Filmmakers Amit Madheshiya and Shirley Abraham’s award-winning documentary The Cinema Travellers shows you a different side of India’s love for films. The duo takes you on a magical ride around the small villages and towns outside of Mumbai (Bombay), India’ entertainment capital, which is home to Bollywood film industry. What we get to see in the film is a dedicated band of cinema travellers or dream merchants who show films to an audience that gets to see 35mm films about once a year.What you see is a whole different world – an analog world filled with old 35mm films and 35mm projectors and the films are screened in pitched tents.

We sat down to speak with Madheshiya during the 2017 San Francisco International Film Festival. Madheshiya and Abraham produced, directed and co-wrote their debut film that took them nearly 8 years to make. Both had to learn a lot about filmmaking and how to edit the film. Madheshiya shares that he learnt a lot by reading Academy Award winner Walter Murch’s (The Godfather) books and watching his films.  The films’ cinematography is the one that hooks you into the film and we wanted to find out how Madheshiya shot the film and what kind of camera he used. We also find out how he developed an interest in photography and about his mentor in his boarding school in Nainital, India. Tune in to find out about the making of The Cinema Travellers.

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If it is fall then it is time for 3rd i SF International South Asian Film Festival.  The festival celebrates its 15th anniversary Nov 9-12 in San Francisco and Nov 18 in Palo Alto. The film festival spotlights South Asian filmmakers from around the world, including films from India’s dream factory – Bollywood.

This year’s opening film is Canadian filmmaker Arshad Khan’s Abu (Father). This is a poignant and heart breaking film that spotlights migration and growing up gay in Pakistan. “Migration is the hardest thing in the world,” says Khan in the film. And, then coming out to your family is even harder he adds.. The film ” is the story of Khan’s life and the challenges of growing up a gay man in a close-knit Muslim family writes Gayle MacDonald of Globe and Mail. Khan collaborated with well-known Canadian filmmaker Deepa Mehta to make his film.

The center piece of this year’s festival is a live multimedia performance by musician and composer Gingger Shankar. In Nari: The Unsung Story of the Women from India’s First Family of Music  Shankar celebrates the life and work of her mother Viji Shankar and grandmother Lakshmi Shankar.The event is on 11th November at 3 pm in Castro.

The festival’s must-have Bollywood film is back this year with Om Shanti Om that celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. This is the debut film of Deepika Padukone, who is now a major Bollywood actress. The film’s over-the-top dance numbers will have you tapping your feet away.

And, if you have not seen director Amit V Masurkar’s Newton then this is your chance to catch this absorbing film. The film left me thinking the on what it takes to conduct free and fair elections in a remote village in India. Newton is India’s entry for the 2018 Oscars.

Besides these films there are features, shorts and documentaries like The Last Man In Dhaka Central, Random Acts of Legacy, Gurgaon and Shepherdess of the Glaciers.

On Nov 18 the film festival moves to Silicon Valley for a day where you can catch some wonderfully evocative films like Cinema Travellers that takes you into the analog world of 35 mm films and tent cinemas in Maharashtra. The other films screening in Palo Alto include The World of Goopi and Bagha, Bad Brown, Bride: 3 Desi Series and Dance Like A Man.

Visit 3rd i‘s website for information on tickets and the film festival line-up.

The Kamla Show is a media partner for the  3rd i SF International South Asian Film Festival.