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Writer & Editor

Date & Time

Saturday Sat, 27 Apr 2024


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

Two years of Covid witnessed the world going digital in a big way. The analogue era’s cultural movements like film societies too underwent major changes. Many used digital platforms to see and discuss films in their quest towards building a better film culture.

After starting as the only forum for savouring world film classics in 1940s Mumbai, today the film society movement is finding itself in the midst of a complete digital makeover after two decades of struggling with digital formats from VHS tapes to OTT. Will these changes help them achieve their original goal of developing a group of film connoisseurs and professionals who will carry on the mantle of meaningful films? To know the future one needs to understand the history and its dynamics in full measure.

Based on the book Celluloid to Digital: India’s Film Society Movement by V K Cherian, this session will begin with a talk examining the future course of the Indian film society movement which nourished the ‘New Wave’ in Indian films from 1970 and has been an anchor for all the meaningful films in the country. It will be followed by a discussion with Babu Subramanian and a Q&A with the audience.


V K Cherian


VK Cherian’s introduction to meaningful films was through the Chitralkeha film society established by filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan at Trivandrum in the 70s when he was a student. He moved to New Delhi in 1980 to be trained at the Indian Institute of Mass Communication and since has based in the capital as a media professional.

Having worked at mainline English journals like Deccan Chronicle, Amrita Bazar Patrika, Financial Express and Hindu Business Line, he continued his interest in films with his occasional writings in Malayalam and English publications across India. With the advent of national television he made a few news programmes for Doordarshan in the 80s and 90s and also worked briefly at JAIN TV, handling infotech news. He later moved over to corporate communications in the telecom sector and since then has worked as Director at MTS and the Cellular Operators Association of India. He has also published a book titled India’s Film Society Movement: The Journey and its Impact in 2017 (Sage). Chalachitra Vicharam, his book on film movements and the people in those movements was his first book in Malayalam. Celluloid to Digital: India’s Film Society Movement, is a revised and updated version of his earlier book on the history of India’s film society movement. His next two books Noon Films and Renaissance of Malayalam Films, has gone to print now and he’s working on another one – Creative World of Adoor Gopalakrishnan, based on a YouTube series of the same name. He is also the Editor of the newly launched bilingual digital journal, Roots-Mattimajra.
More details at www.vkcherian.in

Babu Subramanian

Writer & Editor

Babu Subramanian’s initiation into the Film Society Movement was in Mumbai in the late 70’s when it was at its peak. Later in Bengaluru, he was active in the Suchitra Film Society in which he served as a committee member for several years from late 80’s to mid-90’s. He wrote articles on films and co- founded “Deep Focus”, a cinema journal that emerged from the Bangalore Film Society in 1988. For long, he focused on his day job in telecom and IT companies which included a startup he co-founded.

Returning to film criticism, he wrote for cinema journals and his blog. He conducted a Film Appreciation Course in Christ University in 2016. He was on the selection jury of Bengaluru International Film Festival (BIFFES) in 2022. He also served on the jury of Bengaluru International Short Film Festival (BISFF) in the same year. He contributed a chapter on the Kannada filmmaker Prema Karanth in the book Films Through Women’s Eyes: A Study of 17 Women Directors of India published by Suchitra Film Society to commemorate its 50th anniversary. His collection of essays on cinema resides on his blog: https://babusubramanian.medium.com/