THE DEPARTMENT OF FILM STUDIES
The city of Kolkata and its suburbs reflect a strong film culture, involving not only filmmaking but also discussion of and writing on the subject of cinema for several decades. The late Satyajit Ray had proposed the study of cinema as an academic discipline in 1980. Calcutta University introduced it with an undergraduate curriculum in 1995. The discipline with its triple focus on production, transmission and reception strategies appealed to the students and academic administration equally. Thus Rishi Bankim Chandra Evening College with its good support base, a few very enthusiastic ‘cine-aestes’, strong local cultural and intellectual tradition provided the right kind of ambience for study of such a frontier discipline.
Guest lecturers and professionals from reputed institutions, organizations visit & interact with the students. Students have participated extensively in national and international social, wild life and documentary film festivals by contributing films made by them and often with rewards like the e-bioscope at Bongflix.com online festival and Kolkata Film Festival . They have visited studios like the Roopkala Kendro helping them widen their professional perspectives. The dept. regularly collaborates with an editing studio to edit their short films. In addition, short term enrichment courses like workshops in ‘Digital Image practices and Darkroom Processes’ have been conducted. The department has maintained a balance of academic performance with achievements in skill and technique.
We, as citizens and more as Netizens today, have progressed into a world of digital audio-visual culture, and have fully equipped ourselves with audio visual resources. As teachers and resource persons, we are often generating audio visual resources as e-learning materials and teaching the teachers and resource providers of future to develop contents. Film studies teaches us to read visual culture in all its nuances, as also speak the dominant creative language of this century.
The course modules of Film Studies help to
1. explore the history of cinema in its global breadth, from documentary to experimental and narrative.
2. develop an understanding of film’s aesthetic in relation to culture, politics and society
3. to emerge as better media producers, filmmakers
4. to develop a keen sense of understanding of the components of the art and production skills
5. to understand the industry and its paradigms and practices
The students of the 2nd, 4th and 6th semesters have story-boarded and scripted narratives graphically & designed innovative cinematography, sound and lighting styles as part of their practical work and eventually were referred to online resources on cinematography and other components.
The students have used the mobile as well as movie cameras to make short videos, having first acquired the theoretical knowledge of professional cinematography, sound design and content development. Short documentary and informative films by the students on social / moral issues as renditions of contemporary issues even in the midst of pandemic as practical work has been keeping interest in the subject high.
M. A. (Gold Medallist)