MICHAEL JACKSON COMES TO MANIKGANJ

'Michael Jackson comes to Manikganj' is a documentary film directed by Nupur Basu, which complements the book 'Satellites over South Asia' by David Page and William Crawley. Both emerged from the Media South Asia project, which was then based at the Institute of Development Studies at Sussex University and both were launched at the same time at the British Council in New Delhi in December 2000.

The film, which benefits from Nupur Basu's close involvement in the research phase of the project, tells the tale of South Asia's satellite revolution from a film-maker's point of view. In making the film, Nupur travelled to the five main countries of South Asia and worked with local film crews in the first South-Asia wide collaboration of its kind. Filmed in a variety of different regions - from Peshawar in Pakistan to Kandy in Sri Lanka - the film covers the impact of satellite TV on the lives, culture and politics of the people during the 1990s. ' I wanted to ensure that I had felt the pulse of the people in the region on this subject' says Basu. ' I interviewed a whole range of experts on the media and TV practitioners as well as passive recipients of the programmes, including rural women in the villages of Nepal and Bangladesh, who reported on how satellite television had raised aspirations for consumer goods and prompted a change in lifestyle like no other force has done in the past'.

The film chronicles the fascinating story of the creation of a new South Asian popular culture by looking at the media companies involved, the means of distribution and the reaction of viewers to the growing menu of programmes. It also looks at the role of the state in the new media environment and government responses to the challenge of satellite competition. As Director Nupur Basu puts it: 'I felt it was important to take a close look at what has happened since the skies opened and to stress that in a developing region like South Asia, television could not be allowed to become just an entertainment tool but ought to be used as a change agent. The film looks at whether this is possible given the present market compulsions'.

The film is distributed globally by Television Trust for the Environment (TVE).
It can be ordered on line at http://www.tve.org/mp7/search.cfm
Or you can contact Dina Junkermann, TVE distribution manager:
Tel. +44 20 7901 8834;dina.jukermann@tve.org.uk

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