Media Lab


The IIHS Media Lab is a platform that engages with questions around the urban through multiple media practices. The Media Lab’s mandate is to build a culture of research, teaching and pedagogy inside and outside the classroom using digital audio-video. It also conducts short filmmaking courses that help explore the idea of the city through the digital video and still photography, and holds regular film screenings. The Media Lab is also a repository for audio-visual conversations around the urban with leading academics and practitioners. The IIHS Media Lab is a space where creative expressions around the urban can be showcased, so that multiple ‘ways of seeing’ can lead to a newer and different understanding of the cities that we live in.

Visit the IIHS YouTube Channel
Audio-Visual Repository

The IIHS Youtube channel serves as a platform to record and share audio-visual material pertaining to the urban including conversations with key academics and practitioners around some of the most pressing concerns of contemporary urban India. The Media Lab also live streams select talks and events onto the IIHS Youtube Channel.

Visit the IIHS YouTube Channel


Urban Policy Dialogues 2015 | Aromar Revi’s Opening Session

IIHS Core Team


Short Courses

The Media Lab runs short teaching programmes that focus on the idea of image-making and the city. The course is open to anyone who is interested in the relationship between images and the cities we live in; also the ways in which idea of image-making is changing with the advent of affordable digital and mobile technologies. The course is a mix of theory and practice, where learners in the course are encouraged to produce and exhibit their own work by the end of the course.

Ways of Seeing – An Urban-centric Workshop on Photography
29 – 31 January 2016


Ways of Seeing – Exploring the Urban through film making – December 2013 | March 2014 | May 2014
How does one then think about and utilize the impact that images can have? Using the city as a canvas, ‘Ways of Seeing’ is designed to help you effectively use the visual language to communicate by bringing technology and the visual medium together. ‘Ways of Seeing’ will be a 5 day course that will explore the relationship between creating visuals and the city we live in. This course will enable the participants towards creating distinct content, irrespective of their disciplinary background. It aims to equip them with skills that will help them in their domains of practice – whether they are researchers, designers, architects, activists or are just looking to express themselves creatively.

Introduction to Media and the City – April 2013
The course ‘Media and the City’ aims to sensitise and train learners in understanding, capturing and presenting the multiple aspects of a city in a digital video format. It aims to engage with different perceptions of the city in the political, cultural, economic and social realms. This 5-day course on film making is a mix of theory and practice that includes hands-on technical skill training on making short films in an urban setting from start to finish.

Film Festival

Urban Lens Film Festival
In the second edition of Urban Lens film festival, the Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS) brought over 35 non-fiction films from India, South Africa, Peru, Chile and Canada. The festival ran from 26th to 28th September 2014 and was an attempt to engage with how the ‘city’ has found a cinematic expression in non-fiction films over a period of time.

The IIHS Media lab ran the first edition of the “Urban Lens: A festival of films and the City” in April 2013. The festival was solely dedicated to screening non-fiction films, that looks at the idea of the urban through multiple lenses in India. The idea behind this festival was to look at the different ways in which filmmakers/artists have engaged with the idea of the city through multiple media practices, and to have conversations around them.

Urban Lens 2014

Urban Lens 2013


Film Screenings

The IIHS Media Lab conducts regular film screenings and conversations with filmmakers who explore the urban through their work, so that a different understanding of the idea of the city can emerge.

Dialogue with Filmmakers

Film Screenings


The Human Factor
Dir: Rudradeep Bhattacharjee

Synopsis | Trailer


Verical City
Dir: Avijit Mukul Kishore

Synopsis | Trailer


Bidesia in Bambai
Dir: Surabhi Sharma

Synopsis | Trailer


Invoking Justice
Dir: Deepa Dhanraj

Synopsis | Trailer


O Friend, This Waiting!
Dir: Sandhya Kumar and Justin McCarthy



Mera Apna Shahar
Dir: Sameera Jain

Synopsis | Trailer


So Heddan So Hoddan
Dir: Anjali Monteiro and K.P.Jaysankar

 | Trailer


Coding Culture
Dir: Gautam Sonti

Synopsis | Trailer


Water and a City
Dir: Swati Dandekar

Synopsis | Trailer


Dir: Yashaswini Raghunandan and Ekta Mittal

Synopsis Trailer


Dir: Paromita Vohra

Synopsis | Trailer

Pedagogic Research

Part of the IIHS Media Lab’s mandate is to support with creating audio-visual material for the teaching programme in the classroom, and also with some of the pedagogical questions around it.

An extensive audio-visual documentation of the teaching programme is available which will have multiple uses in future – as an archive, as learning material (edited) available online and for reflection for the faculty around their teaching practices.

The IIHS Media Lab was also involved in the production of the Sustainable Development Solution Network’s Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Global Public Health


Sandeep Viswanath
Senior Associate – Media Lab

As a film maker Sandeep has worked on films on varied subjects; On the issue of child labor, landless laborers, subaltern labor in Bollywood, water management in cities and Mumbai mill era. Few of his films have been screened in festivals in India and abroad. His film on MGNREGA worker’s rights has been awarded by the Government of India for being innovative in educating the MGNREGA workers. He has produced documentaries in Bhil and Pawri languages using participatory media approach. He has research interests in labor rights, food, culture and invisible labor in film production. He has worked on media literacy for children in various regions of India.

Subasri Krishnan
Lead – Media Lab

Subasri has been filmmaker for more than a decade. She also heads the Media Lab of the Indian Institute for Human Settlement (IIHS).

Her documentary films deal with contemporary politics. Her first documentary film “Brave New Medium” on internet censorship in South-­‐East Asia, has been screened at film festivals, both nationally and internationally. The award-­‐winning “This or That Particular Person” looks at the idea of official identity documents, and in that context, the Unique Identity number. The film was adjudged as the Best Short Documentary Film at the International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala (IDSFFK), 2013. Her new documentary film “What The Fields Remember” explores ideas of memory, violence and justice through survivors’ narratives of the massacre.

As part of the Media Lab at IIHS, she teaches and curates the Urban Lens film festival. Prior to going to film school, Subasri worked for the academic journal ‘Seminar’.

Yashodara Udupa
Consultant – Media Lab

Yasho started off as a journalist and then moved to non-fiction filmmaking. She scripted and co-directed short films and edited a feature length documentary which won the National Award for Best Investigative Film in India. She has also directed and edited a film on the Kumbh Mela in 2013. Her work at IIHS has included making films on markets and the impact of natural disasters, along with teaching the ‘Ways of Seeing’ course.

What draws her to filmmaking is its ability to depict and share an experience with audiences from distant geographical, social and cultural spaces. She believes it is extremely important to be a keen listener and inspire trust in the person being interviewed, photographed or filmed, and respect them in their eventual representation in her work.

A graduate from Goldsmiths, University of London, she has worked for organizations including Al Jazeera, Jamia Millia Islamia and Alipur Films before joining IIHS.

Zohrab Reys Gamat
Senior Associate – Media Lab

Zohrab has worked as a Video Production Specialist at AOL helping create Ad films for small and medium scale businesses in the US. He also managed India operations for a content firm handling tasks from recruitment to client servicing. As a freelance editor, Zohrab’s work has mainly focused on event coverage and promotional ad films.

Zohrab’s expertise lies in shooting, editing and video production.