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Italy’s Love for Bollywood

Vanessa Vettorella’s affair with Bollywood started in 2011.

Written by Tanvi Seth | Published: April 30, 2013 12:02:32 am

Vanessa Vettorella’s affair with Bollywood started in 2011. The Istituto Europeo di Design student had to make a behind-the-scenes documentary on Indian cinema for her graduation thesis. As she flipped through various books on the world’s largest centre for film production,she discovered The History of Indian Cinema by Elena Aime in her college library . The magic of old cinema charmed Vettorello and while on a class trip to Mumbai,she watched a collection of movies including The Apu Trilogy,Salaam Bombay and Frozen among others.

The thesis fetched her good grades,but left her curious to delve deeper. Two years later,an opportunity presented itself when Vettorello was invited as a guest lecturer in FAD (Fashion Art Design) International in Pune. Vettorello is following up on her curiosity and collecting photographs that document the history of Indian cinema.

A freelancer photographer,she represents the PHOS Agency,a photographic fine art organisation with branches across the globe. After lectures,she sets out to click and collect photographs that comment on the modern turn that Indian cinema is taking. Vettorello clicks old talkies to depict the impact of multiplexes on traditional movie halls. “I’ve started shooting the touring cinema as a kind of cinema that’s on the decline in Bollywood. Along the way,I have found that Indian movie screenings are social events and tools in providing interpretations of reality,” says Vettorello,one of the four photographers of Wedding Reportage,a team which records and compiles wedding footage from across the world in the form of a documentary.

Vettorello recalls how she came across the lack of movie halls outside metropolitan cities when she was working on her graduation thesis. Now,she is surprised at the mushrooming of multiplexes in smaller cities too. She feels that these multiplexes,which only the upper middle class can afford are shadowing the smaller old-styled movie halls which were accessible to a larger section of people. “These older halls are part of India’s history. In the ‘60s in Italy there were single-screen halls,but they’ve disappeared now. I miss that period of cinema’s history,” she says.

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