True Blue, Movie Screening and Discussion with Director Swati Dandekar

Bangalore, India-based filmmaker, Swati Dandekar, will be visiting several Upstate New York campuses on September 9-10, 2019 to screen her film Neeli Raag (True Blue), which highlights the few surviving craftsmen who still work with natural indigo.  Dandekar’s visit is supported by the Cornell-Syracuse South Asia Consortium, which is a U.S. Department of Education Title VI National Resource Center. Photo of man wrapping yarn around hands

Traversing the verdant monsoon of Tamil Nadu, the earthy expanses of springtime Telangana, and the wintry desert of Kachchh, the film is an attempt to tell the story of indigo as it is practiced in India today. Interwoven with the narratives of the indigo craftsmen is the color itself in its many moods textures and forms. This is a blue that deepens, mesmerizes, stains, and seeps into the skin and nails, indeed into the lives of those who craft it. 

Swati Dandekar is documentary filmmaker and film educator based in Bangalore, India, with a special interest in creating visual narratives of the living history around her; of people, places, ideas, traditions, practices, and the continuous process of change. Her film "Water and a City" was widely screened in India and abroad, and is part of the curriculum for courses in water management and development studies. In addition, she has been closely involved with designing media for education. As a founder trustee of Vikalp Bengaluru, she has been actively screening documentary films and curating festivals in Bangalore city for over ten years.  Swati heads the Film program at the Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore.

In addition to screening the documentary at Cornell Cinema on Monday, September 9 at 7 pm, the Consortium has also arranged for her to screen the film at three local community colleges:

  • Onondaga Community College, Monday, September 9 @ 11:15 am, Mawhiney Hall 345
  • Tompkins Cortland Community College, Tuesday, September 10, 11:15 am, in the Forum, and
  • Monroe Community College, Tuesday, September 10, 6:00 pm, MCC Theater (Building 4)

These events are a part of the Consortium’s on-going outreach to and collaboration with area community colleges, with the goal of helping these institutions integrate South Asia into their curriculum and through on-campus events.

For more information, please contact Kathi Colen Peck (