As part of this year’s UK Asian Film Festival 2018, Tongues on Fire (TOF) is excited to premiere their very own heritage documentary film exploring the dynamic relationship that the British South Asian diaspora has with Indian cinema.
Ever since the sizeable migration of South Asians to post-war Britain, cinema from the subcontinent has been integral in transmitting South Asian culture and heritage to successive generations of British Asians. There is no question that subsequent generations of British Asians have creatively synthesized the motifs that Indian cinema has to offer into mainstream British culture in areas such as music, art, film, fashion and food. What is more, throughout the generations, Indian cinema has been vital link in creating a shared experience of belonging and identity for the British Asian diaspora as a whole thereby transcending ethnic and national affiliations.
Since June 2017 the TOF Heritage Team has been carrying out a series of interviews with the public asking them to share with us their earliest memories of Indian cinema as well as the enduring influence of Indian cinema in their lives. Whether it be a movie or a movie star that changed one’s outlook on the world, an Indian song that served as the soundtrack to one’s life during the early days of living in the UK or the recollections of family outings to one of the many 120 cinema halls that screened Bollywood films in the UK in the 1970s, our interviewees have kindly shared their personal stories of how much Indian cinema means to them.
In addition to the heritage documentary, TOF is excited to announce a unique exhibition entitled “Memories Through Cinema” aimed at showcasing artefacts that have been collected from the general public. The exhibition hopes to compliment the documentary by taking the audience through a visual narrative of the history of Indian cinema and cinema-going in the context of the UK from the perspective of the general public. We believe that it is Indian cinema’s turn to pay homage to the cinema-goers and countless fans that have supported it in the UK throughout the ages!
TOF would like to invite YOU to share some of your own artefacts or memories of Indian cinema. Perhaps you, or someone you know, possesses an artefact with a story which could be part of our exhibition in March 2018. For example, one rare artefact we have collected so far is a handwritten letter from the film star Dharmendra to one of his fans in the UK.
Do you have an interesting story accompanied by an artefact that you think would be perfect for our exhibition in 2018? If so, the list of things we are looking out for include:
– Family photos of outings to the cinema
– Rare VHS tapes
– Pictures that fans have taken with film stars
– Fashion items/accessories inspired by Indian cinema
– Art inspired by Indian cinema
– Music inspired by Indian cinema
– Anything else you believe to be suitable for the exhibition.
If you think you have something, then please either email our Project Coordinator directly at [email protected] or you can share your stories and photos on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #MemoriesThroughCinema and by visiting the official Memories Through Cinema Facebook page.
The deadline for suggested submissions is 31st January 2018. (Please note that due to project constrictions, all artefacts may not make it into the exhibition but will be considered for future projects).
We look forward to hearing from you all!