The Sony World Photography Awards Cannes 2009, were announced on 17 March and Mumbai-based photographer Amit Madheshiya won first place in the Arts and Entertainment category for professionals. Madheshiya’s images of travelling cinemas depict a film-crazy world sans the glitz and glamour of multiplexes.
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The photographs, titled ‘Travelling tent cinemas of India’, chronicle the journey of mobile film theatres in rural Maharashtra that accompany religious yatras from village to village. The yatras are processions of Hindu and Sufi religious figures and thousands of villagers assemble to catch a glimpse of the deity. Afterwards they often troop into one of sometimes a dozen mobile film tents unpacked from the backs of trucks. Madheshiya, whose project is supported by a fellowship from the India Foundation for the Arts, continues to follow and record the travels of these tent cinemas all over Maharashtra. We spoke to the photographer, who is currently at Sailani village, 600km from Mumbai, and asked him to comment on six of his award-winning pictures, all shot at Pusegaon village in Satara district. Edited excerpts:
Text by Sidin Vadukut
Photographs ©Amit Madheshiya, courtesy Sony World Photography Awards Cannes 2009