Ashish Avikunthak is a filmmaker and anthropologist based in Connecticut (US) and Calcutta. He is deeply committed to the idea of Cinema Prayoga, a term which seeks to address filmic interrogations not following a formula for experimental cinema as proposed by its histories in Europe and the US, by being embedded in South Asian aesthetic and philosophical trajectories without being defined by those.
His films have been shown worldwide in film festivals, galleries and museums. Notable screenings were at the Tate Modern, London, Centre George Pompidou, Paris, Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, along with London, Locarno, Rotterdam, and Berlin film festivals among other locations. He has had retrospective of his works at Goethe Institute, Calcutta (2004), Les Inattendus, Lyon (2006), Yale University (2008) and the National Centre for Performing Arts, Mumbai (2008). His short film Kalighat Fetish won the Best Documentary award in 2001 at the Tampere Film Festival, Finland. His first feature film Shadows Formless had its world premiere at the Locarno Film Festival in 2007 and it went on to win the Best Director and the Best Actress at the Mahindra Indo-American Arts Council Film Festival, New York in 2008. He has a PhD in cultural anthropology from Stanford University and has taught earlier at Yale University. He is now an Assistant Professor of Film Media at the Harrington School of Communication & Media, University of Rhode Island.