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Making of Manto with Director Nandita Das

event poster Photo Credit: Aditya Varma
March 4, 2019 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Cubberley Auditorium, Stanford School of Education
485 Lasuen Mall, Stanford

Free and Open to the Public.

"Journey of Making Manto: From the Written Word to the Moving Image"

Join us for a conversation with Director Nandita Das, Change-maker Asha Motwani, and Stanford Professors Jisha Menon and Usha Iyer about the intersections of cinema, literature, and the sub-continent's history in the context of the 2018 film Manto

The film, Manto(2018), is a story of two emerging nations, two faltering cities, and one man trying to make sense of it all. It follows the life of maverick writer Saadat Hasan Manto and his journey from India to Pakistan following India's independence from the British Empire and during the Partition (1946-50)As sectarian violence engulfs India, Manto makes the difficult choice of leaving his beloved Bombay for Lahore and finds himself bereft of friends and artwork. While he is unable to get his writings published and burdened by trials for alleged obscene writing,  Manto continues to write prolifically about the harsh socio-political realities of the sub-continent. In the film, facts and fiction overlap, blurring the lines between Manto's works and his lived experiences. Mantopremiered at the 2018 Cannes Festival, and was nominated for awards at Asia Pacific Screen Awards, Toronto International Festival, and Cannes.

Director Nandita Das has acted in more than 40 feature films in 10 different languages. She has a Master’s degree in Social Work and is a strong advocate for issues of social justice and human rights. Das made her directorial debut with the film Firaaq (2008), and also directed the play Between the Lines (2012) that engages with gender inequalities among the affluent, educated classes in India. She has served as Chairperson of Children’s Film Society of India (2009, 2012) and on the Jury for Cannes Film Festival (2005, 20013). Das has been conferred the Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Government, is the first Indian to be inducted into the Hall of Fame at the International Women’s Forum, and was selected as a World Yale Fellow (2014). Click here for an exclusive interview with Ms. Das about the event. 

The event is organized by Stanford Center for South Asia in collaboration with Society for Art & Cultural Heritage of India (SACHI) and Motwani Jadeja Foundation. It is co-sponsored by Stanford Film and Media StudiesDepartment of Comparative LiteratureDLCL Workshop on Literature & Theory in India, the Abbasi Program in Islamic StudiesStanford Global Studies, the Office of the Vice Provost for the ArtsStanford Sanskriti, and Stanford Speakers Bureau.

Please note that this event will not feature a film screening. The film will be screened on March 5, 2019 at Cinequest Film Festival in San Jose and is also available for view via Netflix. Please see these venues for ticketing and other information. 

For press inquiries, please contact Stefanie Pietkiewicz (Stanford Global Studies, Communications Manager) at stefpiet@stanford.eduFor all other inquiries, please contact  

Photo Credit: Aditya Varma

Event Sponsor: 
Stanford Center for South Asia in collaboration with Society for Art & Cultural Heritage of India (SACHI) and Motwani Jadeja Foundation
Contact Email:
Contact Phone: 
(650) 725 8150