Book Tickets

Mon 29 Jul
Tue 13 Aug

Original Copy 18

Part of South Asian Heritage Month 2024
Georg Heinzen, Florian Heinzen-Ziob, India, Germany, 2015, 96m.

The screening on 29 July will be introduced by Dr Ashvin Immanuel Devasundaram, Senior Lecturer in World Cinema at Queen Mary.

Original Copy is a humorous and heartfelt documentary about the magic of film, its transience, and its immortality.

The 'Alfred Talkies' cinema in the heart of Mumbai has fallen out of time. In the old Hindi film palace, 35mm copies still rattle through the museum-ready projectors. A sinking ship, held on course by an intrepid crew: the distinguished boss, who shouldn't have taken over the cinema because she is a woman. The meticulous manager who knows exactly what his audience wants. And the chain-smoking film poster painter, Sheikh Rehman, who runs his studio behind the cinema screen in the style of old masters. A mixture of artist, guru, comedian and philosopher.

Each week a mammoth task begins, to paint a huge billboard sized picture showcasing the latest film. His colourful and spectacular posters are works of art in their own right, but Sheikh Rehman’s work is becoming obsolete as plastic posters take over and the cinema battles against declining audiences. A hopeless fight, but no reason to give up.

Original Copy is a ravishing declaration of love to the cinema and its heroes both on and behind the big screen.

Hot Docs International Documentary Festival, Canada (2015)

Best Documentary, Fantastic Fest Austin, USA (2016)

Rotterdam International Film Festival, Netherlands (2016)

Language: English & Hindi with English Subtitles

Dr Ashvin Immanuel Devasundaram

Dr Ashvin Immanuel Devasundaram is Senior Lecturer in World Cinema at Queen Mary and author of the world's first book and edited anthology on new Indian Indie films. Ashvin is Associate Director of the UK Asian Film Festival – London and has directed the UK Heritage Lottery-funded documentary Movies, Memories, Magic (2018). His latest book Indian Indies: A Guide to New Independent Indian Cinema (with a foreword by Shabana Azmi) was published by Routledge in 2022.  

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