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Author & Historian
Co-founder, Atta Galatta

Date & Time

Tuesday Tue, 9 May 2023



Bangalore International Centre
7, 4th Main Road, Domlur II Stage
Bangalore, Karnataka 560071 India

Nitrate Saga has been published in two volumes, available online at Amazon. It deals with the evolution of nascent Tamil Cinema and its progress over the three decades from 1920s to 1950s, with its own stroke of serendipity. The book covers the Darwinism of Indian cinema as originated from Theatre, the silent era, early talkie, the early lack of infrastructure, the foreign talents and cross-cultural cooperation in Tamil Cinema, and people who made the magic happen.

A brief presentation by the author will be followed by a free wheeling chat between Theodore Bhaskaran, Sruti Harihara Subramanian and P V Gopalakrishnan. The session will be moderated by Subodh Shanker.


P V Gopalakrishnan


Born in 1945 in a village near Palghat, P.V. Gopalakrishnan (77) grew up, graduated, became a Chartered Accountant, and began his career in Madras, before moving out to Bombay in the early seventies. His keen interest in epochal cinema evolved in the 1960s, with a significant exposure to the film industry that came his way, during his C.A. Articleship, through serving his principal’s clientele, that included film producers, studios, actors, distributors, and exhibitors. His penchant for Tamil cinema enhanced after interacting with a doyen of nascent Tamil Cinema, A. Muthuswamy Iyer aka Murugadasa at one of the leading film production houses. He has also written a 30 part series on Tamil Cinema’s evolution for the digital portal of The Cinema Resources Center, Chennai. The book, Nitrate Saga is a culmination of years of research in the field, in the backdrop of the above. The widely travelled author, a lover of Tamil poetry and all forms of music, is currently enjoying his retirement in Bangalore.

Theodore Baskaran

Author & Historian

Theodore Baskaran’ The Message Bearers (1981) is a standard reference book on early South Indian cinema, His other book The Eye of the Serpent: An Introduction to Tamil Cinema (1996) won the Golden Lotus award from the President of India. In 2004, his book History Through the Lens was published. In 2002, he taught a course on Tamil Cinema at the University of Michigan. In 2003, he was on the jury for National Film Awards. Baskaran has lectured in many universities in India and abroad, including Jadhavpur university, University of Princeton and recently, Paris.

Sruti Harihara Subramanian


Sruti Harihara Subramanian is a National award winning filmmaker who believes in empathetic living. She is passionate about sustainability and has a deep love for animals, environment, art, culture and travel. Her debut feature documentary A Far Afternoon on eminent painter Krishen Khanna bagged the Rajat Kamal for the best art/cultural film at the 63rd Indian National Film Awards and also the best music for non- feature film. She recently spearheaded and directed all the promotional videos for the film PS1 (Ponniyin Selvan) and PS 2 directed by acclaimed filmmaker Mani RatnamHer company ‘Happy Wanderer Films’ has several national and international corporate films, music videos, dance films and ad films to its credit. Sruti is the founder trustee of ‘The Cinema Resource Centre (TCRC)’ which is a not-for-profit public archive of Indian cinema designed to enable research on the audio-visual cultural artefacts produced by Indian films, especially those made in the regional languages of South India.

Subodh Sankar

Co-founder, Atta Galatta

Subodh Sankar is the co-founder of Atta Galatta, a Bangalore based independent bookstore with a focus on Indian, vernacular writing and a venue for the art community of the city, that is popular for its literary, art and cultural events. Since its inception 12 years ago, the bookstore has hosted over 2500 events, including book launches, poetry readings, theatre performances, art shows, screenings, storytelling sessions and workshops. Subodh has in the past been an entrepreneur in the field of Information Technology. He lives in Bangalore, India, with his wife, teenage daughter and two dogs and is passionate about history, the business of sports and world cuisine.