Lalit Vachani is a documentary filmmaker,
producer and video editor. He is director of the New Delhi based
Wide Eye Film. He studied at St. Stephens College, Delhi
University and at the Annenberg School for Communication at
the University of Pennsylvania in the US.
Lalit Vachanis documentaries
include The Starmaker (about the business of starmaking
in the Hindi film industry); The Boy in the Branch and
The Men in the Tree (on the Hindu nationalist organization,
the RSS); The Play Goes On (about a socialist street
theatre group, Jana Natya Manch); The Salt Stories
(following the trail of Mahatma Gandhis salt march in
India after seventy years); Tales from Napa (about a
village that resisted Hindu fundamentalist forces during the
2002 riots in India) and An Ordinary Election (an in-depth
study of an Indian election campaign).
In 2007, he directed In Search
of Gandhi as one of ten international filmmakers commissioned
to make 52 min. films for the 'Why Democracy?' global television
series, which was broadcast across 42 international television
channels, including ZDF/Arte in Germany, BBC and BBC World (UK),
Arte (France), Canal + (Spain), SBS (Australia), NHK (Japan)
and SABC (South Africa).Vachanis films have received grant
awards from the Soros and Sundance Documentary Foundations,
the Jan Vrijman Fund, and the India Foundation for the Arts.
Some of the venues and film festivals
where his work has been shown are: Kino Arsenal, Berlin; Oberhausen
International Short Film Festival and DOK-Leipzig in Germany; International
Documentary Film Association (IDFA), Amsterdam; Festival International
du Documentaire, Marseille; One World Human Rights Film Festival,
Prague; Film South Asia, Kathmandu; Zanzibar International Film
Festival in Tanzania; the Asian Social Forum, Hyderabad; the
World Social Forum, Mumbai; MIAAC, New York and the Queens Museum
of Art, New York.
Vachani has taught on topics related
to film analysis, media, politics and the documentary film at
the Mass Communication Research Centre in Delhi, India; at the
University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and at Amherst College
in the USA.
He was a visiting scholar at the
Center for Media, Culture and History at New York University
in 1999, and Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for
Religious Diversity and at the Lichtenberg-Kolleg in Göttingen
in 2011 and 2012.
Lalit Vachani now lives in Göttingen,
Germany where he teaches courses on media and politics, the
political documentary film and documentary theory and production
at the Centre for Modern Indian Studies (CeMIS) at the University