The Development of Documentary Film Festivals in India: A Small-Media Phenomenon

  • Giulia Battaglia
Part of the Framing Film Festivals book series (FFF)


This chapter addresses documentary film festivals in India as small-media practices. Although inscribed in a grounded local festival tradition, documentary film festivals in India multiplied and took a specific form with the advent of modern technologies throughout the decade of 2000s, which enabled practitioners to go beyond official festival circuits and state institutions. While scholars may address these practices as ‘alternative media,’ we can also frame them within what others have called ‘small-media’ practices. Documentary film festivals, conceived as also forms of ‘campaign’ or ‘protest,’ however, are yet to be integrated in such debate. As this chapter demonstrates, the 2004 Indian film festival and filmmakers campaign—‘Vikalp—Films for Freedom’—is one example that can help initiate this much-needed incorporation. This festival not only transformed the tradition of Indian documentary film festivals into a small-media practice but also created a community of filmmakers at a national level—who had until then been scattered across the country.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giulia Battaglia
    • 1
  1. 1.IRMECCEN, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris 3ParisFrance

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