed modes of production and exhibition.

“Indian documentary cinema in its pluralistic dispersed and improvised mode of operation represents a valuable model for the survival of independent cinematic vision.”

Film titles: Children of the Pyre, Invoking Justice, Jai Bhim Comrade, John and Jane, My Name Is Salt, Quarter number 4/11, Tomorrow We Disappear, Vertical City

The programme is curated by Shweta Kishore, PhD Candidate, School of Media, Film and Journalism and supported by Monash University.