Film is generally regarded as the most comprehensive and synthetic of all forms of representation, a composite language with multiple expressive possibilities. Several filmmakers have attempted to adapt paintings to the language of film. One of them is Amit Dutta. Dutta is an Indian avant-garde director who has been making contemporary art films for more than a decade. His films are viewed as truly meditative and offer an immersive audio-visual dramaturgy. This paper analyses Dutta’s adaptation of Nainsukh’s paintings in his 2010 film Nainsukh and views it through the literary device of ekphrasis. Basing the research on the studies of Laura M. Sager Eidt and her four types of ekphrasis, ekphrasis is viewed as a tool to transmedialise art forms.
Challenging Sager Eidt’s definition of ekphrasis, Dutta’s Nainsukh is used as a case study on the parallels between painter and filmmaker and highlights the possibilities and effects of cinematic ekphrasis in creating visual dramaturgy and breathing life to a reality that once was.