Asia Society India Centre is delighted to present the first screening of the documentary film Lovely Villa (2019) by Rohan Shivkumar and Avijit Mukul Kishore, preceded by a screening of their film Nostalgia for the Future (2017). Both films explore the relationship between modernity, architecture and identity, one from a national and the other from an autobiographical perspective.

Nostalgia for the Future, a film on India’s project of Modernity explores the imaginations of the new nation state and its ideal citizen through the search for an ideal home; represented by four vastly different manifestations in Baroda, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad and Delhi. In a style reminiscent of the early Films Division projects, the film imagines the bodies that were meant to inhabit these spaces through the evocation of the cinematic and aural collective memory of a nation. It uses a mix of formats – 16mm film and digital video in both colour and black and white, along with archival footage from state propaganda films and mainstream cinema to present and critique some of these early nation building developments.

Lovely Villa delves deeper into the architectural imaginations of Modern India inhabited now by people and families, from the personal perspective of the filmmaker. ‘Lovely Villa’ is the name of the apartment building where the filmmaker grew up in LIC colony designed by Charles Correa. It is a film about the relationship between architecture, everyday life, family and memory of ‘home’. Using found materials, like old photographs and drawings, and stories that range from family histories and other narratives, both semi-fictional and documentary, the film highlights some of the specific architectural gestures of the project.

Collaborating now for over a decade, documentary filmmaker Avijit Mukul Kishore and architect Rohan Shivkumar emerge from the divergent intersections of their respective disciplines to create a distinct visual narrative and style, which is reminiscent as well as critical of the project of modernity in pre and post-independence India.

Nostalgia for the Future – Hindi & English | 54 Mins, 2017 | Produced by Films Division India

Lovely Villa – English | 32 Mins, 2019 | Produced by Public Service Broadcasting Trust

The screenings will be followed by a conversation with the filmmakers.

Avijit Mukul Kishore is a filmmaker and cinematographer based in Mumbai, working in documentary and inter-disciplinary moving-image practices. He is involved in cinema pedagogy as a lecturer, and curates film programmes for prominent national cultural institutions. His films as director include Snapshots from a Family Album, Vertical City, To Let the World In, Electric Shadows and Nostalgia for the Future, and as cinematographer: Kumar Talkies, Kali Salwaar, John and Jane, Seven Islands and a Metro, Bidesia in Bambai, I am Micro and An Old Dog’s Diary.

Rohan Shivkumar is an architect, urban designer and filmmaker practicing in Mumbai. He is the Dean of Research and Academic Development at the Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute for Architecture and Environmental Studies. His work ranges from architecture, urban research and consultancy projects to works in film and visual art. He is interested in issues concerning housing, public space and in exploring the many ways of reading and representing the city. Rohan is the co-editor of the publication on an interdisciplinary research and art collaboration- ‘Project Cinema City’. He also curates film programmes and writes on cinema, architecture and urban issues. He has also made films on art, architecture and urbanism including Nostalgia for the Future, Squeeze Lime in Your Eye and Lovely Villa