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Sometimes Up Close
Sometimes From Afar

A cinematic exploration on Indian cinema halls as architectures of migration and community building.

Direction: Vani Subramanian
Concept development & research:

Mary N. Woods, Vani Subramanian

Cinematography: Pooja Sharma, Rangoli Agarwal
Editing: Niharika Popli
Producer: Mary N. Woods

63 mins | English, Hindi, Tamil

English Subtitles | 2024

The Death of Us

Direction: Vani Subramanian
Cinematography: Desmond Roberts
Edit: Kuldeep Gaur, Vani Subramanian
Sound: Pratik Biswas
Production: PSBT

78 mins | English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu 

English Subtitles


18th Open Frame Film Festival – PSBT, New Delhi

20th Madurai International Film Festival

15th South Asia International Film Festival, New York

6th Kolkata Peoples’ Film Festival

7th Chennai International Documentary and Short Film Festival

Social Justice Film Festival, Chennai

18th ImagineIndia International Film Festival, Barcelona

Habitat Film Festival, IHC, Delhi

International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala, Trivandrum

Signs Film Festival, Trissur

Social Justice Film Festival, Chennai

Human Rights Film Festival, Bangalore

Gandhi Film Festival, Madurai

Vikalp@Prithvi Online

Marupakkam Online Film Festival

The debate on death penalty is loud and impassioned. Instead of echoing that cacophony, The Death of Us, quietly reflects on a range of cases in which the death penalty was pronounced. Sometimes, ending in the execution of the convicted; sometimes in commutation to a life sentence; and sometimes to acquittal and release. Speaking to some who have been on death row, and others closely involved with the cases, we engage in complex conversations on crime and punishment, revenge and justice, popular rhetoric and personal experiences. Only to find ourselves confronted by larger ethical and moral questions across time and space.


Stir. Fry. Simmer.

Direction: Vani Subramanian
Cinematography: Basit Jamaal
Editing: Vani Subramanian, Deshraj
Sound: Pratik Biswas
Production: PSBT

58 mins | English, Hindi, Malayalam

English Subtitles



Conversations about food, memory, nostalgia, identity, family, community, nation, desire, disgust, politics, prejudice and power... just some of the things that food signifies to all of us.

Jury Award: SIGNS Film Festival, 2012

New (Improved) Delhi.

Direction: Vani Subramanian
Cinematography: Desmond Roberts, Surajit Sarkar
Editing: Vani Subramanian
Independent production

English | 6mins | 2001


A short film about who pays the price when a capital city like New Delhi transforms into a glistening metropolis, with no space for the embarrassment of the poor and their slums, or the ugly shadow they cast over Delhi’s glistening self-image.


Fragments of Cities, MORPHOS Festival, Venice

Yamagata Documentary International Film Festival

Edinburgh Festival Fringe


Ayodhya Gatha

Direction: Vani Subramanian
Cinematography: Yasir Khan, Yousuf Saeed
Edit: Atul Gupta, Vani Subramanian
Sound Asheesh Pandya
Production: PSBT

62 mins | English, Hindi
English Subtitles | 2007


What does it mean to belong to a city that has become a symbol of religious intolerance, majoritarian aggression and communal tumult in India - Ayodhya. The film revisits the small town at the centre of the political storm, almost two decades after the contrversial demolition of the historic 16 Century mosque, the Babri masjid.


Jury Special Mention, Film South Asia 2007

Play on, Tiger!

Direction: Vani Subramanian
Cinematography: Ankur Ahuja
Editing: Vani S, Kuldeep Gaur
Sound: Asheesh Pandya

11mins | 2010

A playful biopic that celebrates the life and times of legendary cricketer, Mansur Ali Khan, Nawab of Pataudi.

Meals Ready

Direction: Vani Subramanian, Surajit Sarkar
Cinematography: Hemant Chaturvedi
Editing: Madan S Rajan
Queens College, Oxford

English | Tamil
English Subtitles

46 mins | 1996


Set in the early days of the 'liberalising' economy in India, the film that explores the political economy of rice growing to illustrate how deeply social hierarchies of caste, class, gender and economic power are embedded in the so-called ‘freemarket’.


Second Prize, Film South Asia 2007

It's a boy! (It's going to be a boy)

Direction: Vani Subramanian
Cinematography: Pooja Sharma, Tarun Bhartiya
Editing: Manoj Jain
Production: PSBT

English | Hindi
English Subtitles

27 mins | 2008


A film that looks at the challenge of falling numbers of girl-children by the locating current rhetoric and statistics in their social, political and cultural context.


Best Documentary: Bollywood & Beyond, Germany,

Eighty years is not enough.

Direction, Cinematography:
Vani Subramanian
Edit: Deshraj, Vani Subramanian
Production: ISST

12 mins | 2013

A short film that pays tribute to the extraordinary life and work of the eminent feminist economist, Devaki Jain.

Holy Duels of Hola Mohalla

Direction: Vani Subramanian
Cinematography: Shanker Raman, Desmond Roberts
Edit: Vani Subramanian
Production: PSBT

28 mins | 2001


On the festival that celebrates the establishment of the Khalsa Panth.


Golden Statuette, Best Film on Religion, International Fest of Short Films on Culture, Jaipur,2007

First Prize, One Billion Eyes Film Festival Chennai, 2010

A profile in dance.

Choereography and dance: Aditi Mangaldas

Direction: Vani Subramanian, Gopika Chowfla
Cinematography: Aseem Trivedi
Editing: Vani Subramanian
Drishtikon Foundation

English | Hindi
English Subtitles

25 mins | 2003

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