Popular Indian (Hindi) Cinema has developed a unique form of storytelling from the very beginning. Cinema came to India from the west but it developed its own narrative rooted in its own theatrical forms like Ramleela, Nautanki, Jatra and Parsi Theatre.
SACF’s 13th Dada Saheb Phalke Memorial Lecture will explore the roots of screenplay writing in Indian Cinema. The lecture will be delivered by well- known screen writer, playwright and the former Channel Four Commissioning Editor (1984–97), Farrukh Dhondy. He has written the screenplay for Mangal Pandey, starring Aamir Khan.
SACF’s Annual Phalke Memorial Lecture was instituted in the year 2002 with the inaugural lecture by the late P.K.Nair, India’s pioneering film archivist. Subsequently, SACF’s Phalke lectures have been delivered by India’s well known filmmakers like Shyam Benegal, Saeed Akhtar Mirza, Chandraprakash Dwivedi and the documentary filmmaker Shivendra Singh Dungarpur.
Farrukh will elaborate on his thesis on Indian cinema being in its dramatic origins, traditions, and myths, though not in its technology, unique and distinct from the developments in Western film-making. His thesis traces the history of Indian cinema from the nationalist impulses of Dadasaheb Phalke through a Gandhian reform commitment to the films of the immediate post-independence era and then to the developments of modern myths and the Indian film’s devious and crowd-pleasing or conscience-pleasing confrontations with reality.