Somnath Waghmare

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Somnath Waghmare
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Malewadi, Maharashtra
Alma mater
  • KBP college
  • Savitribai Phule Pune University
OccupationDocumentary filmmaker

Somnath Waghmare is an Indian documentary filmmaker based in the state of Maharashtra.[1] His most prominent and most recent film, Battle of Bhima Koregaon,[2] was critically received and screened in India and abroad.[3][4][5] Till now, all his films have been documentary films and they have dealt with various social issues like the persecution of Women in India|women and Dalit assertion in Maharashtra.[6] He made his directorial debut with the short documentary feature I Am Not a Witch (2017).[7] His upcoming films are Chaityabhoomi (which is the resting place of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar and is a symbol and place of celebration of Dalit identity) and Gail and Bharat.

Early Life and Education

Somnath was born in Malewadi, a small village in Sangli district in Maharashtra. He completed his graduation in sociology from KBP college in the town of Islampur and joined Savitribai Phule Pune University in Pune for his post-graduate studies in Media and Communication Studies. After completing his post-graduate studies, Somnath worked for two years as a contract employee at the Film and Television Institute of India before joining the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai for his M.Phil degree and then later Ph.D. in Social Sciences.


Somnath has strong interests in the caste and cultural politics of Maharashtra. Both of his documentaries are focused on documentation and depiction of the political and social assertion by Dalits. He is also active in the anti-caste Phule-Ambedkarite movement of the state and has given several talks on caste in cinema, including at the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute in Kolkata. Waghmare's debut film I Am Not A Witch was a short documentary feature based on the persecution of marginalized women in Maharashtra. His second and most famous film Battle of Bhima Koregaon received was widely acclaimed. The film was screened at multiple locations in India and also in New York City at the Dalit Film and Cultural Festival at Columbia University, New York, alongside the works of filmmakers such as Pa. Ranjith and Nagraj Manjule.[8][3][9] He began collecting data, information, and social memories to substantiate this film in 2016 and completed the film in 2017.

Waghmare is currently working on his third documentary film, Gail and Bharat, about Gail Omvedt and Bharat Patankar, two of the most distinguished activists and researchers of Dalit-Bahujan movements in the country.[10]

Other work

In 2020, Waghmare and Smita Rajmane received a grant Foundation for Indian Contemporary Art for their project ‘The Ambedkar Age Digital Bookmobile’.[11]


As director

Year Film
2017 I Am Not A Witch
2018 The Battle of Bhima Koregaon: An Unending Journey
2020 Rajgruha Stands Tall
2021 Gail and Bharat

In the media


External links


  1. Dec 24, Vinutha MallyaVinutha Mallya / Updated; 2017; Ist, 16:05. "Songs of revolution". Pune Mirror. Retrieved 2020-10-13.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  2. "A Docu Journey Into the History and Significance of Bhima Koregaon". BloombergQuint. Retrieved 2020-10-11.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Jan 30, Rahi GaikwadRahi Gaikwad / Updated; 2019; Ist, 06:00. "TISS student's docufilm heads for the Big Apple". Mumbai Mirror. Retrieved 2020-10-11.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  4. "Somnath Waghmare's documentary explains why the Battle of Bhima Koregaon is important to Dalits". The Indian Express. 2018-01-04. Retrieved 2020-10-11.
  5. "Docu-film on intriguing 1818 battle premieres in Bengaluru". Deccan Herald. 2017-04-14. Retrieved 2020-10-11.
  6. "somnath waghmare Archives · Dalit Camera". Dalit Camera. Retrieved 2020-10-13.
  7. "I Am Not A Witch – Documentary Film by Somnath Waghmare". Velivada. 2017-11-29. Retrieved 2020-10-11.
  8. January 31, Aarthi Murali On; 2019 (2019-01-31). "'Kaala' & 'Pariyerum Perumal' To Be Screened At Dalit Film And Cultural Festival In New York". Retrieved 2020-10-13.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  9. Shinde, Ravikiran. "'Dalit Film Festival is not just a festival, it's a movement'". Newslaundry. Retrieved 2020-10-13.
  10. "Director Somnath to crowdfund film on anti-caste activist couple, Gail and Bharat". The News Minute. 2018-06-18. Retrieved 2020-10-13.
  11. "PAG 2019 |". The Foundation for Indian Contemporary Art. Retrieved 2020-10-13.

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