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Ninasam Chitrasamaja was an organisation formed to encourage the film culture and also to hold film festivals. A film appreciation course was started with subjects including film history, film techniques, film theory, film criticism, art films and popular cinema. Films that were staged included those by masters like Satyajit Ray, Ingmar Bergman and Akira Kurosawa. The films and plays being staged by Ninasam started to attract audience from all over Karnataka and its popularity also grew considerably.

The popularity of Ninasam prompted the Ford Foundation to sponsor a project called Janaspandana whereby similar film festivals, plays and appreciation courses were to be organised in other areas of Karnataka. This project ended in 1985 but the activities have continued. It is estimated that about 200 thousand people were exposed to cinema and around 5000 people were exposed to the appreciation courses. As a result of Janaspandana, 37 workshops in a duration of 6 weeks were held in the field of theater and this yielded around 50 productions. Also theater equipment banks were setup in different regions of Karnataka to serve the needs of the theater groups in that region. In the meantime, Ninasam also started a theater institute to offer courses on theater to interested candidates.


A theatre-in-education project, conducted in a dozen rural schools in 3 districts of Karnataka (1991-93); with aid from the Dept. of Education, Govt. of India


Other Workshops

Kannada Nataka Kannadi

A series of video films on Kannada drama & theatre; for educational use; produced by in 1999, aided by Magsaysay Foundation.


A one-year (2003) project of short-term workshops on literature, music, dance, cinema, visual arts and theatre at 5 colleges.



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