Contemporary South Asia vol:21 issue:2 pages:102-115
The globalisation of Hindi cinema is a topical issue in current media and film research. Whereas the majority of previous studies on Indian film in diaspora have been concerned with issues of audiences and text, this article concentrates on the structural patterns of Hindi film, specifically in the Belgian city of Antwerp. It is inspired by insights from political economy studies which acknowledge the balance of power and global dynamics from a local perspective. Using distribution and exhibition analyses based on interviews, surveys and archival research, this study examines Hindi cinema's tracks towards (selection and distribution) and through (promotion and exhibition) the city, mainly in multiplex theatres. These analyses adopt a historical approach and reconstruct how the exclusive film culture of one community has been transformed into a more elaborate commercial enterprise, revealing both continuity and change in power relations, public, urban and transnational spaces as well as audience management. This study demonstrates the dependency of a diasporic film culture on the greater context of global cinema history, and the way in which peripheral marketplaces such as Antwerp are becoming increasingly subject to transnational corporations and their strategies.