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Newcastle to celebrate 101 years of Indian cinema

Indian cinema has just completed 100 years! To celebrate 101 years of Indian cinema, the University of Newcastle, NSW has organized a two day event beginning with a free film screening and followed by an academic conference called BOLLYWOOD 101 FILM FESTIVAL on 20th February 2014 at the Tower Cinema.

Beginning at 6pm this free film screening will showcase 3 short Indian documentaries, I Am Megha, a Dancing to the Bollywood Tunes & Indian Aussies: Terms & Conditions Apply, The Bollywood political thriller Raajneeti (Politics – 2010) will screen at 8.30pm. (see attached synopsis for all films).

The Bollywood 101 Film Festival will be attended by special guests Consul General of India Mr Arun Kumar Goel, The University of Newcastle’s Vice Chancellor, Prof Caroline McMillian, a leading expert on Indian cinema, Mr Anupam Sharma, Raj Suri – a professional photographer, media producer and talent spotter, renowned Australian filmmaker John Winter and other well known Indian VIP’s and filmmakers.


Bollywood and Its Other(s) International Conference  On 21st February 2014 at the TV Studio, ICT Building, DCIT, University of Newcastle, Callaghan.

The conference will include presentations and panel discussions on finding find ways to work on combined film ventures between the two countries topics include Bollywood’s representation of Indian other(s) i.e. religious and ethnic minorities, indigenous population, Kashmir and its people as well as Bollywood and sexuality, queer issues, women in Bollywood, movie vamps, song and dance and item numbers. Academics and media industry practitioners will be joined by visiting scholars from India and Australia. Dr Vikrant Kishore, notes “the film screening is a celebration of Bollywood cinema in Newcastle and the academic conference will explore Bollywood as a globalized cultural industry that has transcended the confines of India”. The symposium’s co-convener, Dr Susan Kerrigan is confident that “the University of Newcastle can play an important role in highlighting how academics can re-evaluate Australian-Indian film connections”. Dr Amit Sarwal, strongly believes that “Bollywood, with aesthetics of its own, is a veritable storehouse of material that can be read in as many ways as possible”.

Both events are being organised by Dr Vikrant Kishore and Dr Susan Kerrigan from  University of Newcastle, and Dr Amit Sarwal (Deakin University). For further details visit:<>

Schedule of events:

BOLLYWOOD 101 FILM FESTIVAL on 20th February 2014 at the Tower Cinema

From 6pm, 3 short documentaries will be screened:

I Am Megha, a 2011 Indian anthology film by Onir (presented by producer Raj Suri), which is a story of two friends––a Kashmiri Pandit woman and a Muslim woman––separated by conflict. Against the backdrop of the exodus of Hindu’s in Kashmir in early 90’s, it’s a story of loss of home and identity;

Dancing to the Bollywood Tunes– a documentary by Dr Vikrant Kishore which explores the use of Song and Dance in Bollywood films. It feature first hand interviews with some of the well-established Bollywood directors, actors and dance directors.

Indian Aussies: Terms & Conditions Apply – a short documentary by well-known filmmaker Anupam Sharma exploring the width and breath of culture, education, and identity amongst Indian Aussies.

From 8.30pm –Raajneeti (Politics – 2010) – is an Indian political thriller. About Indian democracy. About Indian elections. Above all, it is the story of a few people who control the destiny of millions. It is the story of their unstoppable ambition, and their bitter and violent battle to achieve it. This is the story of people who understand power – and know how to wield it at will. Raajneeti is about politics. And beyond. Raajneeti was. Directed and produced by Prakash Jha and staring Ajay Devgan, Nana Patekar, Ranbir Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, Arjun Rampal, Manoj Bajpayee and Naseeruddin Shah. The film is being screened courtesy Prakash Jha Productions and Screen Hunter Central Coast.

Bollywood and Its Other(s) Academic conference

On 21st February 2014 at the TV Studio, ICT Building, DCIT, University of Newcastle, Callaghan.

Dr Kishore and Dr Sarwal note that “critical examination of the alternative histories of the national popular industry would help us to look critically at the alternative histories of the nation as well.”

Possible issues that the conference will look into include, but are not limited to: Alternative historiography; History beyond the nation-state paradigm; Bollywood’s representation of Indian other(s) i.e. religious and ethnic minorities, indigenous population, Kashmir and its people, people belonging to the North-Eastern Hill states; Bollywood as alter(normative), sexuality, queer issues, women in Bollywood, movie vamps, item numbers; Bollywood song, dance and music; Bollywood stars and their representations; Bollywood’s marginal genres, the horror film, the science fiction film; Bollywood vis-à-vis other industries, especially the South Indian industries and the linguistic identity politics; and Alternative/arthouse/avantgarde cinema in Hindi vis-à-vis Bollywood.

A complete list of prominent presenters include: Mr Arun Kumar Goel (a career diplomat and presently Consul General of India in Sydney); Mr Anupam Sharma (a film maker, author, and one of the leading Australian international experts on Indian cinema); Mr John Winter (an Australian film and television writer, director and producer); Ms Kumud Merani (Australia Day Ambassador 2014 and an Executive Producer of Hindi Programs with SBS Radio); Mr Raj Suri (a Sydney based professional photographer, media producer and talent spotter); Mr Alex Singh (a Bollywood and Melbourne based filmmaker, theatre director, writer, actor and community worker); Ms Anita Barar (an accomplished writer, playwright, and poet in both Hindi & English); Mr Christopher Raja (a national award winning writer); Mr Rohit Revo (Editor of online portal; Ms Savitri Naidoo (Founder and Artistic Director of Chakras Performing Arts Australia); Ms Shveata Chandel Singh (a Sydney based journalist); and Yask Desai (a filmmaker, photographer and writer). These practitioners from the media industry would be joined by senior and early career academicians from both Australia and India in presentations and panel discussions on finding find ways to work on combined film ventures between the two countries.

Sponsors: Australia-India Interdisciplinary Research Network (AIIRN) and Rock Your Paper (online research database) is the official publishing partner of this event that is being sponsored by Screen Hunter Central Coast, Kieren Australia Pty Ltd., Indian Association of Newcastle, Gandhi Creations, Tower Cinema, and Chakras Performing Arts. And the officialmedia partners of this event are: Indian Sun, Hello Bollywood, Indian Herald, and SBS Hindi Radio.

Vikrant Kishore

Dr Vikrant Kishore


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