The road taken...

Pankaj Butalia started as a national level table tennis player, then evolved into a teacher of Economics at Delhi University, and then... filmmaker. That was eight documentaries and one fiction film ago...

His most recent is MANIPUR SONG. "Set in Manipur the [hour long] film seeks to foreground a state that exists on the periphery of the Indian imagination. As with other North Eastern states, culturally and ethnically Manipur has remained estranged from the dominant Indian culture and has repeatedly sought to assert its identity through insurgency. In 1980-81 the Indian state countered by giving unprecedented powers to its army to deal with insurgency. The Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), gives complete immunity to the army and led to killings and rapes. The situation got so bad that in August 2004 a group of women disrobed in front of the army barracks holding banners saying "Indian Army Rape Us". The film looks at the consequences of this violence on ordinary people."

His one feature film, KAARVAN, looks at the impact of Partition on a few lives. ALthough not a commercial success- depending on how you look at it, the film did earn Naseeruddin Shah a special mention for acting at the Amiens festival in 1999.

Most of his documentaries have been screened extensively throughout the world - Venice, Toronto, Rotterdam, Belgium, Hong Kong, Turkey, New Delhi and Calcutta among other places.

TRACING THE ARC is about a truly "phenomenal achievement of applied science in British India between 1802 and 1843. It was an attempt to measure the curvature of the earth's surface under the guise of cartographic and military necessity. The film attempts to recreate the stupendous effort and look at some of it's implications."

His films are listed in our Documentaries section, in the Under Construction subcategory.