Festival bollywoodského filmu > About Us

About the Festival



This year, more than any other year before, we asked ourselves this existential question in preparing this festival. Again and again. It wasn’t so much a personal question (though that soul searching did inevitably surface too). It was more a current state of affairs question. When we started the festival eight years ago (or nine years ago if one counts the 0th year organized by Hanka Havlikova), Indian film in general, and Bollywood films specifically, were hardly known in the Czech Republic. Sure, there was a small group of hardcore fans that already sought out the latest blockbusters and filled their suitcases with DVDs every time they travelled to India. Sure, there were the classicists who reminisced nostalgically about the “old is gold” of Indian cinema and sniffed disparagingly at anything released by the commercial industries in Mumbai. Sure, there was also the small but vibrant South Asian diaspora, whose homesickness drove them to watch films that transported them back to faraway lands and brought them fleetingly closer to the people they loved and missed. But, aside from these pockets of expertise, there was really very little general knowledge about the current (or for that matter the foregone) state of Indian cinema. As an anecdote, our first press release (written with much care and meticulousness) was promptly corrected by a well meaning editor to read “Hollywood” as “Bollywood” was assumed to be an unintentional typing error.

And so, we began and grew for eight years.
Now, in 2010, we seem to live in another world. Bollywood is now a hip new trend and even those who have never seen a single Hindi film seem to have an opinion to express about their dancing, the stories and length. Alongside Bollywood’s growing popularity, India itself now seems poised to claim superpower status. Hindi film stars move just as easily in Prague as they do in London, Sydney or New York. Online, Bollywood films are now readily available to those who seek them. And, the commercial distribution of Bollywood films in the Czech Republic may take off any day now. So why, in this climate where Bollywood may indeed soon begin to approximate Hollywood, do we devote so many hours, weeks, and months of our free time to organizing this Festival?  And, what do we want this Festival to say, do and allow?

This year, our Festival takes these questions on in full force. Sometimes the answer is a flirtatious global jaunt (because glamorous Bollywood is so much fun!), sometimes it is a reality check (there are many real Indian stories that need to be told), sometimes it is our obligation to introducing new and exciting trends (Bollywood is only one of many Indian regions to successfuly produce films). And sometimes, it is to bear witness to what came before (Indian cinema’s history is just a long and rich as film itself).

So yes, this year the festival program takes on our own raison d’être as a central theme as we turn to you, our audiences, for advice and direction. As you peruse our program descriptions please pause to consider what if of most interest to you.  Should our festival rock on as the joyous space owned by Bollywood fans? Should we further expand our film selection to reflect India’s diverse and thriving regional industries? Do our documentaries sufficiently counter-balance the colorful oblivion sometimes celebrated in Bollywood films? Is a sense of history crucial to understanding India’s film-making traditions?  As our selection of Hindi, Tamil, Marathi, Bengali feature films and documentaries should make abundantly clear Bollywood is not India, and India is not Bollywood. It never was.


Past years

2009 - 7th year – Faces of India
2008 - 6th year – Indian Realities…?
2007 - 5th year – Independent India – Addicted to Bollywood
2006 - 4th year – Globalizing Bollywood
2005 - 3rd year – Old Traditions, New Ways
2004 - 2nd year – India’s Film Industry in all its forms
2003 - 1st year – India’s Film Industry from the 50′s to now



The festival collaborates with:

Ta-Natyam – a groupe of dancers devoted to Indian and Bollywood dances.

The troupe’s style is based on the classic South-Indian dance Bharat Natyam, rearranged into modern compositions. The dancers also perform Bollywood dances, which enable to combine classic Indian dance elements, India’s martial art kalarippayattu, folk and modern dance elements, also taking its inspiration from other ethnic groups. The choreographies are composed in collaboration with Sangita Shresthová (Nepal/CZ) and Maria Panou (Greece). Ta-Natyam often invites different dance and music guests from various genres and countries to collaborate and cross the boundaries of styles

Contact: 602 255 961, jana@iam.cz

STUPNĚ ŠEDY – Vojta Šeda is a young illustrator and comic book creator, he also specializes in streetart…

Contact: vojtech.seda@gmail.com

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