A short film about a video rental shop in eighties Wolverhampton brings a lost world back to life.

Jambo Cinema, by award-winning artist, filmmaker and producer Dawinder Bansal, is all about her parent’s corner shop which rented out Bollywood films.

It’s a story of family, migration, love, loss and video piracy set in a working class South Asian family. The film will be available to view across the UK as part of BFI’s London Film Festival this October.

Dawinder said, “Jambo Cinema is a love letter to my father who died suddenly in 1988, aged just 48.

”After his death, the family shop, Bansal Electrics on Harrow Road, had to close and most of the original VHS tapes, film posters, fixtures and fittings were stored away in our garage.

"It was a way of keeping hold of a part of him and also because my mum is Indian she was of the opinion ‘we’ve spent money on this so we’re not giving it away to anyone!’

“Nearly 30 years later I began to sort through the garage discovering old ledgers, electrical supplies, the original shop till and of course hundreds of video tapes. The memories came flooding back and the seed of Jambo Cinema was firmly planted.”

Asian Image:

Dawinder decided to use the original items as a time capsule to re-create her family’s living room and shop in an evocative art installation at Wolverhampton Art Gallery and also at New Art Exchange in Nottingham and has gone on to make the short film telling the story.

As a 7-year-old, Dawinder earned pocket money making pirate copies of the films for her father – something she was completely innocent about at the time.

But in 1984 the authorities caught up with her father and he was prosecuted and fined £2,000. The shop became a community, it was a place to go for unofficial advice, people’s problems were solved and sometimes marriages were made.

Watching the films was a communal experience too.

She said, “You invited over all your family, your Auntie from next door, your Uncle from down the road. We’d pile into one room and have some food together. It was about recreating that cinematic experience, it was an event where you could be transported into a new and different world.”

“I’m honoured that Jambo Cinema has been selected from hundreds of others as part of the prestigious British Film Institute’s London Film Festival 2020. Jambo Cinema as a short film only just scratches the surface and so I’m looking forward to developing it into a feature length film.”

Jambo Cinema will be available to watch any time for free on BFI Player from Wednesday 7 – Sunday 18 October 2020www.bfi.org.uk/bfi-player