A documentary produced by Rohan Kalyan, an assistant professor of political science at Virginia Tech, is an official selection for the 2015 New York Indian Film Festival.
Titled “Letter to the City Yet to Come,” the 11-minute film is about the impact on New Delhi and its residents of the December 2012 gang rape and subsequent death of a young woman. The documentary was directed by Kalyan’s brother, Gorav Kalyan. It will be screened on May 9.
“Gorav and I traveled to India to shoot a documentary on the city of Delhi,” Kalyan said. “The horrific gang rape occurred just a few days before we landed, and we decided instead to make a film about this event.”
The film features everyday scenes contrasted with images of the large protest organized by activists after the incident. The gang rape and subsequent outcry drew international media attention.
In the documentary, three Delhi residents describe in an imaginary letter to someone in the future what the city is like today and what they hope it might become.
The film is the second by the Kalyans selected for a festival. Their first short documentary, “A History of the Future,” won Best Short Documentary Film honors at the 2012 Deep Waters Pacific Film Festival in April 2012 in Hawaii.
Kalyan joined the Virginia Tech faculty in 2014 as an assistant professor in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. He is also a core faculty member of ASPECT, the Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical, and Cultural Thought doctoral program.
He has been published in peer-reviewed journals, including Theory, Culture & Society, and Globalizations. He is completing a book on urban development and social change in India.
Kalyan holds a doctorate from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a bachelor’s degree from Vassar College.