Alternative Cinema(s) of South Asia

deadline for submissions: 
August 20, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
GGSIP University, New Delhi, Shivaji University, Kolhapur
contact email: 

South Asia in Alternative Cinema(s)
Concept Note
South-Asian Cinema comprises the body of cinematic works produced in South–Asian Countries - India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Maldives, Bhutan, Pakistan and Afghanistan. It offers an indispensable source for understanding the vicissitudes of the region addressing its social, political and cultural issues. It is significant to note that for South–Asian Cinema has been a site of national, religious, ethnic and cultural debates. These films are a valuable source to understand social, cultural and political dynamics of the region. Despite its seemingly common problems such as the issues of minorities, women, violence, fluid contact zones, disputed borders and challenges of modernity, the region is also known for its cultural, religious, ethnic and linguistic diversity. Though there are superficial similarities yet each country/region has its unique dynamics, social system, cultural practices and circumstances. The complex nature of the region demands critical engagement and nuanced understanding of its society, culture, politics and art.
The present project shifts the focus from mainstream cinema to all kinds of alternative cinema(s). Since there are many forms of alternate cinematic expressions, it is proposed to call in alternate cinema(s). The present project invites original research papers/chapters from film scholars, film writers and filmmakers reflecting on Parallel Cinema or New Wave or New Cinema or Avant Garde in the past and Indies, new cinema or New (Middle) Cinemas, short films or experimental films in the post-liberalization era across South Asia to understand region specific issues. The alternative cinema in its varied forms offers an alternate perspective through aesthetically and formalistically different cinema. In the times when the mainstream Bollywood has attained much attention, the present project is an attempt to bring scholars and film practitioners together to understand issues of South Asia as narrated in all kinds of alternative cinema(s).
Filmmakers like Chetan Anand, Bimal Roy, Guru Dutt, Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak, Budhhadeb Dasgupta, Mrinal Sen, Shyam Benegal, Ketan Mehta, Aparna Sen, Sai Paranjpye, Mani Kaul, Kumar Shahani, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, G. Aravindan, Girish Karnad, B. V. Karanth in India contributed majorly in the past. Responding to the new socio-economic condition, Alternative Cinema(s) in the post-liberalization era has reinvented itself in the last two decades. Shyam Benegal, Govind Nihalini, Sudhir Mishra, Rituparno Ghosh, Anand Gandhi, Gurvinder Singh, Deepa Mehta, Anup Singh, Shonali Bose, Meera Nair, Kalpana Lajmi, Jahnu Barua, Sabiha Sumar, Shoaib Mansoor, Asoka Handagama, Khyentse Norbu are just a few names to mention from the long list, who have made aesthetically rich and socially relevant cinema in the contemporary times. Their films continue to engage with issues of caste, class, gender, sexuality, communal violence, partition, trauma, identities in South Asia, while its form and aesthetics have undergone a shift. The anthology focuses on ‘New Wave’ in Hindi, Kannada, Bengali, Malayalam, Assamese or any other regional language of India; and experimental/independent
films, indies, new cinema from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and other parts of South Asia in contemporary times.
In the age of Globalization, identities cannot be understood only within the frame of national borders. This anthology invites contributions on films made by diaspora filmmakers or overseas filmmakers as long as the film portrays social or political reality of South Asia. Contributions are invited from scholars working on alternative cinema(s) on or from South Asian countries. Scholars are requested to contribute theoretical or analytical papers studying any of the suggested topics given below focusing on independent, middle, new middle cinema or experimental cinema from/on South-Asia. The project hopes to foster exchange of ideas and interactions among film scholars and practitioners.
We have planned a pre-publication activity of organising a Webinar to discuss the issues and problems that engulf the minds of the film scholars.
Scholars may submit their contributions papers/chapters discussing any of the following topics. The list is tentative, not exhaustive:
1. Class, Caste, Gender and Race
2. Aesthetics of South-Asian Alternative Cinema(s)
3. Text, Context and Pretext
4. Debating National Identities
5. Language of South-Asian Alternative Cinema(s)
6. Disability and its Representations
7. South-Asian Popular Culture
8. Adaptations: Interpretations and Intertexuality
9. Postcolonial South Asian Sexualities
Contributions and Editorial Correspondence:
Research papers/articles from all over the world are invited. Final manuscripts in MS Word and correspondence regarding material for possible publication and editorial matters should be submitted to the Editor by email at and
Manuscripts submitted to the book should have neither been published elsewhere, nor should they be under review for possible publication elsewhere. The papers should be well formatted and type-written in double space and sent in soft copy.
A) Direct quotations must reproduce exactly not only the wording, but the spelling, capitalization, and internal punctuation and diacritics of the original, except that the initial letter may be changed to a capital or a lowercase letter, the final punctuation mark may be changed and punctuation marks may be omitted where ellipsis points are used, and single quotation marks may be changed to double quotation marks.
B) All contributions should be conforming to the recent edition of MLA Style citation requirements and should not exceed 5000 words in length. Interdisciplinary approaches are particularly welcome.
The editors are committed to publishing excellent scholarship on the well-established topics in Film Studies to foster new work in neglected areas, and to new perspectives on a wide range of South-Asian issues. The book supports critical inquiry, hermeneutical readings, and in-depth analysis and investigation into all aspects of South-Asian Alternative Cinema(s).
Submission Deadline:
1. Submission of Abstracts: 20th August 2020
For Pre-Publication International Webinar:
Proposed Date of International Webinar: September 11-12, 2020
Submission of Full Papers for the Book: 15th December, 2020
Contributors are also requested to send a short bio-note along with their contributions.
Thank you.
Prof. Vivek Sachdeva
Professor of English,
GGSIP University, New Delhi
Dr. Chandrakant A Langare
Associate Professor of English
Shivaji University, Kolhapur, Maharashtra, India,
Cell: 09822874848