Amit Mahanti


Amit Mahanti

film screening
SA 26.10.2013 20:30

Amit Mahanti, an independent researcher, filmmaker and visual artist from New Delhi, is the first Kran Film Resident who will pay a 10 days visit to Brussels in order to explore Flemish video and film archives, meet film professionals, give a lecture at RITS School of Arts and organize a screening programme at Beursschouwburg Brussels.

Mahanti's residency programme is developed around the theme of labour. He will be exploring the relationship between labour and cinema and will question how labour can sometimes exercise its own sense of creative agency and push us to reimagine the characterization of the term “labour” itself. In which way cinema may be a powerful creative and political tool to transcend existing conditions of labour? How these cultural expressions often throw up a challenge to the hegemonic discourses of corporate media? Can the labour be understood as an active creative and cultural force that generates its own expressions, reflective of its engagement with the larger world order?

During the Kranfilm evening in Beursschouwburg, two films will be screened.

Narayan Gangaram Surve - Arun Khopkar

Narayan Gangaram Surve, who passed away in 2010, was one of India’s leading poets. He was a foundling, raised by a mill-worker until the age of ten and then left to fend for himself. Working as a waiter, helper in textiles mills, a peon in a Municipal school, he finally retired as a primary school teacher. A Marxist by conviction, he forged a new idiom of the spoken word in Marathi poetry. His poems mix dialects of Marathi, Hindi, Urdu, English to catch the pulse of the life of the underprivileged. The film shows Kishor Kadam, playing Narayan Surve, but meeting the real poet through his journey. The poems are ‘interpreted’, without words, through non-linear montage of visuals and sound effects.

Malegaon Times - Ruchika Negi & Amit Mahanti

Malegaon Times looks at the idea of performance in the working-class, power-loom town of Malegaon (Maharashtra, Western India). Malegaon thrives on power-looms, cloth and cinema, all inextricably linked to each other. The film moves between these worlds with Asif Albela – a stage performer, a mimic and a film actor whose specialty lies in comedy. He is known for his ability to carve out characters from the everyday fabric of his town, and present them through his lens of comedy - the preferred way in which the town likes to see its realities revealed. The film uses Modern Times (Charles Chaplin, 1936) as a starting point to explore the relationship between cinema, labour and performance in Malegaon.

Malegaon Times © Amit Mahanti & Ruchika Negi
Malegaon Times © Amit Mahanti & Ruchika Negi

Ondertiteld in het Engels

Narayan Gangaram Surve:
2012, 45 min

Malegaon Times
2012, 27 min