The Cinema Travellers

Guests Expected

Directors Shirley Abraham and Amit Madheshiya expected to attend April 9 and April 10 screenings.


A moving homage to the mostly bygone era of celluloid, The Cinema Travellers captures the splendor of the moving image through India’s traveling movie caravans. Shot over five years, this intimate documentary takes the viewer on a cinematic journey with the undaunted technicians and the boisterous, overflowing crowd that await at each stop. The seeds for the film were planted by director Amit Madheshiya's award-winning 2010 photography show of these mobile cinemas. That experience inspired Madheshiya and co-director Shirley Abraham to join the circuit with the Akshay Touring Talkies company. The result is an intimate and affectionate portrait of a quickly fading existence. Perhaps the greatest burden facing the perpetually nomadic crews is the round-the-clock maintenance required by the obstinate antique projectors that break down almost daily. Madheshiya and Abraham beautifully encapsulate the experience as the strained labor of raising a heavy tent gives way to the magic and chaos of rowdy crowds sitting on stones or straw, full of anticipation and wonder as the lights go out and the projector whirs. This is the miracle of cinema in its purest sense, as the mesmerized viewer leave his or her worries behind and surrenders to the story on screen. As a wizened old projector repairman of 45 years declares, “Life is not just a game of machines, but of the imagination.” —Gustavus Kundahl

Filmmaker Bio(s)

Filmmaker and photographer Amit Madheshiya and filmmaker Shirley Abraham formed Cave Pictures in 2015. Madheshiya’s photographs have exhibited worldwide and have World Press Photo and World Photography Awards. Abraham has directed documentaries for the Guardian, Al Jazeera, and Doordarshan India. The Cinema Travellers, their debut feature, won the Special Mention: Le Prix du Documentaire at the Cannes Film Festival. Says Madheshiya of the film, “It feels as if this is what cinema began with almost 120 years ago when the Lumiere brothers started traveling with their films, because the idea [then] was to bring the world to the world through cinema. I think we’re still doing the same thing, bringing [India] to the rest of the world.”
Film Details
  • Country(ies): India
  • Language(s): Hindi, Marathi
  • Year: 2016
  • Running time: 96
  • Director(s): Shirley Abraham, Amit Madheshiya
  • Producer(s): Shirley Abraham, Amit Madheshiya
  • Cinematographer(s): Amit Madheshiya
  • Editor(s): Shirley Abraham, Amit Madheshiya
  • Music: Laura Karpman, Nora Kroll-Rosenbaum

Print Source:
Cave Pictures
A1/126 Asmita Jyoti CHS
Marve Road
Malad west
Mumbai 400 095
Maharashtra, India