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India’s Film Society Movement

India’s Film Society Movement
The Journey and its Impact

First Edition
  • V. K. Cherian - Film society activist and a communications professional, New Delhi

November 2016 | 264 pages | SAGE India

First comprehensive account of the seven-decade long journey of the Film Society Movement in India, and how it helped Indian cinema come into its own.

Till 1950s, 80 % of the films screened in India were from Hollywood. Today, only 10 % films shown in India are of foreign origin. One of the main factors that aided in bringing about this massive transformation was the formation of Film Societies in India. They soon became a catalyst to a new film culture, impacting quality of Indian films, both in technology and content. This book studies this historic Film Society movement, from its origin, to the crisis of its identity in the 80s and 90s to its revival in 2000s. It not only narrates the history, the heroes, the institutions, crises, technological changes and the transformation of the Film Society Movement but also debates on the future of this movement.


Foreword by Adoor Gopalakrishnan
A Note by Shyam Benegal
From the Desk of FFSI President—Gautam Kaul
A Nation Awaits a Pather Panchali
The Growth Path: From Calcutta Film Society to the Federation of Film Societies of India
Visionaries of the Film Society Movement and the New Film Culture
The Networks of Films and Film Buffs
The Driving Forces behind the Film Society Movement
The Great Fall and Resurgence through Digital Mode
The Star Film Societies and the Survivors
The Policy Shift and Waning Political Patronage
Towards a New Film Culture: From Crass to Class!
Annexure 1: Genesis of Indian Films
Annexure 2: The Memorandum of Association:FFSI
Annexure 3: Presidents of FFSI (1959–2016)

Cherian faithfully follows the progress of the movement with utmost care … [he] seems to have achieved the impossible.

Adoor Gopalakrishnan

[This] book is a valuable addition … and certainly among the very rare ones written about the Film Society Movement. 

Shyam Benegal

Cherian has meticulously documented evolution of films in India…. The amount of effort that has gone into this work is colossal. 

Vijaya Mulay
Founding Joint Secretary, Federation of Film Societies of India [FFSI]

“Cherian’s book takes one back in time when cinema was associated with ‘culture’, ‘art form’ and ‘nation building’… [it] comprehensively maps the seven decade long journey, beginning from the Indian independence movement…presented in a simple and academic layout, the book has valuable information for anyone interested in the history of the film society movement.”

The Week, December 11, 2016

“[This] book is a valuable addition … and certainly among the very rare ones written about the Film Society Movement.”

Shyam Benegal

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ISBN: 9789353288297
ISBN: 9789385985638