W.Va. Filmmaker Subject of Documentary About Work in India

Ellis Dungan

A filmmaker with West Virginia connections is the subject of a documentary about his work in India.

Karan Bali

Credit Beth Vorhees / WV Public Broadcasting
WV Public Broadcasting

A native of Ohio, Ellis Dungan moved to Wheeling in 1958 where he produced and directed industrial, business and public relations films many of which are in the West Virginia Film archives today.

But before moving to Wheeling, Dungan was fresh out of film school in southern California, who went on to become a pioneer in the Tamil film industry in southern India from 1935 to 1950.

Karan Bali has produced a documentary about Ellis Dungan and says his contribution to the Indian film industry was immense. 

“He was extremely successful. He worked on some of the biggest films of the time,” Bali says. “He worked with some of the biggest stars.  He was a highly respected film director.”

Bali will present a lecture of Ellis Dungan’s work and show his documentary “An American in Madras” Thursday, November 5 at 6:00 at the state Culture Center in Charleston.