Phizzical curates UK-wide film festival to celebrate Javed Akhtar’s work


Throughout January, BFI will be hosting a UK-wide film festival helmed by the master of the Bollywood musical Javed Akhtar. The series of films are curated by Phizzical’s Artistic Director, Samir Bhamra. It is supported by National Lottery, BFI Film Audience Network and ICO.

Marking the multi-award-winning wordsmith’s 75th birthday, Phoenix Cinema and Art Centre, Leicester; Belgrade Theatre Coventry; and Square One Cinema, Coventry will join BFI Southbank, London in hosting programme of screenings of recent blockbusters penned by Akhtar, taking place from 5th January – 1st February 2020.

The curation will comprise the following seminal, blockbuster hits:

Mr India (1987; Dir: Shekhar Kapur; Hindi with English subtitles; cast: Anil Kapoor, Sridevi, Amrish Puri). A poor but big-hearted man takes orphans into his home. After discovering his scientist father’s invisibility device, he rises to the occasion and fights to save his children and all of India from the clutches of a megalomaniac.

Don (2006; Dir: Farhan Akhtar; Hindi with English subtitles; cast: Shahrukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Arjun Rampal). A simple man, Vijay, is recruited by a police officer to masquerade as Don, the leader of an international gang of smugglers. But things go wrong when the officer is killed and Vijay is left to fend for himself.

Dil Dhadakne Do (2015; Dir: Zoya Akhtar; Hindi with English subtitles; cast: Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Ranveer Singh, Anil Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, Farhan Akhtar, Shefali Shah, Javed Akhtar). The Mehra family must contemplate and reevaluate their way of living and their love lives while on a cruise celebrating the parents’ 30th wedding anniversary.

Rock On!! (2008, Dir: Abhishek Kapoor; Hindi with English subtitles; cast: Farhan Akhtar, Arjun Rampal, Prachi Desai, Luke Kenny, Purab Kohli). Four friends reunite to relive their moments of glory as a rock band.

Life Goes On (2009; Dir: Sangeeta Dutta; Hindi and Bengali with English subtitles; cast: Sharmila Tagore, Girish Karnad, Om Puri). A doctor faces challenges in life and from his daughters after the sudden passing of his wife.

Akhtar is a master of the Indian musical and one of Bollywood’s most noted film writers, poets and lyricists, whose credits include cult classics such as Deewaar, Zanzeer and Sholay beside iconic songs such as Ek Ladki Ko Dekha, Do Pal Ruka Khwabon Ka Karvan, Main Koi Aisa Geet Gaonand Kal Ho Na Ho. He is a recipient of the Padma Shri (1999), Padma Bhushan (2007), the Sahitya Akademi Award as well as five National Film Awards among other accolades. In Celebrating the Work of Javed Akhtar, audiences are invited to witness this special programme celebrating the decorated writer’s 75th birthday, where he will share an insight into his inimitable craft of Bollywood musical writing.

Screening details

Leicester Phoenix Cinema and Art Centre: Sunday 5th January, 2.00pm: Dil Dhadakne Do; Sunday 12th January, 2.00pm: Rock On!!; Sunday 19th January, 2.00pm: Don; Wednesday 29th January, 6.00pm: Life Goes On followed by In Conversation with Director Sangeeta Dutta; Friday 31st January, 7.30pm: In Conversation with Javed Akhtar followed by screening of Mr India.

Coventry Belgrade Theatre: Tuesday 21st January, 2.00pm: Dil Dhadakne Do; 6.00pm: Bollywood dance workshop with Sonia Sabri; 7.00pm: Mr India; Friday 24thJanuary, 7.00pm: Don; Tuesday 28th January, 7.00pm: Life Goes On followed by In Conversation with Music Composer Soumik Dutta.

Coventry University Square One Cinema: Thursday 30th January, 7.30pm: In Conversation with Javed Akhtar followed by screening of Rock On!!.

London BFI Southbank, NFT1: Saturday 1st February, 12.30pm: Introduction by Javed Akhtar followed by screening of Dil Dhadakne Do; 3.30pm: In Conversation with Javed Akhtar.

Details available at

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