wiki:Panorama of Calcutta

This clip is from the first known footage from India, from the film 'Panorama of Calcutta' released in 1899, and is credited to Charles Urban (1867- 1942). The film was produced by the Warwick Trading Company, and is sometimes described as an actuality documentary, travel film or newsreel. Though the footage is supposed to be shot in Calcutta as seen from a boat traveling on the river Hugli, it is actually of the ghats of Varanasi which is also on the banks of Ganga. As said by Robin Baker - "The filmmaker from the Warwick Trading Company clearly had a short memory or a limited sense of geography." The film currently can be found in the vast archival film collection of the British Film Institute, or on Youtube and (

Charles Urban through the Warwick Trading Company and later the Charles Urban Trading Company produced documentary, travel, news and war films. These companies also marketed the Bioscope and attempted to get a patent on the first colour motion picture system.

Other film credits of Charles Urban:

Another piece of early film footage is 'An Indian Washing The Baby' (1906), also part of the BFI archival collection.


Last modified 9 years ago Last modified on Mar 21, 2013, 6:14:24 AM