University of Pittsburgh
March 18, 2004

Pitt Presents the Best of Bollywood

Festival of Indian Films emphasizes the entertainment value of Indian cinema as well as its response to national concerns
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—Bollywood, the Indian/Hindi filmmaking industry, produces more films in a year than Hollywood. Pitt's Festival of Indian Films, taking place from Tuesday, March 23, to Friday, April 16, will demonstrate the range of Indian filmmaking, including art and commercial cinema, documentary and feature films, and mainstream Hindi and regional Tamil cinema. The festival is being sponsored by Pitt's Film Studies Program, Asian Studies Center (ASC) within the University Center for International Studies, School of Arts & Sciences, and Faculty of Arts & Sciences Faculty Research and Scholarship Program, as well as the Indo-Pacific Area Council.

The festival, titled "Entertainment and Anxiety," showcases films that represent both the entertainment value of Indian cinema and its response to such issues as terrorism, ethnic strife, urban corruption, religious identities, and gender norms. Given the geo-political importance of South Asia, the festival also will encourage discussion of the role of popular culture in shaping contemporary global identities.

The film festival opens at 6 p.m. March 23 in Pitt's Alumni Hall, 4227 Fifth Ave., Oakland. The date of the screening as well as the title, director, release date, length, and format of the films follow:

• Tuesday, March 23, Fearless: The Hunterwali Story, Riyad Vinci Wadia, 1993, 60 minutes, DVD, and Bhavantarana (Immanence), Kumar Shahani, 1991, 63 minutes, 35mm;

• Friday, March 26, Shri 420 (The Gentleman Cheat), Raj Kapoor, 1955, 168 minutes, Hindi with English subtitles, DVD;

• Tuesday, March 30, Dil Se (From the Heart), Mani Rathnam, 1998, 163 minutes, Hindi with English subtitles, 35mm;

• Friday, April 2, Satya (Truth), Ram Gopal Verma, 1998, 170 minutes, Hindi with English subtitles, DVD;

• Tuesday, April 6, Hey! Ram, Kamal Haasan, 1999, 201 minutes, Hindi with English subtitles, 35mm;

• Friday, April 9, Maachis (Matches), Sampooran Singh Gulzar, 1996, 160 minutes, Hindi with English subtitles, DVD;

• Tuesday, April 13, The Making of the Mahatma, Shyam Benegal, 1995, 147 minutes, Hindi with English subtitles, 35mm; and

• Friday April 16, Kannathil Muthamittal (A Peck on the Cheek), Mani Rathnam, 2002, 130 minutes, Tamil with English subtitles, DVD.

All screenings will begin at 6 p.m. with a brief introduction of the film. Tuesday screenings will be held in Alumni Hall; Friday screenings will be held in 1P56 Wesley W. Posvar Hall, 203 S. Bouquet St., Oakland.

At noon on Saturday, April 10 in the Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, Schenley Drive, a panel discussion will provide a forum for further discussions on the films shown. Participating in the panel will be Anustup Basu, Pitt doctoral student and fellow in cultural studies; Richard J. Cohen, associate director of ASC and lecturer in Pitt's Department of Religious Studies; Neepa Majumdar, Pitt professor of English; Krishnan Hariharan, visiting professor of film studies in the Department of South Asia Studies at the University of Pennsylvania; and Prajna Parasher, associate professor in the Division of Art Design and Cultural Studies at Chatham College.

All events related to the festival are free and open to the public. The festival's program is subject to change depending on availability of the films. For more information, call 412-624-5578 or visit