Aparna Sharma

Aparna Sharma



Documentary filmmaker and theorist Aparna Sharma joined the UCLA Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance in 2009 where she serves as the vice chair of undergraduate affairs. Her film scholarship focuses on Indian documentary cinema, India’s parallel cinema, dance film in India, ethnographic film, colonial photography and films in northeast India, new media and documentary in northeast India and, documentary practice-based research. Sharma is a member of the Center for the Study of Media and Culture in Small Nations, University of South Wales, and serves on the advisory boards of the Film Series Visionaries in Film, Edinburgh University Press and the Tezpur District Mahila Samiti—a 100-year-old organization that promotes women’s economic empowerment through folk cultural practices of Assam.


Documentary cinema practices, Indian documentary cinema, parallel cinema in India, dance film in India, ethnographic and observational cinema, colonial photography and films in northeast India, new media and documentary in northeast India, documentary film practice-based research and the poetics and politics of documentary, and feminist film practices.

Creative Practice & Research

  • Recent courses include: Documenting Culture, Film and Feminism and Documentary: Theories and Approaches
  • Recent films include: ‘Mihin Sutta, Mihin Jibon’ (The Women Weavers of Assam) (2019); Playing the Flute in Shanghai (Director: Helen Rees, 2018); and, Kamakha: Through Prayerful Eyes (2012).
  • Publications include: Documentary Films in India: Critical Aesthetics at Work (2015). Sharma is the reviews editor for Journal of Media Practice and Education (Taylor & Francis)
  • Current research includes a documentary film on the photographic practices of the northeastern hill town, Shillong, Meghalaya, tentatively titled: A Camera in the Land of Clouds; missionary and colonial photography in northeast India; representations of labour in documentary cinema of the 21st century; and digital feminisms.
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