Indian Indies A Guide to New Independent Indian Cinema
This book offers a concise and cutting-edge repository of essential information on new independent Indian films, which have orchestrated a recent renaissance in the Bollywood-dominated Indian cinema sphere.
Spotlighting a specific timeline, from the Indies’ consolidated emergence in 2010 across a decade of their development, the book takes note of recent transformations in the Indian political, economic, cultural and social matrix and the concurrent release of unflinchingly interrogative and radically evocative films that traverse LGBTQ+ issues, female empowerment, caste discrimination, populist politics and religious violence.
A combination of essential Indie-specific information and concise case studies makes this a must-have quick guide to the future torchbearers of Indian cinema for scholars, students, early career researchers and a global audience interested in intersecting aspects of cinema, culture, politics and society in contemporary India.
Foreword by Shabana Azmi; Introduction; 1. In the Beginning: The Birth of the New Indies; 2. Breaking Bollywood’s Bastion: Radical, Refreshing and Revolutionary Stories; 3. Confronting Censorship: Indies and the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC); 4. Theoretical and Philosophical Approaches to the Indies; 5. From Multiplex to Netflix: Indie Funding, Distribution and Exhibition; 6. Essential Indies: Concise Case Studies; Conclusion; Appendix – List of Indian Indies
It’s nearly impossible to define an ‘Indian Indie’, given how many diverse regional cultures India consists of, and how many distinct languages and paradigms Indie filmmakers create in. There is arguably no other country in the world whose independent cinema is as varied in textures and fabrics and socio-cultural nuances as India’s is. It takes an unparalleled depth of insight and a tenacious spirit to attempt to bring all of these together into the pages of a single book, where one can begin to understand what makes the New Independent Indian Cinema so unique.
Devashish Makhija (director, Ajji, Bhonsle)
A pioneering work on a neglected area of India’s vibrant cinema. Ashvin Devasundaram’s timely new book is a much-needed addition to the academic studies of the world’s largest film factory. With its lively case studies and accessible writing style, the book will be a valuable resource for researchers and students interested in world cinema.
Daya Thussu, Professor of International Communication, Hong Kong Baptist University
Ashvin Devasundaram’s Indian Indies: A Guide to New Independent Indian Cinema is a lucidly written and an extremely insightful book on the new Indies of Indian cinema. It brings together funding, production, distribution, exhibition and censorship histories of these films with sharp discussions of the wide range of their thematic concerns that depart radically, in form and content, from mainstream cinemas. Identifying the “indies” film with an interrogative and critical focus on issues that are normally not addressed like caste and gender discrimination, LGBTQ+ rights, religious fundamentalism, political violence against minorities, state repression, authoritarianism, the breakdown of legal and judicial structure, and realized on screens in varying aesthetic forms, this book significantly foregrounds radical new Indian cinemas that need to be discussed and circulated. This is a book that film makers, film buffs, film students and an expanding audience that responds to these films on OTT platforms will find very engaging and useful.
Ira Bhaskar, Professor, Cinema Studies, JNU, India