Cinema City: Mumbai - IV: PILA HOUSE, BOMBAY/ MUMBAI by Abeer Gupta

Pila House (hybridisation of Play House) was marked as the entertainment district by the British Government in 1857, the theatres surrounded on one side by Kamathipura, the red light area, and on the other side, by Congress House, the residence of traditional musicians and dancers, including the much romanticised and much abused courtesans (tawaifs)- all symbols of urbanisation and urbane entertainment at the beginning of the 20thcentury. These theatres transformed their fares from variety entertainments to Parsee Theatre to silent cinema to talkies. As an architectural piece of layered history, jostling for popular attention, along with the flicks, are structures of religious sites (mazhars and dargahs) in the same compound.

The Cinema City series was co-produced by Madhusree Dutta, Majlis. Madhusree is a filmmaker, curator, author and cultural activist.

Prague Film Festival

Abeer Gupta is an alumnus of the National Institute of Design and Goldsmiths College, London, where he studied visual anthropology. He has directed several documentary films and executive produced Siddharth, The Prisoner, which received the Critic’s Choice Award at the 2nd Asia Pacific Screen Awards, Gold Coast, Australia.

  • Editing, Graphics and Animation: Abeer Gupta
  • Soundtrack Design: Boby John
  • Project Partner: Doordarshan

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