Chitvan Gill is a writer and independent filmmaker with extensive work on social and developmental issues, urbanization and urban culture. Her writings include a series of newspaper articles on the Delhi Masterplan, as well as a number of issues tied to the peculiar patterns of rural-urban development across India; poverty, art and culture. Her essay, ‘Delhi: The Crucible of Dreams’ was published in the Italian (‘Tutte le Strade Portana a Delhi’) in the Pianeta India issue of Limes Magazine. She has contributed two essays to the prestigious Seagull Annual Catalogue: ‘What will be the truth?’; and ‘Memories of a Time to Come’. She has completed her book on patterns of urbanization and distress migration, and this is currently being processed for publication by Seagull Books.
As a filmmaker, Chitvan has been variously involved in the production, direction and scripting of over fifty short and documentary films. Her last film [Research, Script, Production, Direction and Videography], Take me to the River, a personal exploration of Delhi’s Yamuna, premiered at an India International Centre screening in 2013; it was screened at the Ladakh International Film Festival 2013; at the Mumbai International Film Festival 2016; was nominated for the best film category at the CMS Vatavaran Film Festival 2015, and was included in a screening of CMS Vatavaran’s Film Festival award winning films at Habitat Centre in 2016.
Her other films prominently include On the Wings of Science (Production, Direction, Research and Script), commemorating Fifty Years of India’s Independence, the first – and till now the only – film ever to be screened at the Central Hall before a Joint Session of India’s Parliament, simulcast in Hindi and English on Doordarshan’s national channel; Shahjahanabad: The Death of a Dream (Research, Script and Direction); five documentaries on the Dalits (the ‘outcastes’ of India’s caste system) (Production, Direction, Research and Script), as well as institutional profiles of the Union Public Services Commission and the University Grants Commission (Production, Direction, Research and Script), among others.
Her exhibition of photographs, Winterlude: A Season in Delhi, was mounted at Alliance Francaise de Delhi in May 2015, and at the India International Centre’s Gandhi King Plaza in November 2015; her exhibition, Buland Masjid No Grass in the Ghetto, was organised by IIC in March 2016; her exhibition, Life in the Shadows: The Unseen Children of India’s Poor was jointly organized by Work: No Child’s Business and the India International Centre in July 2022; and was exhibited, again, in September 2022, at the India International Centre.
Several of her photo features have been published, including Winterlude: A Season in Delhi, in the IIC Journal; Buland Masjid: No Grass in the Ghetto, in The Indian Quarterly; Weavers Colonies in Delhi are Dying at the Hands of Apathy and Modernity in Scroll.in; The lives of the unseen, unheard men and women who build the cities we inhabit in Scroll.in; and Circus! by The Indian Quarterly.