Summarizing Aruna Vasudev is impossible. Many have tried. In the Times of India, journalist Madhu Jain called her the “blue stocking bohemian.” Author Choo Meileen named Aruna Vasudev one of the thirty most prominent women in Asian cinema in her book Asian Women in Film, published in Singapore last year.
Indisputable are three of Aruna’s most important accomplishments: she was the founder-president of NETPAC (the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema), the founder-editor of the Asian film quarterly Cinemaya, and the founder-director of the Asian cinema festival Cinefan. She’s an author, critic, and programmer.
Beyond that, she is the mother of talented and beautiful graphic designer Yamini (Inca) Roy, who married a Gandhi, Feroze Varun, earlier this year.
Perhaps it’s best to let Aruna define herself. According to her writing, she is “dreamer and activist, loves poetry, films, travel, nature, dogs and friends, writes and paints, and always complains that she has no time.”
So she writes as she writes. Take it or leave it. Period. Well, we happily take it. Below is her writing on the history of National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) of India, which is the central agency established to encourage a good cinema movement in the country. The three films she recommends you see this month are landmark films from the NFDC’s library of films that they helped develop.