Call for Abstracts: Beyond Indian Cinema's Centenary

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Synoptique: An Online Journal of Film and Moving Image Studies

In the spring of 1913, Dadasaheb Phalke's Raja Harishchandra, the first Indian feature-length film was screened. Celebrations commemorating the 100th year of Indian cinema's success and rich history have emerged in 2013; thus illustrating its far-reaching impact and staying power (film festivals, special productions, interviews, special editions, exhibitions, etc.). With this in mind, Synoptique has decided to join the fray and point towards the less traveled roads of Indian cinema discussion by expanding upon the reflections brought on by these centennial commemorations. We invite you to submit texts which will shine light on the more unusual and alternative facets of Indian cinema. We particularly solicit articles that focus on neglected film cultures, perhaps informal or even uncomfortable aspects, as they open debates to broader perspectives on the diversity of Indian cinema. In this vein, we also invite you to submit articles addressing questions of "national" Indian cinema in the context of regional film industries and theaters and informal cultures. This special issue is therefore seeking to revisit the selection and promotion of celebrated film cultures and the (re) discovery of forgotten ones.

Submissions may include topics such as:

Film cultures of India in South Asia (Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Nepal);
Early cinema / challenging research on the early Indian cinema corpus;
Documentary and non-narrative cinema, experimental and citizen moviemaking;
Lesser discussed genres (anime, horror, erotic films, etc);
Representations of gender, femininity / masculinity, Queer studies;
Questions regarding format: television, soaps, mythological series;
Film and other audio-visual arts (graphic novels, photography, installations);
Sound technologies, including the transition to sound;
"Soundtrack studies", music and dance;
Film and music in other contexts (restaurants, nightclubs, neighbourhoods and markets);
Guidelines and practices of censorship across time;
Informal distribution networks (Piracy, spontaneous video parlours, YouTube);
History of touring cinemas, permanent and semi-permanent theaters, Bollywood showplaces;
Spectatorship habits (food, audience participation);
The celebrations around the Indian Cinema's Centenary.

We invite you to submit your critical reviews of film festivals, exhibitions and events celebrating the centenary. A section on critical reviews of "special films" is scheduled, for which you can submit a short-piece account of the films which particularly interested you in these 100 years. We are also interested in interviews with filmmakers in South Asia whose innovative involvement with Indian cinema contributes to its vitality in local and expansive ways.

Abstracts should be sent to by June 30, 2013.

Selected papers will have to be submitted by September 30, 2013.