Award-winning filmmaker Pan Nalin written and directed Gujarati film, Last Film Show (Chhello Show), which opened at the Spotlight section of Tribeca Film Festival, is all set to hit International cinemas in the coming weeks—becoming the first Gujarati film to find overseas release in the post-pandemic world. As India celebrated Holi on 18th March, Last Film Show, produced by Jugaad Motion Pictures and Monsoon Films, colours the global horizon with its theatrical release in Spain. Ready to take on the cinema screens across Spain as “La Ultima Pelicula”, Last Film Show is the first Gujarati film to be dubbed entirely in Spanish. Last Film Show’s release in Spain only marks the beginning of the film’s release in more cinema theatres across the globe, including Germany, Israel, Taiwan and soon, India. This Indo-French co-production, which is represented by French giants, UGC and ORANGE Studio, has already garnered tremendous appreciation on the global film circuit by sweeping top accolades at prestigious International film festivals like Tribeca, Seminci, Mill Valley, among others.
Last Film Show is a sweet ode to the magic of cinema, told through the eyes of a young boy in the remote village of Saurashtra in Gujarat. Speaking of the film, Pan Nalin, best known for his films, “Samsara”, “Angry Indian Goddesses” and “Valley of Flowers”, says, “When we were making the film, we didn’t realise that the world would go this way. The film celebrates the big-screen experience of going to cinema halls and watching a film with family and friends, which is irreplaceable.”
“The disappearance of India’s single-screen culture and 35 mm celluloid film largely forms the backdrop of Last Film Show. The film is released at a time when the film industry globally is witnessing the death of the 35mm format. The new formats have opened doors for storytellers, and films like Last Film Show have the potential to connect with audiences globally, breaking all language barriers”, says Dheer Momaya, the co-founder of Jugaad Motion Pictures and producer of Last Film Show.
Shot in the beautiful, scenic landscapes of the grassroots of India, the film will put heritage tourism in Gujarat on the global map. The film stars six young boys from indigenous tribe communities of Gujarat. The film also highlights some of the amazing vistas of India like beautiful railway stations, natural vistas of Saurashtra, breathtaking lakes of Gujarat, Lions, and wildlife of Sasan Gir, including long picturesque stretches that are unique to the state. To Pan Nalin, shooting the film in real locations from villages to railways to schools made him feel nostalgic about his childhood. “Everything seemed the same to me. Even though people have moved forward in life, the tradition and the culture is still preserved”. Loosely based on Pan Nalin’s own experiences, who was born in a small village in the Amareli district of Gujarat, Last Film Show tells the story of a young boy who begins a lifelong love affair with cinema when he bribes his way into a rundown movie palace and spends a summer watching movies from the projection booth.
Speaking of why this is such an important story to him, producer Dheer Momaya says, “Pan Nalin’s origin story was so fascinating, that I was convinced it had to be told. Most writer/directors in India come from some sort of cultural/economically endowed backgrounds, and have had access to the basics of education and exposure to film (even if it was just the ability to watch) from a very young age. For Nalin it was quite the opposite, he was watching and making movies in his head before he even knew about the existence of cinema. Moreover, while this is a personal reflection of his life experiences, the themes explored through the story are quite universal. Last Film Show is a celebration of cinema, more than just a love letter. It accentuates the nostalgia that most of us feel about our relationship with the theatrical experience. It reminds me of that first time I watched a film in the cinema, and the astonished wonder I was left with. Something, we have come to take for granted in the digital age.”
The main credits in the film includes Bhavin Rabari (as Samay), Bhavesh Shrimali (as Fazal, Projectionist at the Galaxy Cinema), Richa Meena (as Baa, Samay’s mother), Dipen Raval (as Bapuji Samay’s father), Paresh Mehta (Galaxy Cinema Manager), Vikas Bata (as Nano), Rahul Koli (as Manu), Shoban Makwa (as Badshah), Kishan Parmar (as S.T.), Vijay Mer (as Tiku), Alpesh Tank (as Teacher Mr. Dave), and Tia Sebastien (as Leela Mila).
When the magic of movies conquers nine-year young Samay’s heart, he moves heaven and earth in pursuit of his 35mm dreams unaware of heartbreaking times that await him. Watch out for this masterpiece by writer-director Pan Nalin. him. Watch out for this masterpiece by writer-director Pan Nalin.
Set in the remote Indian countryside of 2010, Last Film Show is an ode to cinema and the wonder movies create for all those who experience its magic. After watching a movie at the Indian Galaxy Cinema, young, free-spirited SAMAY’s life turns upside down as he passionately falls in love with ﬁlms. He steals money from his father’s struggling small tea shop, and skips school to watch movies. Samay and his gang passionately begin to create their own 35mm movie of their dreams. Soon Samay’s father discovers his nine-year old son’s ‘immoral’ obsession with the movies and physically punishes him and warns him to stay away from the ‘ﬁlthy’ world of ﬁlms. For Samay it is too late as he is already smitten by the world of movies. Continuing to pursue his obsession with the movie, Samay’s path crosses with FAZAL, the projectionist at the Galaxy Cinema. They strike a deal. Samay will let him eat the delicious food that his mother has lovingly made for him.- in return for Fazal letting him watch movies all day from the projection room. In no time their “food-for-ﬁlms” deal turns into an endearing long- lasting friendship. Soon however, the unlikely duo will be forced to make heartbreaking choices as an era of change is sweeping through the country.