Bollywood and Beyond: Visual Appeal in Costumes in Indian Films

Please join the Asian American / Asian Research Institute for a talk on, Bollywood and Beyond: Visual Appeal in Costumes in Indian Films, by Deepsikha Chatterjee, on Friday, November 7, 2014, from 6pm to 8pm, at 25 West 43rd Street, 10th Floor, Room 1000, between 5th & 6th Avenues, Manhattan. This talk is free and open to the general public.

Deepsikha Chatterjee will present on her 2010 project with Cheri Vasek (University of Hawai’i, Manoa), through a grant from the United States Institute of Theatre Technology, to travel to India and study the process of Indian film production with focus on the work of costume designers. With the most number of films produced per annum in India, partly because of many regional language production centers, Indian films appeal to the one billion plus Indian people, South Asian populations, the Indian diaspora across the world, as well as many global viewers. International distributors have now taken an interest in these films with many being screened in the diverse New York City area and across United States.  

During this research, interviews were conducted with directors, actors, producers, assistant directors, costume designers, stylists, dress men, costume tailors, embroidery experts, dyers, shoe and armor makers, milliners and at film studios and rental houses at the various regional centers viz. Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata to understand the working of this complex industry. These visits and discussions were also documented in photos that have now been curated and displayed at an exhibit at the East West Gallery Honolulu, Hawai’i. 

Deepsikha Chatterjee is a lecturer in the Theater department at Hunter College/CUNY. Originally from India, Prof. Chatterjee finished her undergraduate degree in Fashion Design from National Institute of Fashion Technology in Chennai and a BS in Psychology from University of Madras. After working in the global clothing manufacturing industry in India she moved to the US to pursue a  MFA in costume design from Florida State University. Over the years she has worked at many professional theatres including Glimmerglass Opera, Utah Shakespearean Festival and Santa Fe Opera among others. In 2013, she received a PSC CUNY grant to study masks of Chau dance from eastern India. Parts of this research has been mounted as an exhibit at the East West Center at University of Hawaii.

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