As The World Turns

When we first came out with Bollywood and Globalization a couple of years ago, it was tough going to get any real interest on the web. Shari's advisors at SFSU really liked it, we knew it made for a great addition to her portfolio and it was a great conversation piece. However, connecting with like minded people proved to be really difficult. It was like spitting into the Grand Canyon. Fast forward three years and much has changed. India's increasing global presence has led to much more awareness and interest in Bollywood and by extension, anything related to it. We are fairly sure this is one of the reasons we've found Devi Brown much easier to promote thus far, knock on wood!

None of this should take away from Andrew Leonard's excellent Salon blog How The World Works. Over the past two years, Andrew has assiduously tracked various global trends including the subprime loan mess, the quest for renewable energy, the Indian diaspora and Bollywood's increasing global footprint. It is his evident fascination with the latter that convinced me to gather up the gumption to drop him a line. I primarily wanted to talk about "Devi Brown" but I also included a link to Bollywood and Globalization.

As luck would have it, a) he dug both and b) I happened to write to him on the eve of the two year anniversary of his blog. In his words:

But one of the glories of blogging is that information flows in multiple directions. I'm not just sitting here finding out stuff -- it's also out there finding me.

Yesterday's Obama posting encouraged Soam and Shari Acharya, a San Francisco-based duo of multimedia producers, to introduce themselves to me by e-mail. They wanted to let me know about their film short "Devi Brown," which they described as a trailer for a "nonexistent film" that answers the question of "what happens when blaxploitation meets Bollywood."

Anyone who has been reading this blog for the last two years will know that such questions smack right into the sweet spot of my preoccupations, along with the politics of microfinance, carbon offsets, home-brewed biodiesel, and collateralized debt obligations. But it gets better, because the e-mail also linked to Shari Acharya's nifty online multimedia presentation "Bollywood and Globalization" -- an interactive distillation of her San Francisco State University industrial arts master's thesis. In her thesis, Acharya explores how the opening up of India's economy to global trade in the 1990s both challenged, and ultimately revitalized, Bollywood.

I can't wait to see "Devi Brown." I also have a rapidly expanding list of must-see Indian movies. I feel ... better informed.

Thanks a lot for the vote of confidence and for making us part of your two year anniversary celebration, Andrew!

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- December 9, 2007 12:20 AM // Bollywood , Devi Brown