Women in Transnational Cinema | Festival

15th – 17th March 2019 | Free & Open to all

TIFA Working Studios is hosting a festival to celebrate Women in Transnational Cinema from the 15th – 17th March 2019 in collaboration with National Film Archive of India, Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum, The Heritage Lab & Art + Feminism.

The festival enfolds around film screenings, presentations, a panel discussion, a multi-channel film installation and a Wikipedia edit-a-thon. The festival sheds light on underrepresented moving image history – and wants to initiate a revision of the established film canon. It doesn´t only want to highlight the work of female film artists as directors and actors, but also as cinematographers, composers, editors, costume designers and so forth. A focal point will be on film form and aesthetics which are created around gender representation, womanhood and girlhood. The mini-festival pursues to create a dialogue between national cinemas throughout film history.


15th March, Friday at National Film Archive of India | Film screenings

4.15pm | Achhut Kanya (Franz Osten, 1936) | 2hr 22min

The second film by Devika Ranis and Himanshu Rays production house, Bombay Talkies. The company was the starting point for the composer Saraswati Devi and was in its beginning characterized through its cooperation with European technicians.  The melodrama enfolds around Kasturi (Devika Rani) a dalit woman whose childhood love with Pratap (Ashok Kumar) is doomed due to her origins.

6.45pm | Subarnarekha (Ritwik Ghatak, 1965) | 2hr 40min

Starring Madhabi Mukherjee as Sita, the third part of Ritwik Ghatak’s trilogy takes us back into the aftermath of the partition and its socio-economic implications. The play with shadows, exceptional camera angles and the interaction with the landscape are framing the melodrama aesthetically and reflect the inner of the protagonist.

16th March, Saturday at TIFA Working Studios | Film screening, presentations, panel discussion and installations

4pm  | Mädchen in Uniform (Girls in Uniform, Leontine Sagan, 1931, 1hr 38min)

The all-female cast film by Austrian filmmaker Leontine Sagan is a cult classic based on a play written by Christa Winsloe. The story unfolds around a newly enrolled girl at a boarding school. Matriarchy, Rebellion, Girlhood and Intimacy intertwine. Its release in 1931 was highly popular in Berlin´s lesbian clubs but censored by the Nazis. Its expressive aesthetic and play with shadows and forms are unique.

6 – 8pm | Presentations and Panel Discussion

This pre-event of the Edit-a-thon on Sunday 17th is a first get-together and open forum discussion. Panellists: Vatsala Sharma, Dr. Vaishali Diwakar and Rutuja Deshmukh.


Vatsala Sharma | Art Director, Researcher

is an independent scholar and art director based in New Delhi. After completing her Bachelor’s Degree (Hons) in English Literature from Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University, she received her Master of the Arts and Aesthetics from Jawaharlal Nehru University. She was a regular contributor at Rookie Mag and is currently researching about the history of the Indian magazine issue Femina, which has shifted its focus in the last decades more and more on Bollywood related articles.


Dr. Vaishali Diwakar | Professor

is an associate professor at the Department of Sociology at St. Mira´s College in Pune. Her focal points are gender, media and film studies. She has written about the interference between Nationhood, Gender and Cinema. Her presentation will take a brief review through the decades and how gender issues are resolved, masked, deflected on the site of popular Hindi cinema. It will also take a review of anxieties, apprehensions expressed with the help of various genres, particularly comedy genre.


Rutuja Deshmukh | Writer

is an alumnus of DMCS, Pune University and SOAS, University of London wherein she has pursued Masters programmes in Communication Studies and South Asian Area Studies respectively. She is a freelance writer with routine contribution to leading national and International online media houses/journals like TheWire, Countercurrents and Himal Southasian. Her write up on the #MeToo movement has been incorporated in the book ‘#MeToo – A Blow to Patriarchy’ compiled by Mr Binu Mathew. She writes on issues of cinema, gender, caste, denotified tribes, and culture at the intersection of neo-liberalism. She is currently a visiting faculty at FLAME University, Pune. Her presentation will focus on the 2018 Netflix production Lust Stories and how female sexuality is constructed.

Film history in pieces | Multichannel Installation by Adriane Meusch, Carine Figueras and Vatsala Sharma

The film clip collages are examining aesthetics around the representation of women. Visual dialogues throughout the film history are created, transnational and transhistorical: teenagers in Leontine Sagan´s cult classic “Mädchen in Uniform” (1931) are competing with the hostel girls in “Minsara Kanavu” (1997) while Madhabi Mukherjee voyeuristically observes Jeanne Dielman through her binoculars.

10.30am – 6.30pm  | 17th March, Sunday at Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum

Wikipedia Edit-a-thon with The Heritage Lab & Art + Feminism


The Pune Edit-a-thon at Kelkar Museum seeks to invite audiences to join a writing and editing session that is dedicated to Wikipedia articles related to women in cinema. Less than 10% of Wikipedia editors are women – this was the result of a survey of the Wikipedia Foundation in 2011. This gender bias on the popular online encyclopedia platform matters, as women writers may highlight different topics, interests and perspectives, that will stay otherwise underrepresented. A glance into the global film canon reveals a similar scenario; in multiple lists, only a few films by female filmmakers can be found.


Facilitated by Suresh Khole and Subodh Kulkarni.

Adriane Meusch is a film researcher currently at TIFA Working Studios. She is enrolled in the Master Programme “Filmkultur – Archiving, Programming, Presenting” at Goethe-University Frankfurt and has studied in Bayreuth, Delhi and Brno. Her thesis is dedicated to the history of municipal cinemas and their practice of programming. She has organized analogue film workshops and is an active member of a mobile cinema club in Nuremberg.

Creatives by Vartika Sharma

Photo Credit: Adriane Meusch, Shounak Pethe & Carine Figueras

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