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The Bombay Talkies - A curated segment for Cineaste International Film Festival of India (CIFFI) 2020

posted on 2020-12-11, 00:00 authored by Vikrant KishoreVikrant Kishore
The Bombay Talkies - A curated segment for Cineaste International Film Festival of India (CIFFI) 2020



Nelson Mandela Auditorium, DME, NOIDA, India

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English & Hindi

Research statement

Background: I curated The Bombay Talkies section in CIFFI 2020 - an annual film festival of DME-Deakin. The aim of this section was to celebrate the history of Indian cinema, India’s Australia connection, and commemorate the work done by the Indian film pioneers Himanshu Rai, and Devika Rani the founders of the Bombay Talkies, and to discuss, deliberate and analyse their contribution to Indian cinema, especially for highlighting social issues and concerns. Contribution: The segment on Bombay Talkies showcased the pioneering works of Himanshu Rai and Devika Rani, whose contribution to Indian cinema, though much celebrated, yet understudied, are not a part of curriculums in Indian media schools. The Eurocentric, and Indian parallel film-oriented media schools have obscured many a works of Indian commercial film legends. Thus, this curated segment provided a great entry point to screen films, and engage media schools, and wider audiences to understand the work of Rai & Rani. Bombay Talkies in 1920s heralded a collaborative structure with filmmakers and technicians from Europe, and introduced many local talents, who later became superstars of Hindi/Indian cinema. The attempt of this six-film curatorial segment was not only to revisit the work of the Bombay Talkies, but to discuss the pathbreaking work it heralded through films like Acchut Kanya (1936) that explore caste discrimination, Kismet (1943) that popularised “lost and found” potboilers, and Mahal (1949) introduced an Indian style of musical supernatural genre. Significance: CIFFI 2020 was an audience-oriented film festival, providing a range of possibilities from film screenings, panel discussions, workshops, and masterclasses (Dina Iordanova 2010). This was the first time that Peter Dietze and Paul Dietze, grandsons of Himanshu Rai discussed their grandfather’s work, in relation to their Bombay Talkies exhibition that they curated for ACMI, Melbourne in a film festival based in India.

Publication classification

JR1 Recorded/Rendered Creative Works – Film/Video


NTRO Minor


3 MP4 files


Cineaste International Film Festival of India 2020 - The Bombay Talkies & the Australia-India Connection!


Delhi Metropolitan Education

Place of publication

NOIDA, India

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