Title: ‘Many Encounters: Cinema and the Absence of History’

Description: A film historian exploring the transnational associations of the Indian New Wave cinemas of the long 1960s might easily be troubled by the explicit absence of an organized history of film-pedagogy that formed an important part of this cinematic movement. Most filmmakers associated with the Indian New Wave, which remains one of the most underexplored global movements of the post-1968 period, received their training at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), the state-sponsored film school that was modeled after its counterparts in the Soviet Bloc and indicated India’s geopolitical alignment during the Cold War. This talk will explore the pedagogical role of Ritwik Ghatak (1925-1976), the internationally celebrated Indian auteur and the most influential film-educator at FTII in the 1960s, through a consideration of his film society activism, politics of programming, engagement with European cinema and film theory, and his interest in an impending global apocalypse. It will proceed to a discussion on Ghatak’s real and imagined transnational encounters with his contemporaries and their ideas.

Parichay Patra works as an Assistant Professor of Film Studies at the School of Liberal Arts, Indian Institute of Technology Jodhpur, and also served as a visiting researcher at the Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina. His areas of interest include Global South cinemas, transnational cinema, histories and aesthetics of Indian and other new wave cinemas during the long 1960s. His publications include such co-edited volumes as Cinema and the Indian National Emergency: Histories and Afterlives (Bloomsbury UK, forthcoming), Rethinking Radical Latin American Cinema: Documents, Images, Technologies (SUNY Press, forthcoming), Frontiers of South Asian Culture: Nation, Trans-Nation and Beyond (Routledge, 2023), Sine ni Lav Diaz: A Long Take on the Filipino Auteur (Intellect & University of Chicago Press, 2021), Salaam Bollywood: Representations and Interpretations (Routledge, 2016), Bollywood and Its Other(s): Towards New Configurations (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).