SOUTH ASIAN CINEMA AND VOD NETWORK
OUR SCOPE AND AIMS
South Asian nations have all been exposed to Hindi films made in India for decades. Today the operation of companies like Netflix, Amazon, Hotstar and smaller streaming platforms is enabling the circulation of films from other South Asian countries that, until recently, were confined to their domestic market.
At present this new form of cultural exchange is entirely mediated by the streaming companies and their commercial interests. The purpose of this network is to enable filmmakers from South Asia and scholars to explore the possibilities of regional, transnational dialogue offered by this new cinematic ground.
Existing research on VOD is sponsored either by the companies themselves or by public advisory agencies. Most examines VOD as an industrial complex, paying little or no attention to films’ content and aesthetics. It documents the extent to which VOD defines the limits within which independent filmmakers work. Unlike existing research, this network focuses on how filmmakers move within those limits and how this, in turn, shapes the films they make. These conditions demarcate independent cinema and, with it, imaginings of South Asian identities.