Saving Southall's Ciné History / by Afshin Rohani

A year long collaboration with MADE TV culminates in a documentary and series of short films looking at the cinema history of a town shaped by migration.

Southall Broadway (IMAGE: cc Chan Mya Soe)

Southall Broadway (IMAGE: cc Chan Mya Soe)

We have been working with the charity MADE to empower young diverse filmmakers to uncover and celebrate the rich heritage of Southall - a predominately South Asian town in west London. 

As the immigrant story is distorted by the media & populist politicians more and more within British society - the personal and complex strands of community are vital to explore; this particular project unravelled the impact of cinema on the migrant experience.


Members of the National Front produced this propoganda film in the early '70s to warn of the social ills Southall was facing due to mass migration.

Local residents in Southall turned to cinemas as a refuge in times of violent oppression and thus the demand for Bollywood film screenings surged.

With the advent of VHS and DVDs consumption shifted through the decades, as well as the role film played in the everyday lives of the descendants of the first generation immigrants who came to Britain post-partition.

The only remaining piece of cinema history on the high-street - the marquee of the old Liberty Cinema which is now an indoor market.

The only remaining piece of cinema history on the high-street - the marquee of the old Liberty Cinema which is now an indoor market.

Through first-hand accounts and original screenplays: the rise and fall of these very English South Asian movie melting points have been brought to life for the very first time.

The former cinemas:

Source: http://flee.life/