Thursday, April 23, 2015

Sean Kelly

Hot Docs 2015: Journey with Prabhat


An Indian film studio’s contributions to film history is examined in Journey with Prabhat.  In 1929, five workers from the Maharashtra Film Company left to form the Prabhat Film Company.  With its state of the art facilities, Prabhat produced masterpieces of the early talkie era, before shutting down in 1953.  The studio was reopened in 1961 as the Film Institute of India, which trains the next generation of film greats.

Journey with Prabhat uses archive photos and clips, along with various interviews, to tell the history of the Prabhat Film Company.  This studio was state of the art for its time and it was a huge contributor to the development of the film industry in India.  Today the facilities of the Prabhat Film Company are used by the students of the Film Institute of India, where they get to learn how films were made in back in the early days.  In addition, the National Film Archive of India works with old nitrate prints to try and preserve the Prabhat legacy.

Journey with Prabhat is a fairly interesting film about this piece of cinema history.  The film frequently contrasts archive photos of the studio with the modern filming being done by the students of the Film Institute.  There are also clips from a number of films produced by Prabhat.  One slightly jarring moment of this film is the depiction of a 2011 student protest over privatization, which is followed by a blog URL with the title “To be continued on.”  This created the false impression that the documentary was over, even though it continued for about another fifteen minutes.  That small nitpick aside, Journey with Prabhat is still worth checking out.

★ ★ ★ 1/2 | FAIR 


  • Fri, Apr 24, 2:30 PM – Scotiabank Theatre 3
  • Sun, Apr 26, 4:00 PM – Innis Town Hall

Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described ├╝ber-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).