The Bombay Talkies - A curated segment for Cineaste International Film Festival of India (CIFFI) 2020

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As a researcher, my focus has been on the commercial Hindi films and its contribution to the growth of Indian cinema. Thus, this curatorial segment on Bombay Talkies, provided an opportunity to showcase the pioneering works of Himanshu Rai and Devika Rani, whose contribution to Indian cinema, though much celebrated, but is not a part of curriculums in Indian media schools. The Eurocentric, and Indian parallel film-oriented film schools have obscured many a works of Indian commercial film legends. Thus, this curated segment provided a great entry point to screen films, and engage media schools, and wider audiences to understand the work of Rai & Rani. Bombay Talkies one of the first film studios heralded a collaborative structure with filmmakers and film technicians from Europe, and introduced many local talents, who later became superstars of Hindi/Indian cinema, such as Ashok Kumar, Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand, and Madhubala. The attempt of this curatorial segment was to not only revisit the work produced by the Bombay Talkies Studio, but also discuss the pathbreaking work they heralded through their films Acchut Kanya (1936) that explore caste discrimination, Kismet (1943) that popularised “lost and found” potboilers, and Mahal (1949) introduced an Indian style of musical supernatural genre.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationIndia
PublisherDelhi Metropolitan Education.
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Bombay Talkies
  • Indian Cinema
  • Film Studio
  • Devika Rani
  • Himanshu Rai
  • Hindi Cinema
  • Dilip Kumar
  • Ashok Kumar
  • Madhubala
  • Dev Anand


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