“Software from Hard Rocks,” a film by Associate Professor Aashish Kumar of the Department of Radio, Television, Film, has been chosen as an official selection of the 2015 Ethnografilm Festival in Paris, France. The festival, which takes place from April 8-12, highlights non-fiction filmmaking that promotes an examination of cultures and social issues.
Prof. Kumar’s film is an intimate look at how globalization and the post-1990s global tech boom affected the lives of people in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad. “The film provides a space for the many voices that are engaged in a contest to define what modern Indian cities should represent,” said Professor Kumar. “It is intended as a provocative entry point for every global citizen, urban activist, and city planner to engage in vibrant discussion about how to lay bare our collective histories in a world threatening to erase and flatten them.”
As a Fulbright scholar in 2008, Prof. Kumar traveled to Hyderabad to teach documentary film at the University of Hyderabad and complete most of the filming for “Software from Hard Rocks,” which premiered in the U.S. last September.
India Abroad also recently featured Prof. Kumar’s work as an award-winning filmmaker who focuses on grassroots advocacy, including teaching communication students at Hofstra how to use their digital media and production skills to aid local nonprofit organizations.