Edinburgh Indian Festival of Films and Documentaries @ EFG

The Guild is screening six programmes of films from the Edinburgh Indian Festival of Films and Documentaries, with two screenings on each of Sunday 18th and 25th September and Sunday 2nd October.

The 4.30pm screening on each week will be of programmes of documentary shorts. details of which are below.

The 7pm screenings, details of which will be announced later, will be of feature films from the festival.

Tales from the Scotland of the East

Cityscapes Shillong

Moving Picture Company | India | 1999 | 27 minutes

This little film, with a lot of pride and heart presents an interactive portrait of Shillong, one of the largest cities in North-East India that the British called the ‘Scotland of the East’. The film shows influences of the Colonial Experience in the architecture, lifestyle and language of Shillong, while sharing some intimate portraits of its indigenous people, the Khasi tribe.


The Shillong Chamber Choir and the Little Home School.

Urmi Juvekar | India | 2008 | 27 minutes

The film tells the story of one man’s attempt to empower his community through music and create a space where children would be allowed to grow irrespective of their talents and skills. Neil Nongkynrih’s vision to create a school for the children in Meghalaya (Land of Clouds) started as an attempt to just gather people and play a variety of music. But soon Mozart and Beethoven got intertwined with regional tunes from Khasi folk lore.

Screening on Sunday 18 September, 4.30pm

Colonial Legacies

Women on Record

Vidya and Parthiv Shah | India | 2016 | 48 minutes

The film is a nostalgic journey into the world of court singers in India during the late 19th and early 20th century and their early gramophone recordings, made possible by British Gramophone Company’s, American musician and recording engineer, Frederick William Gaisberg, who helped them become household names in India. Recordings of legends like Gauhar Jan, Zohra Bai, Begum Akhtar, Mallika Pukhraj, Girija Devi and others make this film a rare treat for any connoisseur of Indian classical music.


Black Pepper White Pepper-Stories from the Trenches.

Ishani K. Dutta | India | 2015 | 52 minutes

One hundred years ago, over 1.5 million Indian soldiers fought for the British king in the First World War. Despite showing incredible courage and bravery in the face of death, disease and distance from family, their contribution has been largely forgotten. This film highlights through letters from the trenches and memories of descendants, how these brave hearts of India helped to shape the modern history of mankind.


Gandhi, Nehru & Modern Art

Arun Khopkar | India | 1999 |21 minutes

The film shows the emergence of the ‘individual’ modern artist as a result of the
colonial transformation of the Indian sub-continent, colonial hegemony and its nationalistic negation, and focusses on how Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru (independent India’s first Prime Minister) influenced the artist during the years leading to and following the Indian independence.

Screening on Sunday 25 September, 4.30pm

Beyond Bollywood & the Indian New Wave

Cinema with a Purpose

Anu Radha and Nalin Kale | India | 2009 | 30 minutes

In common perception Indian cinema is synonymous with Bollywood or the Hindi film industry, but there is a vibrant regional language cinema industry making films in 18 languages that contribute to 70 per cent of the 1000 plus films made in India every year. Conversing with eminent practitioners of regional Indian cinema, like Amol Palekar, Buddhadeb Dasgupta, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Sumitra Bhave and Goutam Ghose, among others – along with academics and critics, the film presents how regional cinema has relentlessly highlighted social complexities through thought provoking stories that have given voice to the voiceless.


Benegal’s New Cinema

Iram Ghufran | India | 2014 | 58 minutes

The film explores the time, ethos and concerns of the 1970s’ Indian New Cinema movement in India through the films of one of its pioneer shapers, Shyam Benegal. It also discusses the motivations and impulses guiding his acclaimed works.


Mrinal Sen – An era in cinema

Rajdeep Paul | India | 2016 | 35 minutes

A biographical documentary that tries to decode the layers of political ideology, which have been the cornerstone of auteur Mrinal Sen’s cinematic expression. Inspired by Satyajit Ray and Italian neorealismo, Sen, a forerunner of the Indian New-Wave used a range of aesthetic styles to explore the socio-political climate of his times.

Screening on Sunday 2 October, 4.30pm