The CCF Bioscope on Cities

Nagari TV

Click the link above to go to our YouTube Channel to watch the films made through the Nagari 2020 Short Film Competition. These films address the question, How could one tell the story of housing adequacy in urban India?

About Nagari

The Nagari Film Competition is an annual competition designed to guide and develop films that focus on urban issues, specific to Indian cities. Nagari intends to be a bioscope for the city, and through this lens, we explore diverse urban conditions and engage with issues. Nagari is unique as it has been conceptualised as a guided exercise, with a panel of Mentors on board to help participants on their journey to creating a film.

These films can be made using different mediums, fictional and non-fictional narratives are both encouraged. The film can be documentary, animated, or a combination.

We recommend that all entries be submitted by teams led by 3 principal members. The teams can be multidisciplinary. We recommend that one member be an architect or planner, and one member of the team must have some prior filmmaking experience. We appreciate collaborations but are open to projects where these may not be possible.


Photo: Johnny Miller

This year, the Nagari Short Film Competition is looking for films that address the question:

How could one tell the story of housing adequacy in urban India”?

India has the largest number of urban poor and landless people in the world. According to the 2011 census, approximately 13.75 million households, or approximately 65 – 70 million people, reside in urban slums. Homeless people, based on the 2011 census, are an additional 1.8 million. The numbers are staggering. In some cities, such as Mumbai, those residing in slums represent around 50% of its population. Housing, and more importantly adequate housing, is in a state of crisis in India – a case reinforced by the migrant exodus that we witnessed in Indian cities in March 2020, as a result of a national lockdown imposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Adequate housing was recognized as part of the right to an adequate standard of living, in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in their report on The Right to Adequate Housing have identified 7 elements that encompass the right to adequate housing. 

  1. Legal security of tenure: Regardless of the type of tenure, all persons should possess a degree of security of tenure which guarantees legal protection against forced eviction, harassment and other threats;
  2. Affordability: Personal or household financial costs associated with housing should not threaten or compromise the attainment and satisfaction of other basic needs (for example, food, education, access to health care);
  3. Habitability: Adequate housing should provide for elements such as adequate space, protection from cold, damp, heat, rain, wind or other threats to health, structural hazards, and disease vectors;
  4. Availability of services, materials, facilities and infrastructure: Housing is not adequate if its occupants do not have safe drinking water, adequate sanitation, energy for cooking, heating and lighting, sanitation and washing facilities, means of food storage, refuse disposal, etc;
  5. Accessibility: Housing is not adequate if the specific needs of disadvantaged and marginalized groups are not taken into account (such as the poor, people facing discrimination; persons with disabilities, victims of natural disasters);
  6. Location: Adequate housing must allow access to employment options, health-care services, schools, child-care centres and other social facilities and should not be built on polluted sites nor in immediate proximity to pollution sources;
  7. Cultural adequacy: Adequate housing should respect and take into account the expression of cultural identity and ways of life.

For further information:

Fact Sheet No. 21/Rev.1, The Right to Adequate Housing, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. 
The Human Rights to Adequate Housing and Land in India: Report to the United Nations Human Rights Council for India’s Third Universal Periodic Review 
2011 Census 

Competition Brief: The Nagari Short Film Competition

The competition brief is out!

In 2020, keeping in mind restrictions due to COVID-19. We are participants may also work with found material and footage so long as IP and copyright law is respected.

Registrations Closed

Interested participants are required to fill the form and attach their CVs, a brief outline of the film script, and a note on the audio-visual treatment.

To Register for The Nagari Short Film Competition, click here.

For any queries, write to us at

Films by Charles Correa:

1955 Director, Scriptwriter, Animator, and Photographer for ‘You & Your Neighbourhood’, Correa’s Masters Thesis, MIT. Click here to watch

1975 Director and Scriptwriter for the documentary ‘City on the Water’, Films Division, Government of India. Click here to watch

1986 Scriptwriter for Audio-Visual ‘VISTARA: The Architecture of India’

1995 Scriptwriter and Director for Video ‘The Blessings of the Sky’

Blogs by CCF

You may read all our blogs, we write short essays about diverse architectural and urban phenomena here.

For aspiring participants in 2020, we recommend the following blogs:

  1. What is “the right to adequate housing”?
  2. A Bioscope on urban housing in India.

Nagari in the news

‘A New Script for Cities’
Ajit John, Herald Cafe Pg. 1, 25 September 2020

‘City on Reel’
Christine Machado, Navhind Times Pg 6, 6 October 2020

4 thoughts on “Nagari

  1. Dear Rob,

    Nagari is a colloquial term in a few north and west Indian languages which means “the city.”

    We thought a name like that would suit our theme of a bioscope on urban issues well.

Leave a Reply