Bollywood comes to Croydon in celebration of Indian film

India has one of the world’s richest and most prolific film industries, and to mark the 70th anniversary of Indian independence, Malti Patel of Apsara Arts is staging a “Filam India” programme at the David Lean Cinema in central Croydon.

The screenings include some rarely seen classics of Indian cinema, including Guru Dutt’s musical masterwork Pyaasa and Satyajit Ray’s powerful parable of tradition and modernity, Jalsaghar (The Music Room).

  • Tickets for all screenings are £7.50, concessions £6.50 (includes 50p booking fee)
  • Bookings can be made: Ticket sales close a day before the screening
  • Tickets can be purchased on the day at the Clocktower Box Office in the Arts Bar, adjacent to the cinema. This opens 30min before every film. Cash only
  • For other enquiries, email or phone 07751 622907 or visit
  • All films have English subtitles.
  • The David Lean Cinema is at Croydon Clocktower, Katherine Street, Croydon, CR9 1ET


Wed Oct 13 GULABI GANG (12A) 7pm
96min. Director: Nishtha Jain
Sampat Pal Devi and the fiery women of her Gulabi (meaning Pink) Gang empower themselves and take up the fight against gender violence, caste oppression and widespread corruption.

Fri Oct 15 JALSAGHAR (The Music Room) U 7.30pm
95min. Director: Satyajit Ray
Jalsaghar organically integrates song and dance into an arthouse film. The story centres on the decline of an aristocrat and patron of classical music who refuses to be trumped by his younger neighbour.

Wed Oct 25 COURT (PG) 7.30pm
116min. Director: Chaityane Tamhane
A quietly devastating, absurdist portrait of injustice, caste prejudice and venal politics in contemporary India.

Fri Oct 27 HOTEL SALVATION (12A) 7.30pm
99min. Director: Shubhashish Bhutiani
A warm tale of life and relationships, embedded in Hindu rituals. Faced with his father’s untimely & bizarre demand to go and die in the holy city of Varanasi and attain salvation, a son is left with no choice but to embark on this journey.


Sat Nov 4 PYAASA (U) (5.30pm)
146min. 1957. India. Hindi. Director: Guru Dutt
Stars: Mala Sinha, Guru Dutt, Waheda Rehman
The film will be introduced by award-winning filmmaker Ahmed Jamal.
Guru Dutt’s soulful, romantic masterpiece Pyaasa is frequently listed as one of the greatest films of all time. Translating as “The Thirsty One”, Pyaasa, set in Calcutta at the time of independence, the film tells the story of Vijay, a struggling poet, and Gulabo, a prostitute with a heart of gold who eventually helps him get his poems published. Dutt’s stark black and white cinematography powerfully evokes the antagonistic forces at work in this classic romantic melodrama.

Wed Nov 8 MAHANAGAR (PG) (7.30pm)
131min India 1964. Bengali. Director: Satyajit Ray
Stars: Madhabi Mukherjee, Anil Chatterjee, Haradhan Bannerjee, Jaya Bhaduri
Mahanagar documents with brilliant sensitivity a changing Calcutta of the mid-1950s. The screenplay delves into the agony and ecstasy, the turbulence and excitement of shifting social mores seen through a lower middle class Bengali family when a housewife gets a job as a saleswoman.
It is a profound sociological study into men and women’s relationships, a portrayal of the world of work from the point of view of women, and an analysis of the clash of modernism and traditions in a middle-class urban family.

Fri Nov 17 SHOLEY (PG) (7pm)
162min, India 1975. Hindi. Director: Ramesh Sippy
Stars: Dharmentra, Sanjeev Kumar, Hema Malini, Amjad Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bhaduri
Dubbed The Godfather of Bollywood films, it ranked in the “Top 10 Indian Films” of all time in the British Film Institute 2002 poll. The film drew heavily from the conventions of Westerns, and is a defining example of the masala film, which mixes several genres in one work.
A retired police chief enlists the help of two criminals to bring down a notorious bandit who murdered his family and terrorised the region. Opening with one of the most memorable action sequences in film history, it’s clear to see why this breathless action-adventure has left an impact on Indian cinema like no other.

Sat Nov 25 KAPOOR & SONS (12A) (6pm)
140min, India 2016. Hindi. Director: Shakun Batra
Stars: Rishi Kapoor, Fawad Khan, Ratna Pathak, Sidharth Malhotra, Alia Bhatt
A story revolving around a dysfunctional family of two brothers who visit their family and discover that their parent’s marriage is on the verge of collapse, the family is undergoing financial crunch and much more as the drama unfolds.

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