As you read this, India’s films are rapidly being destroyed.

We need your support to keep screening these works of art.

Dear film lovers: 

Would you be willing to help build a celluloid screening venue, operating in Bangalore by 2025?

Since 2016, the Shabistan Film Archive has been saving original film prints and negatives across India, from the 1950s until the end of celluloid exhibition, in 18 Indian languages. We have a unique collection, spanning everything from classic films of the 1950s–’70s (Raj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar), to cult films of the ’80s and ’90s (Rajinikanth, Mithun, Kanti Shah…), to documentaries, all on original 35mm film reels. Almost all of our titles are not held by any other archive in the world. 

For those who have been following us for years: we’re now at a crossroads. We collected broadly and sought to build a major film archive. Along the way, we completed two digitisation projects. Unfortunately, the pandemic threw a monkey wrench into our plans, but now we’re regrouping at a human scale.

At present, we’re in the process of donating our original camera negatives to the National Film Archive of India, which will steward them in the future. But we want to screen the prints—we collected them to be seen, not hidden in a vault. 

These materials are safely stored in a rented warehouse in Bangalore, and we have the donation of a brand new 35mm projector lined up. We want to turn our facility into a screening venue! Movies are no longer being screened on film anywhere in India except at the NFAI in Pune, and nobody in India regularly lends films for screening. 

Will you help us keep alive the hundreds of Indian films we’ve collected, and share these artworks with the public? 

We have an unexpected June 2024 deadline to decide whether we can keep our warehouse for another year. If so, the films will stay in Bangalore, where they can be screened; if not, they will go away forever. The urgency of the situation is daunting, but we have invested too much time, money, and love to give up without pulling out all the stops. 

In addition to storing films, Shabistan’s space has been a hub of art and creativity where we’ve hosted musical concerts, dance performances, and theater workshops. Hundreds of people have come through for our events, all free of cost. You might even have seen it in the recent Malayalam film Aavesham – there was a 3 minute party scene shot here. 

Will you help us stay afloat? If we can raise most of the rent for the next year, we can keep the films, accept the projector, and start screenings in 2025. Our rent is ₹32,000 (US$400) per month, or about ₹4 lakh (US$5000) for the year. 

Please donate and help spread the word! ٰIf you are in Bangalore and would like to visit us, please write to