It remains an instructive paradox that India’s purest forms of Third Cinema were the result of a political miscalculation on the part of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi who was in pursing the progressive, internationalist policies of her predecessor and father, Jawaharlal Nehru, promoted the formation of the Film Finance Corporation that eventually, in 1980, evolved into the National Film Development Corporation. Ostensibly, it was the task of this body to assess scripts (submitted primarily by students at what was then the national film school and archive in the city of Pune) and to help produce and distribute Indian “art” films at national international venues; the subterranean agenda was to encourage regional auteur cinema on the model of the internationally successful Bengali films of Satyajit Ray, but perhaps also to keep an eye on cinematic expression of regional discontent for the 1970s proved to be a period of immense political turmoil culminating in the cessation of democratic processes and the imposition of Martial Law in 1975.
If the initial intent of the government had been to facilitate an internationally prominent Second Cinema, its most immediate result was to spawn a Third. The vanguard of New Indian Cinema that began to emerge in the 1970s either studied under committed leftist filmmaker Ritwik Ghatak at Pune or abroad either at such centers of filmmaking as Moscow (where, notably, Sembène, Sarah Maldoror and a number of Latin American Third Cinema filmmakers also studied) or under the tutelage of such socially-conscious auteurs as Robert Bresson. Initially the student cohorts of directors, actors, and cinematographers collaborated on projects and, for a brief moment, India produced something akin to the radicalized collective cinema that Solanas and Getino demanded with such optimistic commitment in their manifesto. So immediately distinct was this cinema from that of the mainstream, so unlikely to intersect with it at any point, that it soon acquired the designation of a “Parallel Cinema.”"