Cannes screening for Luton director

Shooting Samuel Street in Mumbai, written by Luton director Aliakbar Campwala
Shooting Samuel Street in Mumbai, written by Luton director Aliakbar Campwala

A haunting new film by Luton writer and director Aliakbar Campwala will be screened at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival next month.

Samuel Street is set in the historic enclave of South Mumbai and provides a rarely-seen glimpse of the challenges faced by India’s conservative middle classes.

It follows the fortunes of three distinct characters and how their lives impact on each other – a young non-resident Indian (NRI) who who returns to Samuel Street after years of living abroad, a mother with strong cultural values but who has lived independently throughout her life, and a female prison officer in Britain.

Campala – who appeared as the happy-go-lucky Goldie in 7 Welcome to London – has a reputation for tackling unusual subjects as a writer and director.

His debut film, The Invisible Subtitler, did just that – it went inside the largely invisible world of subtitling.

Talking about his latest production, he said: “Samuel Street is a comical nostalgia-filled take on the matters concerning the elders who grapple with living in booming, middle class India.”

He added: “I’ve always wanted to make a film in Mumbai and the huge array of issues that concern the great city but to create something completely different from the norm and the usual stereotypes that film makers propagate.”

He’s hoping Samuel Street will provide an alternative view of the megalopolis whose humanity and vibrancy have been smothered by Bollywood glitz and glamour. It stars veteran actress Sarita Joshi.