Re-thinking Film Curatorial Practice in India: A Few Examples
(Jawaharlal Nehru University)
Paper short abstract:
This paper seeks to explore the shifting trends in film curatorial projects vis-à-vis the changing nature of film cultural and archival practices in India.
Paper long abstract:
This paper seeks to explore the shifting trends in film curatorial projects vis-à-vis the changing nature of film cultural and archival practices in contemporary India. The traditional understanding of film curatorial practices in India was simply reduced to an organization and programming of films in the festival format. The role of the curator, in this context is likened to that of an administrator and a programmer. In the recent years, however, this limited profile of the film curator and of curatorial practices has been challenged in the light of digital technology changes as well as the proliferation of film images globally. Curating is now essentially interdisciplinary and hybrid, and is seen as an exercise in collating which often expands and often audaciously intervenes in set patterns of watching/understanding cinema. Recent curatorial expressions also often involve a conceptual mapping of spaces and histories of film and redefining of the notion of the audience and the participants. This paper will focus largely on two recent curatorial projects, namely Cinema Prayoga conceived by Amrit Gangar, which conceptualizes the "experimental film" within the Indian context of 'prayoga' and Cinema City: An Interdisciplinary Practice based Archive Project initiated by Majlis Culture, Bombay which documents, archives and re-reads the city through production processes of images and narratives in and around cinema. Through these two example, and some others, the paper will attempt to trace the various shifting impulses of film curatorial practice in contemporary India.
Cinema matters: the changing film object in a globalizing world