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The Center for South Asia, Stanford University
The Film and Media Studies Program, Stanford University
and Friends of South Asia


Imagining the City: Two Films on Bombay

Saacha (The Loom) and Naata (The Bond)

Directed by Anjali Monteiro & K.P. Jayashankar

Thursday, April 26th, 6.30 p.m

Stanford University (Building 60, Room 61G, Main Quad)

The Loom
49 Mins., English, 2001


Saacha is about a poet, a painter and a city. The poet is Narayan Surve, and the painter Sudhir Patwardhan. The city is the city of Mumbai (a.k.a. Bombay), the birth place of the Indian textile industry and the industrial working class. Both the protagonists have been a part of the left cultural movement in the city. Weaving together poetry and paintings and memories of the city, the film explores the modes and politics of representation, the relevance of art in the contemporary social milieu, the decline of the urban working class in an age of structural adjustment, the dilemmas of the left and the trade union movement and the changing face of a huge metropolis.

Awards and Festival Selections:

Second Prize, New Delhi Video Forum, 2001
Kalaghoda Film Festival, Mumbai, 2001
People's Film Fest, Bangalore, 2001
Film South Asia (FSA), Kathmandu, 2001
Travelling FSA 2001
Chingari, Wisconsin-Madison, 2001
Nottam, Kerala, 2001
Lahore Moving Images, 2002
Social Communication Cinema Festival, Calcutta, 2002
Mumbai International Film Festival, 2002

The Bond
45 Mins, English, 2003


Naata is about Bhau Korde and Waqar Khan who work with neighborhood peace committees in Dharavi, Mumbai, to promote conflict resolution through the collective production and use of visual media. Korde and Khan are both long-time residents of Dharavi and both first-generation migrants to the city. As Asia''s largest slum, with a population of 800,000, Dharavi has often been represented as a breeding ground for filth, vice and poverty, full of immigrants whose right to live in the city is often questioned by vigilante citizens'' groups and right-wing politicians. However, Dharavi''s long history of immigration has created a creative, productive space which plays an important role in the economy of the city; it is one of the major hubs of the informal sector that produces commodities ranging from food products to leather goods catering to a large export market. When the deadly riots of 1992-93 tore the city and their community apart, Korde and Khan were moved to act, working to change both the negative perception of Dharavi and erase religious and ethnic divisions. Naata follows these remarkable men as they work on their film, Ekta Sandesh - their work paralleling that of Naata''s own filmmakers, another filmmaking pair who are immigrants to their city of Bombay. Traveling with a projector and a screen, Korde and Khan show the film at their own expense in communities savaged by distrust and prejudice. The two pairs of filmmakers join forces in this documentary to spread their important message even further.

Festivale selections:

Film South Asia 2003, Kathmandu,
Travelling Film South Asia, 2003-4,
The First and the Last Experimental Film Festival 2003, Sydney
WSF Film Festival, 2004
Roop Kala Kendro Festival, Calcutta, 2004


Anjali & Jayashankar
Anjali Monteiro is Professor, and K.P. Jayasankar is Professor and Chair, Centre for Media and Cultural Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. Jointly they have won thirteen national and international awards for their films. These include the Prix Futura Berlin 1995 Asia Prize for Identity-The Construction of Selfhood, a Special Mention of the Jury at MIFF `96 for Kahankar: Ahankar, the Certificate of Merit at MIFF `98 and Best Innovation, Astra Film Festival 1998, Sibiu, Romania for YCP 1997 and the Best documentary award at the IV Three Continents International Festival of Documentaries 2005, Venezuela, for SheWrite. They are both recipients of the Howard Thomas Memorial Fellowship in Media Studies, and have been attached to Goldsmith’s College, London and the University of Western Sydney. Monteiro has been awarded a Fulbright visiting lecturer fellowship for 2006-07 and will be attached to the University of California, Berkeley.

This event is free and open to all

Event Flyer(pdf)(html)

More Information about the films and the filmmakers:

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