VK Cherain

Work: Books

India’s Film Society Movement: The Journey and its Impact
V. K. Cherian

First comprehensive account of the seven-decade long journey of Film Society Movement in India, and how it helped Indian cinema come into its own.

Till 1950s, 80 % of the films screened in India were from abroad. Today, only 10 % films shown in India are of foreign origin. This massive transformation is credited to the historic Film Society Movement in India, which became a catalyst to a new film culture as we see it today.

Adoor Gopalakrishnan

"Cherian faithfully follows the progress of the movement with utmost care … [he] seems to have achieved the impossible."
-- Adoor Gopalakrishnan (From his Foreword)

Shyam Benegal

[This] book is a valuable addition…and certainly among the very rare ones written about the Film Society Movement.
-- Shyam Benegal (from his Note inside the book)

Vijaya Mulay

Cherian has meticulously documented evolution of films in India …. The amount of effort that has gone into this work is colossal.
-- Vijaya Mulay, Founding Joint Secretary, FFSI

VK Cherian

When I finished the book, I realised that what I had done was an enquiry into the deep passion and world view that I carried all my life, on good films and appreciation of art in general. The book indeed is a look at the social, political, systemic, personal influences, and a movement which forced me into such a passion. In the process, if I can get to the origin, progress, decline, trials and tribulations of the Film Society Movement, with its players and their success, failures and survival tactics, I have achieved my goal.
-- VK Cherian, Author


Buy this book online on SAGE Publishing. Please follow below link,
https://in.sagepub.com/en-in/sas/india%E2%80%99s-film-society-movement/book253896
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Review in Newspaper
The Hindu - A window to the world - VK Cherian on the incredible journey of India’s Film Society Movement

India’s Film Society Movement: The Journey and its Impact

Table of Contents

  • List of Abbreviations
  • List of Photographs
  • Foreword by Adoor Gopalakrishnan
  • A Note from Shyam Benegal
  • Message from Gautam Kaul, President FFSI
  • Preface

Chapter 1: A Nation Awaits a “Pather Panchali

  • Introduction
  • History of Film Medium-Studies and Appreciation
  • Calcutta Film Society and Search for New Idiom in Films
  • Chalachitra Akademi - An Unrealised Dream
  • Arrival of the Evangelist Marie Seton
  • Pather Panchali - A Toast of Times for the Country, Defining India’s Idiom in Films
  • Raising film as a new art and defining its aesthetic contours

Chapter 2: The growth Path—From Calcutta Film Society (CFS) to The Federation of Film Societies of India (FFSI)

  • The Nascence and Revival of CFS
  • Film Societies in Other Cities
  • Delhi Film Society
  • Bhopal’s International Film Club
  • The Lucknow Film Society
  • The Madras Film Society
  • The Bombay Film Society
  • Patna Film Society
  • The Roorkie Film Society
  • Agra and Faizabad Film Societies
  • The Political and Governmental Patronage
  • The Excitement of the Success of Pather Panchali
  • Towards a Federation of Film Societies
  • The Spread of the Movement with the Government’s support.

Chapter 3: Visionaries of the Film Society Movement and the new film culture.

  • Satyajit Ray
  • Indira Gandhi
  • Marie Seton
  • Chidananda Das Gupta
  • Vijaya Mulay
  • Khwaja Ahmad Abbas
  • Ammu Swaminadhan
  • Anil Srivastava
  • P K Nair
  • Professor Satish Bahadur
  • Jean Bhownagary

Chapter 4: The Networks of Films and Film Buffs

  • Films as An Art and Its Appreciation
  • Sourcing Good Films - Pre FSSI and NFAI days
  • The Central Film Library to NFAI
  • Entry of Eastern Bloc and others—Non English Films
  • FTII and FFC Films Make an Entry
  • Creation of Alternate Network of Film Screening
  • Organising the Right Audience
  • Film Appreciation as a Class Act

Chapter 5: The Driving Forces behind the Film Societies Movement

  • Who Were The Film Society Members? A personal account
  • How did They Begin It?
  • A New Nation’s Yearning for A Place under The Sun in films
  • The Political Patronage
  • The Academic, Artistic Interventions
  • The University Film Council of UGC and FTII-NFAI Summer Residency
  • Uncensored Films
  • Extension of Other Movements—Literary, Library and Leftist

Chapter 6: The Great Fall and Resurgence through digital mode

  • Chitralekha — The Best Experiment of the Film Society Movement fails
  • The Emergence of National TV, Video Libraries, Satellite TV and fall of Eastern bloc
  • Film Society Movement at Crossroads
  • The Format Changes — Video, DVD and Internet
  • Advent of Internet
  • Enter the Digital Mode
  • Film Societies Enters Digital Era
  • Regional Response to Crisis

Chapter 7: The Star Film Societies and the Survivors

  • The Calcutta Film Society
  • Cine Central, Calcutta
  • Cine Club of Calcutta
  • The Delhi Film Society
  • Film Forum—Bombay
  • Prabhat Chitra Mandal, Mumbai
  • Suchitra Film Society—Bangalore
  • Chitralekha Film Society—Thiruvananthapuram
  • Chalachithra Film Society, Thiruvananthapuram
  • Aswani Film Society—Kozhikode
  • The Madras Film Society, Chennai
  • International Cine Appreciation Foundation, Chennai

Chapter 8: The Policy Shift and Waning Political Patronage

  • Policy Paralysis
  • FTII, NFDC, NFAI, Identity Crisis
  • Policy Initiatives by State Governments
  • Waning Political Patronage
  • Government as a Cheer Leader for Box Office Films

Chapter 9: Towards a New Film Culture — from Crass to Class!

  • Cinema from an Uncultured to a Classic Act
  • Margi Impregnating The Desi
  • Positioning of the Film Society Movement
  • Not “Organized But Widespread”
  • FFSI’s Makeover Plans
  • Focus on State Units, Universities
  • What Filmmakers say about FSM
  • Indian Films and Film Society Movement in Transition

Annexures:

  • (Chapter 1) Genesis of Indian films.
  • (Chapter 3) The Memorandum of Association of FFSI
  • List of FFSI Presidents from 1959-2015
  • About the Author
  • Index

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