Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali delivers masterclass at BAFTA’s Princess Anne Theatre, addresses high-profile sessions as a part of Gangubai Kathiawadi's campaign


Sanjay Leela Bhansali has wowed audiences in the British Capital this week, attending a series of high-profile events as part of the BAFTA Awards campaign for Gangubai Kathiawadi. The filmmaker launched the campaign by speaking at a special, BAFTA Masterclass on November 28 at the iconic home of British Cinema, discussing his career trajectory over the last 25 years. Marking the first-ever masterclass the director has delivered, the full house event took place at BAFTA’s iconic Princess Anne Theatre, hosted by Rachel Dwyer, British author and former professor of Indian Cultures and Cinema at SOAS, University of London.

The award-winning filmmaker then took part in a special conversation with British film critic, Mike McCahill, for the next generation of the world’s leading creatives at Central Saint Martins, University of Arts London on November 29. Bhansali has become the first Indian artist invited to speak at the world’s highest-ranked fashion and art school, with former alumni including fashion designers such as the late Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, Kim Jones and Stella McCartney.

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Attended by hundreds of students, the session took place in the eminent LVMH Theatre, where Bhansali’s focus on Fashion, Creative Direction and Costume Design in his films was explored in detail followed by a Q&A session with students. Sanjay Leela Bhansali also attended a special, red carpet screening of Gangubai Kathiawadi at The Prince Charles Cinema on 30th November. The Prince Charles Cinema is the last and most famous of the independent cinemas still operating in London’s cine-famous ‘West End’. The cinema was transformed for the special evening and was attended by hundreds of fans, social media influencers and British Asian artists. The screening was hosted in cooperation with UK Asian Film Festival.

Speaking about his experience of being in London, Bhansali said, “Speaking to audiences at the various events in London has been a wonderful experience for me. The BAFTA Masterclass took me back to my early days as a filmmaker. It was a thrilling experience to share my insights and interact with students at Central Saint Martins. Gangubai Kathiawadi continues to receive unprecedented love from audiences globally. I hope this love continues to pour our way."

The filmmaker is set to attend numerous further events whilst in London as part of his BAFTA Awards campaign for Gangubai Kathiawadi, starring Alia Bhatt. The film is being submitted for BAFTA members’ consideration in all categories including Best Film, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Leading Actress and Film Not in the English Language.

(Source: Photo Credit: BAFTA/Tayyib Sulaiman)