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Home > Discover Mumbai > Art and Culture > Fim Societies

Film Societies

These are trying times for film societies i.e. the film societies that continue to exist. What was once fondly called the film society movement has now almost ground to a halt. There are only two societies in the city of Mumbai that are exclusively into film Prabhat and Cine Society. The rest are usually cultural societies that also offer film, and are frequently associated with foreign consulates.
The reasons for the decline are many. There is a paucity of affordable venues to screen films. Most of the mini theatres have now closed down or are converted into commercial theatres. Also, serious cinema does not command the audience that it used to. Most of the successful film festivals today have to take recourse to hype to command an audience. There is also a lack of committed volunteers so essential to run a film society.
But the film societies that do exist have a lot to offer to the buff interested in different kinds of cinema. And there are welcome developments like some Medical Associations adopting the cause of meaningful cinema.

Ü Film Circle
Ü Kandivili Medical Association
Ü Chembur Indian Medical Association Film Club
Ü Cine Society
Ü Alliance Francaise
Ü British Council
Ü Max Mueller Bhavan
Ü American Center

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« Praful C Patel's A Viewfinder's Journey
« Music shops
« Dance schools
« Theatres
« Organisations
« Art Galleries
« Cymroza Art Gallery
« Film Societies
« The Miniature Format Show 2000
« Personalities
  Bhiva K Punekar
  Mahesh Madhubani
  Babban Khan
  Naozar Rusi Daruwalla
  Ulrike Arnold
  Shilpa Nikam
  Saumen and Falguni
  Padmashri Shubha Mudgal
  Rakhee Sarkar
  Ajay Sharma
  Madhavi Parekh
  Judy Frater
  Satish Gupta
  Ved Nayar and Gogi Saroj Pal
  Ashish Balram Nagpal
  Dana Gillespie
  Baiju Parthan
  Vijay Shankar
  Parvez Doctor
  Nemai Ghosh


Prabhat Chitra Mandal is one of the most active and successful film societies in Maharashtra. It was started way back in 1968 by five prominent journalists interested in better cinema. Today, it has a membership of 800 strong. They screen about 60 films per year, with a minimum of 3 to 4 films per month. Most of the films are international. They organise various film festivals and are actively involved with MAMI - the Mumbai Academy of Moving Images. The films are usually screened at the Y B Chavan Auditorium near Mantralaya in the city and are only for members. Prominent personalities associated with cinema have been involved with Prabhat. The present President is Amol Palekar and the General Secretary is Sudhir Nandgaonkar. The fees of Prabhat Chitra Mandal are Rs. 350/- per annum.

: Sharda Cinema, 1st floor, Dadar, Mumbai 400 014.
Phone: 413 1918


Film Circle is a collaboration of The National Centre of Performing Arts and the National Film Archive of India. They have a screening at 6: 30 pm every Tuesday at Little Theatre in NCPA. They screen about 50 films every year. The involvement of NFAI generally ensures a good selection of movies. The membership fees are Rs. 200/- per individual and Rs. 300/- for husband and wife per year. The membership year is from April to March, so it does not make too much sense joining later on in the year.

(for enrollment): Tata Theatre membership office, NCPA, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400 021
(10 am to 1 pm; 2:30 to 5 pm)
Phone: 283 3838, 283 3737, 283 3939


Kandivili"What is the Kandivili Medical Association doing in film societies?" you ask. This is no bug. And it is a rather long story.
Kandivili Medical Association is an association of about 560 medical practitioners in Kandivili. The KMA was confronted with children of the area showing signs of mental and physical problems on account of too much TV. The "forced unidimensional dumb attention" led to lack of play and too much exposure to violence and sex. To counter these effects, KMA decided to expose the children to another medium - films. The medium was closest to TV, but given better selection of movies, so very different. Thus was born the Film Circle, a society that shows children's films to a young and receptive audience.
Some of the organisers of KMA were members of and inspired by the now dormant Screen Unit - Amrit Gangar's film society that was responsible in initiating such a lot of people to an entire new world of films. As Dr. Kartikeya Bhagat puts it - "I pity those who were not a part of Screen Unit in its hey day."
kandivilimaThey screen movies on the 1st Sunday of every month. The screenings are at Milap theatre at Kandivili West at the rather unearthly hour of 7:30 am in the morning. Inspite of it, the response has been enthusiastic. Most screenings attract about 900 children. There is a jury of 7 children and the screenings are followed with discussions that see audience participation. The filmmaker if present, also participates in the discussion. The idea is to develop a sense of critique and to promote interaction. At the end of the year, both the audience as well as the jury will select their respective best films. There are big plans that include production of a film that is made by the children themselves. The Film Circle now has a membership scheme for Rs. 150/- per annum.

Dr. Kartikeya Bhagat - 801 3299
Amrit Gangar - 808 5493
Dr. Hema Dave - 805 9339
Dr. Jitendra Vora - 808 9211