Independent India - addicted to Bolywood
5th annual

Audio Visual Program

The Prague Bollywood Festival collaborates with NoMasala (Berlin) and Short Circuit (Mumbai) on a program featuring non commercial Indian visually creative shorts that showcase the parallel, or art, movement in Indian cinema today.

Although India is a downright film country, worldwide with the largest amount of films produced every year, short films have not the same significance as they have in the West. Still India is dominated by the mono culture of the commercial hindi cinema (Bollywood). Since this film culture is highly profit oriented, there is almost no space for independent low- and no-budget productions. But nowadays, more and more filmmakers start questioning the Bollywood conventions and create films that break these and come to unique aesthetic results. The digital video format has been welcomed with open arms by filmmakers, as it helps to reduce production expenses to a minimum. Due to the absence of public film fundings this format has enabled many filmmakers to realize their ideas beyond the Bollywood mainstream.

The Short Circuit is a Short Film programming company based in Bombay. The company pioneered the concept of short film screenings in India by founding the Mocha Film club, India’s first exclusive short film club. The Short Circuit has in these past three years has left an indelible mark in the short film space by helping create a lively short film community, taken the initiative to start a dedicated short film slot on Television, inspired others to start short film screening spaces in India and most of all has now created distribution avenues for short films here in India and for Indian shorts Internationally.

For the last 3 years now, NoMasala shows Indian and international short films with a focus on India. NoMasala is based on the idea to present a modern India and to challenge outdated cliches. Together The Short Circuit and NoMasala want to provide a wider platform for innovative and independent films and videos emerging from India beyond the Bollywood mainstream.

The films cover a wide aesthetic and thematic range, from fiction through animation and experimental films to music clips. They focus on Indian as well as on global topics. The programme is rounded off by works of Indian film makers shot abroad and international productions, which focus on the country. NoMasala is based in Berlin Germany and travels to various German and European cities throughout the year.

The screening will be followed by a discussion with choregrapher, film scholar and filmmaker, Sangita Shresthova whose work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) focused on Indian cinema and who is currently a PhD. Candidate at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) where her work focuses on Indian film and globalization.