Cinema in Crisis

deadline for submissions: 
March 24, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Chalchitra Darpan

ABOUT CHACHITRA DARPAN (translates to Cinematic Review)

Chalchitra Darpan is an undergraduate film journal by Celluloid, the Film Society of Miranda House, University of Delhi, India. The inaugural edition (2019-20), which was Delhi University’s first ever undergraduate journal, was introduced with the vision of building a student community of future film scholars around it. The journal aims to provide an academic space for undergraduates interested in film and media, who wish to explore and engage in film academia.




Crisis is defined as “a time of intense difficulty or danger.” As participants of a late-stage capitalist society, for many of us life is crisis. The crisis we face is that of change. Change is the constant state of being. One manifestation of this constant state of change is the terrain of technology. When we think of technology, we usually think of faster computers, smaller phones and the progressively intuitive interface of digital devices. As technology runs far ahead with a linear and often rapid erratic change, the definition of what ‘cinema’ means today lags behind. However, how do we really define cinema? Cinema is more than just art– it is a veritably gargantuan industry regulated by forces both within and without. In the current post-capitalistic scenario, with COVID-19 and its impacts reverberating with a formidable, palpable energy, what is generated is a distinct ethos. What emerges is a social impetus to a distinct pattern of production and consumption of cinema, transforming the meaning of 'cinema' itself.


Then, what does ‘cinema’ mean today? The consumption of cinema today can be neatly tied with the Latin roots of the word ‘addict’, which means ‘devotion,’ in a religious sense. Today, the ritualistic consumption of entertainment in the form of 'binge-worthy' series, true crime documentaries, cross-cultural and cross-lingual cinema, celebrity memoir, etc. intersects with the prolific production of the same. Raymond Williams observed similarly about the advent of television technology, that once the television signal came into existence, there was then a need to produce, to keep producing so as to keep transmitting through that signal. This need is a consumerist instinct we can see lucidly today, where to be entertained has become a legitimate right. This growing consumerist instinct in humanity is fed into by a circularity of novel changes in technology, which drive and are driven by the changing subjectivity. 


A technologically transforming cinema-scape is also a space for experimentation and resistance. This is a cinema which some have termed as non-cinema, a form which disregards and reformulates the traditional ways of visual storytelling. Jafar Panahi’s This Is Not a Film is, if the title isn’t obvious, a non-film. There is also a marked proliferation of genres such as slow cinema, which is a non-narrative, sensorial form of storytelling. The peripheral human experience is being documented in ways which had not been before with themes such as gender, caste, race, class intersecting and forming a complex intersection. There is a steep rise of independent productions, and all this has delimited the conventional imaginary of a big screen cinema . 


What, then, does cinema stand for? How do we define cinema when patterns of cognition are being shaped simultaneously by technology and economics? Is the cinema of today driven by an obsessive need, not to tell stories, but to just produce? Or is this democratisation of cinema grants agency to those who have always been objects, and never the subjects, of representation? Is ‘cinema’ in crisis? 

Topics which can be explored under ‘Cinema in Crisis’ include, but are not limited to:

  1. Cinema and resistance

  2. Pandemic and cinema 

  3. Technology and cinema as industry

  4. Democratisation of cinema and cinematic technology; and its implications 

  5. Politics of language in cinema

  6. Cultural appropriation in cinematic representation

  7. Capitalism as art and art as capitalism

  8. Formulaic production of films and audiences’ ‘choice’

  9. Rise of franchise filmmaking

  10. OTT platforms and censorship 

  11. Shift in viewership paradigm 

  12. Politics behind accessibility of foreign/regional cinema 

  13. Cinema and evolving marketing strategies with the growing dominance of social media 

  14. Re-fashioning cinema voyeurism for a post-pandemic audience 

  15. Sustainability and media 

  16. Independent and parallel cinema 

  17. Intersections of cinema with short-form motion formats such as YouTube, Tik Tok and Instagram Reels

  18. CGI and AI in visual media

  19. Cinema and consumerism 

  20. The nature of cinematic production in politically and socially destabilised countries 


These are but a few sub-themes that we have in mind, but we do look forward to explorations of the theme beyond what we’ve already talked about. We in fact, urge everyone to examine the theme from various perspectives!


Abstract Submission

Proposal abstracts should be limited to 250 words and must be accompanied by an indicative bibliography. A brief biography of the author of approx. 150 words should be provided along with the abstract. Abstracts should be sent through as Word Documents  and titled “For consideration: Author First name Author Surname_Type of Submission” (e.g. For consideration: Mary Poppins_Video Essay).


Please mail your proposal to-    


Research Paper Submission

Chalchitra Darpan accepts a variety of written pieces for submission, such as:

  1. Essays for our ‘Features’ section, which should be between 5,000-7,000 words (including footnotes, excluding bibliography)

  2. Shorter articles of approximately 1,000-3,000 words (including footnotes, excluding bibliography).

  3. Book Reviews, which are essays that provide a scholarly critique of texts in the field. The text choice may range from the theoretical and the practical to the pedagogical and the historical. They are typically 1,000 words (including footnotes, excluding bibliography).

  4. Interview, with no more than 10 questions.

  5. Video Essays of a minimum duration of 8 minutes. 

While this is largely an undergraduate journal, we do encourage some expert comments or articles from researchers working in the field.

All submissions should not be under consideration elsewhere, and should be original and previously unpublished.


Tentative time-table*:

 Abstract Submission Deadline: 24th March, 2023

Abstract Decision Announcement: 2nd April, 2023

First Draft Deadline: 13th May, 2023

Final Draft Deadline: 10th June, 2023

Final Draft with Corrections: 20th June, 2023

(*subject to change)


Compiled resources/samples to help writing:


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