An Initiative of the EU-India Social Sciences and Humanities Platform (Equip)

India-Europe Film Connections

The Project
The globalisation of the world economy led to new types of cross-border contact points. These entanglements resulted in shifts in our conception of mobility, both real and imagined. An entirely new definition of "global space" has emerged from accelerated forms of movement connected to finance, communications, aviation, and migration.

Nowhere is this expressed more strongly than in the widely watched popular films produced in India since the 1990s, where travel to international locations emerged as the mark of a new sense of the world.

This audio-visual access to exotic global destinations depends on a trade in locations involving the work of film commissions, the economics and imagination of international tourism, the role of film production personnel, and the changing modes of storytelling through songs, dances, and action. 

This research project explores the connections between India and Europe through film to track the workings of a cartographic consciousness on screen and the infrastructural, diplomatic, and other networks that have made the use of these spaces possible. Our approach has been to document the processes involved in accessing European territory for Indian film productions, interpret the techniques of cinematic mapping of certain destinations, and engage with the aesthetic imagination and reception of these film narratives.

This is a collaboration between five institutions: Jawaharlal Nehru University, India; University of Basel, Switzerland; Novia University of Applied Sciences, Finland; the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts; and Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland.

Funders: Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR)    |   Academy of Finland    |   Swiss National Science Foundation   |    Polish National Science Centre   |   Ministry of Education    |    Republic of Slovenia

We would like to thank several people and institutions that have supported us at various stages of the research. First, we are very grateful to Mr. Mahesh Madhukar and the Indian Council for Social Science Research (ICSSR) for their support and funding for the research team in India. We also want to acknowledge Kavita Singh and Naman Ahuja, both of whom had their tenures as deans at the School of Arts and Aesthetics at JNU during the research collaboration. They helped ease the paperwork through the four years of research. Praveen Verma and Sapna Ratan Shah, both of whom served as directors of Research and Development (R&D) at JNU during the grant period, were very supportive in ensuring the smooth processing of grant-related matters. In Bombay, Vijay Krishna Acharya, Ankur Khanna, Saif Akhtar, Anurag Kashyap, and Nandini Ramnath introduced us to several people who we interviewed, and much of our sense of how European locations are mobilised for film came from this primary research. Anjan Dutt and Neel Dutt made vital introductions to people and production houses to be interviewed in Kolkata. Ramji Natarajan was very generous with his work experience and knowledge as a Line Producer. A note of special thanks to Rengarajan Jaiprakash and Dhimant Radia, who introduced us to key people in Portugal and helped us carve out a case study of location shooting in Portugal.
This website is designed as an open-ended archive that contains material generated during the four years of the research collaboration. We hope to keep updating this material in the years to come. All materials,  including film clips and audio recordings used in this website, have been reproduced de minimis and in accordance with fair dealing exceptions provided in section 52 of the Copyright act. This website is intended for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes and is intended to promote criticism, review, and discussion of films in India.
Interview Extracts
Reports
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