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What is the relevance of film festivals in a hyper-digital world?

by Our Corresspondent - Nov 24, 2021
What is the relevance of film festivals in a hyper-digital world?, News, KonexioNetwork.com

  • Aseem Chhabra to moderate session with Deepthi Pendurty; Christina Marouda; Meenakshi Shedde

Mumbai : The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic forced film festivals around the world to rethink their modus operandi and raised difficult questions about their very existence. The digital realm became their temporary refuge but as they come out of the pandemic and return to a physical domain, they find a very changed landscape, one that is dominated by the overwhelming presence of OTT platforms. How can film festivals, especially smaller ones, reinvent themselves and remain relevant to their communities in this new world of unlimited digital access and choice?

Deepthi Pendurty, festival manager for Dharamshala IFF, Christina Marouda, Chair of the Board and founder of the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles and Meenakshi Shedde, South Asia Delegate, Berlin International Film Festival and an independent Mumbai-based film curator will come together to discuss this important topic at a virtual session ‘the relevance of Film Festivals in a hyper-digital world’ on Friday, November 26, 6 p.m. India time, on the sidelines of the EU Film Festival. Well-known film journalist, author and festival director of New York Indian film Festival, Aseem Chhabra will moderate this session

The session has been organized by the EU Delegation to India in collaboration with the Dharamshala International Film Festival. 

Day & Date




Zoom Link

Fri, 26th Nov

18:00 IST // CET 13:30

The relevance

Of film festivals in a hyper-digital world

(In collaboration with Dharamshala International Film Festival)

Moderators: Aseem Chhabra
Panellists: Deepthi Pendurty; Christina Marouda; Meenakshi Shedde



Aseem Chabra: Aseem Chhabra is a film journalist in New York City and New Delhi. He has been published in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Mumbai Mirror, Rediff.com, The Hindu, Outlook, BBC.com, Quartz, Scroll, Newslaundry. He’s been a commentator on Indian cinema and popular culture on NPR, CNN, BBC, CBC, ABC’s ‘Good Morning America.’

Aseem is the festival director of the New York Indian Film Festival, the largest and the oldest Indian festival in North America.

He is the author of the biographies of Bollywood actors Shashi Kapoor, Irrfan Khan and Priyanka Chopra.

Aseem is the voice of Shadow Puppet #1 in director Nina Paley’s acclaimed animated film, Sita Sings the Blues.

Deepthi Pendurty: Deepthi Pendurty is the festival manager for Dharamshala IFF since 2018 and oversees various aspects of the festival including operations, partnerships and building the year round programme. She has over 9 years of experience in television and is the co-founder of Hyderabad Children’s Theatre Festival. 

Christina Marouda: Christina Marouda is the Chair of the Board and founder of the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) where over the past 20 years she has created, developed and expanded the film festival into a creative and business portal between Indian and United States entertainment industry. She has developed key relationships with governmental, business and charitable organizations including SAG-AFTRA and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, executives at all major film and television studios, prominent Indian filmmakers and leading international film festivals.

“Prior to that, she worked for five years with the American Film Institute for its globally renowned international film festival, AFI FEST, as Guest Services Director in charge of the Filmmaker Office. In 2008, she produced the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival (LAGFF) at the Lynwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood. Ms. Marouda started her career in entertainment in the New Media and Marketing department at Lions Gate Entertainment.
Ms. Marouda holds a B.A. in international relations from Athens University of Economics, and an MBA from California State University, Long Beach. She has studied and worked in Italy and Spain and speaks five languages.”

Meenakshi Shedde: Meenakshi Shedde is South Asia Delegate, Berlin International Film Festival, pre-selecting films since 1998, and independent film curator, based in Mumbai. Winner of India’s National Film Award for Best Film Critic, she has been on the jury of 20 international film festivals, including Cannes, Berlin and Venice. She has been international curator/ programmer/ consultant to the Berlin International Film Festival, Toronto (TIFF Bell Lightbox), Locarno, Busan, Dubai, IFFI-Goa, Kerala and Mumbai Film Festivals; British Film Institute (BFI, London), Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA, Australia) and Kochi Muziris Biennale (India). She has been Script Lab Mentor and Critics’ Lab Mentor worldwide, and on the Selection Committee of top Film Funds in the US and Europe. A senior journalist, she freelances for Variety, Screen International, Sight & Sound, Film Comment, Cahiers du Cinema, Times of India and Sunday Midday, and has written for/edited 19 books, mainly on cinema.