media, information, the contemporary

The Wager on Cinema: Screening 5 – Placebo

The Sarai Programme invites you to the fifth screening of the film series titled, The Wager on Cinema : Abhay Kumar’s Placebo

The respondents for this film are Rahul Roy and Ravi Vasudevan

Date: 11 August, 2016
Time: 6 PM (Tea will be served at 5:30 PM)
Venue: The Sarai Programme, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, 29, Rajpur Road, Civil Lines, Delhi – 110054.

About ‘The Wager on Cinema’-
How do we estimate the value, aesthetic force, and meaning of cinema today? As media experience, technological change has transformed it beyond recognition, its material forms altered by analog and digital video formats, and the modes of circulating, viewing, accessing cinema and making it have expanded exponentially. And yet, the dream and ambition of cinema as we have known it has not dissipated, the desire to congregate audiences to participate in a distinct world of experience, whether to excite, amuse, to move or to solicit reflection and engagement, to bear witness and to mobilize.

For us at Sarai, the wager on cinema carries high stakes. It means renewing a pact with a bid to explore experience, to take film technique as a vehicle of the unexpected, making connections that take us aback, working out strategies to navigate media’s capacity to deceive – to sting the audience as much as expose secretive acts – through a forensic analytics, through ethical calibration, but also playfully, ironically. For us, such a wager also places emphasis on process, how things are done, how techniques are used, what evidence is presented, what judgments are made, how publics are engaged, framing the cinema as an act of research. In this series, Sarai will screen films to shift focus, to conjure up unusual images and sounds, novel techniques and subject matter, and will organise discussions with practitioners, researchers and an interested public to renew our investment in the cinema, to capture what it means in our times.

placebo poster

Synopsis of ‘Placebo’

Director: Abhay Kumar
Duration: 96 mins

Pressure reaches breaking point at India’s toughest medical school; a film maker goes undercover in this prestigious institution to follow the ambitious doctors of tomorrow, wrestling with lifelong dreams, pain and healing – as the school’s administration stands accused of turning a blind eye to an unfolding tragedy.

Trailer is available on this LINK.

Abhay Kumar is a filmmaker, TED fellow and teacher from India. In 2011, Abhay’s hybrid short animation film “Just that Sort of Day” became the first Indian animation film to compete at the Tribeca Film Festival, went onto win best film at Busan, New York Indian Film Festival, Regensburg, 200 screenings at the Centre Pompidou Museum, Paris and picked up a National Award in India. In 2014, Abhay’s hybrid feature documentary ‘Placebo” premiered at IDFA, winning a jury nomination award for best debut. In 2016, Abhay was selected for the Berlinale Talent Campus as part of the Berlin International Film Festival

Rahul Roy is a filmmaker whose films have travelled across the globe to various documentary film festivals and have won several prestigious awards.

Ravi Vasudevan is Professor at CSDS and co-founder of The Sarai Programme.