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Audiogyan (founded in 2016) is a collection of conversations with luminaries of the Indian creative world. It’s a passion project to document thoughts and ideas of Indian designers, artists, musicians, writers, thinkers, and luminaries of the creative world.


32: What is Posterphilia? with Jahan Singh Bakshi

This episode is brought to you by MUBI. Get the best of Indian and International cinema free for 30 days! Watch now. (

A curated streaming service showing exceptional films from around the globe. Every day, MUBI premieres a new film., from timeless classics to cult favorites to acclaimed masterpieces. Every film is handpicked just like, how our today’s guest handpicks great posters. But before we jump to our today’s conversation, Audiogyan has got something for our listeners. Normally, MUBI has a 7-day free trial but for you, listeners, you get a 30-day free trial. All you need to do is, go to, and sign up for a whole month of great cinema for free.

Today I have Jahan Singh Bakshi with us on Audiogyan. Jahan has worked on digital and creative marketing strategies for films including Masaan, Lipstick Under My Burkha, and Newton. He currently divides his time between script development, film subtitling, collecting, curating, and writing about movie posters. Did I say Movie posters? Yes! Today we are here to discuss Posterphilia as an Audiogyan case study with Jahan. 


What is Posterphilia? Why did you start it?

Can you share in detail the process of curation? What are your criteria? I found few articles like, Kishore Kumar in posters, raining posters - What are your plans w.r.t categorizing these? Any thoughts there?

Have you spotted any micro and macro trend in these Indian film posters? Illustrations versus photos? Be it digital or hand-painted.

Have you formed any opinions and judgments based on the posters you found - For eg: Movies before the 1970s had better-looking posters than today's - aesthetically or any such parameters? Anything like that?

Speaking about posters, one can never go without talking about Ray. The posters which I see on your Instagram, a lot of them are well-designed posters that can compete with Ray's graphical sensibilities. What do you think?

You have written a nice article about what makes a great poster. You have also collected a lot of Holywood posters. What can we learn from them and what can they learn from Bollywood art?

Can you give names of really great poster designers across the globe?

I would like to also ask you about your more recent exploration of Bollywood posters in Japan and other parts of the world. Can you share that bit? Any idea how did they travel that far? Any insights on what made those people redo the entire graphic than just translation of titles in their scripts and contexts.

I understand that the next question itself is an Audiogyan, but if you can briefly tell about plagiarism in posters - How evident is this trend. Today and maybe in the 1960s to 80s where we also copied a lot of music.

I don't have the latest data but, in 2018, India made about 1813 films, China 1082, Japan 613, US 576, France a few hundred, and the least was the UK. 202. Overall we are talking about around 6K films. This is just one year. Cinema has been going for 120 years now. What is the overall plan with this Posterphilia?

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