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Celebrating the cinematic and cultural heritage of London’s South Asian communities

A new film by an academic from Queen Mary University of London is to be screened as part of Wembley Park’s ‘Summer on Screen’ programme on Wednesday 3 July.

2 July 2019

Cinema has served as a vital bridge between cultures and countries for South Asian people in Britain.
Cinema has served as a vital bridge between cultures and countries for South Asian people in Britain.

Movies, Memories, Magic, is a film by Dr Ashvin Devasundaram from Queen Mary’s School of Languages, Linguistics and Film. Dr Devasundaram will also participate in a special Q&A which will take place after the screening. Tickets can be booked here.

Celebrating cultural heritage

Movies, Memories, Magic is a documentary film which celebrates the hybrid cinematic and cultural heritage of London’s South Asian communities across time and space. Cinema has served as a vital bridge between cultures and countries for South Asian people in Britain.

The film is the culmination of a year-long UK Heritage Lottery project led by the UK Asian Film Festival (UKAFF) and Queen Mary University of London. It depicts a vibrant picture of how iconic South Asian films screened in renowned cinema halls in London, from the winding alleyways of Brick Lane to the bustling streets of Southall, galvanised cultural conversations and shaped trends in music, food, fashion and politics. The project received a Community Engagement Award from Queen Mary in November 2018.

Dr Ashvin Devasundaram, Lecturer in World Cinema at Queen Mary said: “I am delighted to have directed the documentary film Movies, Memories, Magic, which was made under the banner of the Memories Through Cinema Heritage Project.

“This filmmaking journey has been a real labour of love, punctuated by the collective enthusiasm and engagement of a dedicated team of young volunteers, particularly Queen Mary University students.

“The film epitomises how community conversations can build bridges between the education sector, creative industries and civil society.”

In October 2018 Dr Devasundaram published a book, Indian Cinema Beyond Bollywood: The New Independent Cinema Revolution, which addressed some of the latest changes in Indian cinema.

The edited volume was the first of its kind to explore independent Indian cinema and offers a comprehensive collection of theoretical, philosophical and epistemological perspectives from scholars around the world.

Summer on Screen

Tongues on Fire, which organised the ‘Summer On Screen’ programme at Wembley Park, is a not-for-profit organisation and its goal is to provide a platform for independent film and arts with a link to South Asia. It celebrates South Asian culture, its vibrancy and its many dimensions through storytelling, live events, masterclasses and cinema screenings.

The company provides a platform for emerging talent to showcase their work; offers networking occasions with industry leaders; and provides wider learning opportunities for the filmmaking community.

Tongues on Fire is also the producer of The UK Asian Film Festival, previously The London Asian Film Festival, which aims to entertain, inform and educate. This annual film festival champions the arts and cinema, intertwining political and social messages with entertainment.

More information

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For media information, contact:

Paul Jordan
Faculty Communications Manager (HSS)
email: p.jordan@qmul.ac.uk