Editor | Arts
If there’s one experience that unites India, it is cinema. In Reel India, award-winning film critic Namrata Joshi journeys through the interiors of the country intimately chronicling little-known stories about the nation’s incessant obsession with the movies.
In Lucknow, she encounters a Shah Rukh Khan fan who has embraced an alternate reality in which he lives and breathes the star. In Wai, an entire economy is fuelled by the film industry as the town transforms into a film set. An activist filmmaker in Odisha demonstrates how he teaches local tribal people the basics of his craft, empowering them to train the spotlight on issues threatening their habitat and livelihood. From the fever pitch of the ‘first day first show’ in makeshift halls to the rivalries of regional cinema, this is India’s immersion in the movies like it’s never been seen before.
Filled with real-life stories that are as fascinating as the revelations and insights they offer, Reel India raises the curtain on the starry-eyed dreams and big-screen passions that live on after the final ‘cut’ is announced.
About the author
Namrata Joshi is an associate editor – cinema and film critic with The Hindu. A member of FIPRESCI, the international federation of film critics based in Munich, she has been a member of the FIPRESCI critics’ jury at multiple film festivals across the world, and has been on the selection committee for films at the International Film Festival of India, Goa, 2008 and 2012. A Charles Wallace Trust fellow and a Chevening scholar, she won India’s National Award for Best Film Critic in 2004. She has contributed pieces to multiple anthologies on Indian cinema and currently resides and works in Mumbai.