CinéMasala 2022
India along the rivers

Thursday 10 November 2022 (7.00 PM) Pôle Sud

Screening accompanied by a discussion with the director Munmum Dhalaria in collaboration with the Centre for Interdisciplinary Literary Studies (CIEL)

No Water, No Village

Documentary by Munmun Dhalaria, India, 2022, legal age 8, suggested age 14 – 30′ – e 12, suggested age 14- Original version with French subtitles

No Water No Village


Due to climate change, the Himalayan regions of Spiti and Zanskar are becoming increasingly dry. Snow and rainfall are becoming rare and the glaciers are retreating. Traditional irrigation methods are no longer sufficient, and agriculture is suffering from a lack of water. Fields are left fallow. The climate exodus has already begun. But the villagers are not without resources and are finding solutions to their problems.

Holy (Un)Holy River

Documentary by Jake Northon and Pete McBride, USA, 2016, Legal age 12, suggested age 14- Original version with French subtitles – 69′


A group of scientists decide to measure the health of the water of the Ganges from its source in the Himalayas to its estuary in the Bay of Bengal. The camera focuses on the river’s most emblematic sites, providing us with a contrasted portrait of India’s most sacred river through grandiose images. In the end, one enigma remains: why isn’t this water, into which tonnes of rubbish and toxic products are poured, more polluted?

Friday 11 November (8.00pm)
PÔLE SUD, Jean-Jacques Mercier 3

Sagarputra: Offspring of the Sea

Documentary by Pooja Das Sarkar, India, 2021, Legal age 10, suggested age 14 – 21′ – Original version with French subtitles


The director followed the fishermen of the Koli community who live and work in Thane Bay, east of the Bombay/Mumbai peninsula. She shows us their determination to continue fishing using ancestral methods despite the urbanisation and industrialisation that threaten to destroy the fragile mangrove ecosystem.

My Name is Salt

Documentary by Farida Pacha, India, 2013, Legal age 10, suggested age 14 – Original version with French subtitles – 92′


In the state of Gujarat, in western India, lies the Rann of Kutch, an immense salt marsh that dries up at the end of the rainy season. This deserted expanse is then populated by a seasonal community of salt farmers. This documentary is a poetic meditation on their harsh yet contemplative lifestyle, under the merciless sun of the Thar Desert.

SATURDAY 12 November

4PM Bollywood dance workshop
Bollywood for families (children aged 5 and over), by Annjali Shah. Duration: 1 hour.
Free, on registration at

5.30PM “Krishna Katha, The Stories of Prince Krishna”.
Kathak dance performance by Annjali Shah. Duration 1 h.

6.45PM – Indian meal
Prepared by the Nandanam restaurant (fee payable)


The Story of Kaveri

Short film by Ayappa, India, 2021, Legal age 10, suggested age 14 – 3′ – Original version with French subtitles


A fleeting, dreamlike vision of the lifetimes of the beautiful river goddess Kaveri, one of South India’s major rivers, whose fragile balance is under threat.

Boroxun, Songs for Rain

Film by Krrishna Kt Borah, India, 2021, Legal age 10 years, suggested age 14 years – Original version with French subtitles – 87′


When the rains fail in a rural region of Assam, in north-east India, desperate villagers turn to rituals. But frog marriages don’t produce the desired effect. So they resort to an even stranger method, at the expense of the community’s two ‘innocents’. Will their budding love survive these trials?

Free admission, hats on the door. Doors open 1 hour before the start of the screenings. Bar and snacks at Pôle Sud.

CIEL Conference, 2022:

Contact: + Facebook and Instagram

Indian flavors

Two never-before-seen films about food production and the plight of Indian farmers:


Ages 12, 8′, by Tathagata Ghosh, India, 2021, Original Version with French Subtitles

While some well-to-do people congratulate themselves on India’s excellent management by feasting on rice and curry, the peasants in the neighbouring fields have nothing to eat and don’t know what tomorrow will bring.

The Seeds of Vandana Shiva

Ages 12, 82′, by Camilla and Jim Becket, USA/Australia, 2021, English

This documentary traces the career and work of Vandana Shiva, a feminist eco-activist. For years, the woman who has been described as “Monsanto’s worst nightmare” has been fighting against the stranglehold of multinational GMO seed producers, who are dragging Indian farmers into an inexorable spiral of debt and suicide.

Tributes to Irrfan Khan (1967-2020)
(Online edition)

Friday 13 November 2020 (7PM)
The Lunchbox

The Lunchbox by Ritesh Batra
(India, 2013, 104 min, subtitled in French)
Legal age 10 years. Suggested age 14.

Ila, a young woman unhappy in her marriage, tries to win back her unfaithful husband by cooking him delicious lunches. She then entrusts her lunchbox to the gigantic delivery service that serves all the businesses in Mumbai – the famous dabbawallahs. In reality, the lunchbox is mistakenly given to Saajan (played by Irrfan Khan), a lonely, bitter man nearing retirement, who feels revived by tasting Ila’s delicacies.

To the victims of Covid-19
From 9 to 15 November, CinéMasala presented a series of short films on the subject of Covid-19 in India (in French only).
A meeting with three directors of the short films took place on 12 November 2020
6.30PM with Munmun Dhalaria, director of Covid Response: A Himalayan story / Réponse au Covid : récit himalayen
At 6.50 PM with Tathagata Ghosh, director of Mangsho (The Meat) / La Viande
At 7.10PM with Keerthigan Sivakumar, director of Yene Wundme / Merci mon frère

Dhobi Ghat

8PM (doors open at 7PM)
Dhobi Ghat, Original version with French subtitles, ages: 12 (14) –
Film by Kiran Rao, India, 2010, 100′, Original version: Hindi and English
This film, starring Aamir Khan, an actor best known for his Bollywood roles, features a range of endearing characters who, each in their own way, try to live and survive in the megalopolis of Mumbai. Art – in various forms – enables them to sublimate their torments, transcend their existence and, sometimes, give meaning to their lives.

Thursday 21 November 2019
Sama: Muslim Mystic Music of India

8PM (doors open at 7PM)

Documentary by Shazia Khan, India, 2012, 52′, OV: various Indian languages Screening accompanied by a discussion with Prof. Blain Auer (UNIL, SLAS)Following in the footsteps of mystical musical traditions, this documentary invites us to travel to the four corners of India to discover the history of this art. Each tradition has developed its own unique characteristics through contact with different local cultures, but everywhere music plays a key role in the spiritual quest.


Concert by Indian music group Moods with Reno Daniaud (chaturangui and vocals) and Damien Schmutz (tablas and vocals)

Friday 22 November 2019

6PM Kadambari, Original version with French Subtitles, age: 12 (14).

Film by Suman Ghosh, India, 2015, 87′, Original Version (Bengali) with French Subtitles

Screening followed by a discussion with Prof. Maya Burger (UNIL, SLAS)

This film explores the childhood and early youth of Rabindranath Tagore (winner of the 1913 Nobel Prize for Literature), and the influence exerted on him by one of his sisters-in-law, Kadambari, who was his inspiration and muse. This highly aesthetic work explores with finesse and sensitivity the bond that unites these two people within the Tagore family.

Saturday 23 November 2019
Supermen of Malegaon

5.30PM Supermen of Malegaon, Original version with French subtitles, age: 10 (12)

Documentary by Faiza Ahmad Khan, India, 2008, 52′, OV: HindiA group of friends living in Malegaon, a small town in the state of Maharashtra, try to escape the routine of everyday life by making a parody of Superman with the means at their disposal. This funny and touching documentary shows the importance of cinema in the imagination and lives of Indians.

Khyal music concert

Manjusa Patil (solo voice) accompanied by Shriram Hasabnis (harmonium)
Saleel Tambe: tabla The art of Khyal, from the Arabic for “imagination”, is part of this great North Indian tradition, one of the most popular vocal genres today, which developed during the 17th century in the princely courts of Mughal India.

From 6.30pm Indian meal prepared by the Nandanam restaurant (fee payable)

India of love and death

Graphic design: Alex Parent,

From 20 to 23 November 2018, CinéMasala organised its 6th edition on the rites of marriage and death, under the title “India of love and death”. Screenings shed light on different facets of this theme and cultural activities rounded off the programme.


Wednesday 14 November, Pôle Sud, 8PM
Thithi, by Raam Reddy, India, 2015, 120′, Original version with French subtitles, vo: kannada, suggested age 14.
Screening followed by a discussion with Dr Philippe Bornet (UNIL)

Filmed in a village in Karnataka, Thithi is a rather humorous account of the avalanche of problems triggered by the death of the centenarian ‘Century’ Gowda. His son loses all interest in the funeral ceremonies he is supposed to perform for his father and leaves the running of the business to his grandson, who is plunged into financial shenanigans… An offbeat comedy about death across several generations.

Hotel Salvation

Thursday 15 November, Campus Unil, Foyer de la Grange de Dorigny, 6 pm: Mukti Bhawan / Hotel Salvation, by Shubhashish Butiani, India, 103′, vostfr (vo Hindi), suggested age 14. Screening followed by a discussion with Dr. Marc Tiefenauer (UNIL)

Sensing that his time is approaching, an old man decides to go to Benares to die. Reluctantly, his son agrees to accompany him in this process, despite his demanding job. This serene film, with its subtle humour, casts Benares in a luminous light and offers us a profound reflection on our relationship with death.

A Suitable Girl

Friday 16 November, Pôle Sud, Jean-Jacques Mercier 3, 8pm, A Suitable Girl, documentary by Sarita Khurana and Smrti Mundhra, USA-India, 2017, 90′, vostfr (vo English-Hindi), suggested age 14

Screening followed by a discussion with director Sarita Khurana. For more than three years, the filmmakers followed three young women in their quest for the ideal husband – a quest that involves a variety of means, both traditional and modern. The nuanced documentary sheds light on the merciless social pressure that forces women to marry and then leave their families to live in accordance with the customs of their in-laws, whatever their social rank or profession.

Saturday 17 November, Salle des fêtes du Casino de Montbenon, Allée Ernest Ansermet 3, Esplanade de Montbenon
4.15PM Bollywood dance class for children aged 7 and over, by Annjali Shah. Duration: 45 min.

5.30PM Mughal’s Dream Katak and Bollywood dance show by Annjali Shah and Marina Gerosa. Duration: 45 min.

Dum laga ke Haisha

Dum laga ke Haisha directed by Sharat Katariya, India 2015
Original Version with French subtitles – 110′ (suggested age: 14 years)

Forced into marriage by his family, whose main concern is financial gain, Prem soon takes a dislike to his young wife Sandhya, whom he finds far too plump for his taste. Can a “wear the wife” contest bring them back together? With the cities of Haridwar and Rishikesh in the background, this light comedy nevertheless takes a realistic look at the institution of marriage.

India’s Lost Body

From 8 to 11 November 2017, CinéMasala organized the 5th edition on the theme of the body.
The screenings – fiction and documentaries – shed light on the many facets of the body in India.

Ayurveda: the Art of Living

Wednesday 8 November, Campus Unil, Foyer de la Grange de Dorigny, 6PM
Ayurveda: The Art of Living, by Pan Nalin, India, 2001, 101′, Original Version with French Subtitles, Suggested age: 14 years.
Screening followed by a discussion with Simone Hunziker (University of Lausanne) and Aline Sigrist (University of Neuchâtel).

This ambitious documentary explores the many facets of this Indian science of life and healing, for which every illness is the result of an imbalance in vital energies. A fascinating discovery of an ancient philosophy and medicine that is still little known in our part of the world.

The Breath of The Gods

Thursday 9 November 2017, Pôle Sud, 8PM, The Breath of the Gods
Directed by Jan Schmidt-Garre, Germany, 2014, 101′, Original Version with French Subtitles, Suggested age: 16 years
Screening followed by a discussion with Peter Schreiner (Honorary Professor at the University of Zurich).

Yoga is practised daily by tens of millions of people throughout the world. The origins of its practice in modern times owe much to T. Krishnamacharya (1890-1989), one of the greatest Indian masters of the twentieth century. It is this lesser-known story that this film tells.

Between the Lines

Friday 10 November 2017, Pôle Sud, 8PM
Directed by Thomas Wartmann, Germany (2005) – 95′, Original Version with French Subtitles. Suggested age: 16 years
Screening in the presence of director Thomas Wartmann


Wednesday 9 November 6PM, Campus (University of Lausanne), Unithèque room 4.215
Directed by Deepa Mehta, Canada/India, 1996, 108′, Original version with French subtitles, legal age 16.
Screening followed by a discussion with Marion Schulze.

Invoking Justice

Thursday 10 November 8PM, Pôle Sud
Directed by Deepa Dhanraj, India, 2011, 85′, Original Version with French subtitles, legal age 16.
 Screening followed by a discussion with Pierre-Henry Genet (University of Lausanne)

In South India, in a world dominated by patriarchy, Muslim women are organising themselves to ensure that justice is done. This documentary reveals their courage and their initiatives to fight against a grim reality.

The World Before Her

Friday 11 Nov. 8.00PM, Pôle Sud
Directed by Nisha Pahuja, Canada, 2012, 90′, subtitled in French, legal age 16.
Screening followed by a discussion with Sylvie Guichard (University of Geneva).

The Miss India election and the Durga Brigades – an army of young women from extremist Hindu movements: two women’s journeys that question traditional values. Through testimonies from two parallel worlds, this documentary depicts gender discrimination.

Sita Sings the Blues

Saturday 12 November 5PM, Pôle Sud
Directed by Nina Paley, USA, 2008, 82′, Original version with French subtitles, legal age 6 years.

The mythical story of Sita and Rama is told in full color in this animated film. A modern retelling of an ancient legend.

6.45pm: Indian dance performance (Bharatanatyam) by Sharmila Rao, followed by an Indian meal prepared by the Nandanam restaurant.

Women’s Season

Women’s Season

Directed by Leena Yadav, India, 2015, 116′, Original version with French Subtitles, legal age 16.

This drama portrays four women who finally take power and emancipate themselves from the tyranny of men and their restrictive social roles, driven by their zest for life and their dream of freedom.

On the roads of India

From 11 to 14 November 2015, CinéMasala organised four evenings dedicated to films about life on the roads of India. In 2015, the programme was enriched by new collaborations, with the recitation of Indian tales and a photo exhibition “Mes yeux sont tes yeux” by Claudio Belligotti.

11 November 2015: Palais de Rumine, Zoology Auditorium
6.30PM Doors open
7PM Screening of Highway by Imtiaz Ali (2014, 133 min, subtitled in French)
A young Indian woman, about to be married, is kidnapped by a group of petty criminals. On learning that she is the daughter of a famous industrialist, the kidnappers panic and flee with their hostage…

12 November 2015: Campus Unil, Unithèque, Room 4.215
5:30PM Doors open
6PM Screening of the film Road, directed by Dev Benegal (2009, 95 min, Original version with French subtitles), followed by a discussion with prof. Maya Burger (University of Lausanne)

To escape his father’s dwindling hair lotion business, Vishnu (Abhay Deol) sets out to drive an old Chevrolet truck back to an antique museum. The long journey through the inhospitable terrain of an Indian desert is fraught with encounters and perils. To win the favour of those they meet along the way, Vishnu and his fellow travellers transform themselves into travelling projectionists, making use of cinema equipment discovered in the lorry. A poetic, funny and surprising odyssey on the roads of India.

13 November 2015: Pôle Sud
7.30 PM Doors open
8PM Screening of the film Millions Can Walk by Kamal Musale & Christoph Schaub (2014, 88 min, Original version with French subtitles), followed by a discussion with the director Christoph Schaub and prof. Raphaël Rousseleau (University of Lausanne)

One hundred thousand men and women, landless peasants and adivasis, are marching along the roads of India to defend their rights.

14 November 2015: Pôle Sud
5.30PM Doors open
6.00PM Indian storytelling (all ages), as part of the Storytelling night
7.00PM Buffet of Indian cuisine prepared by the restaurant Nandanam
8.00PM Screening of the film Finding Fanny by Homi Adajania (2014, 102min, Original version with French subtitles)

From Goa to Karnataka, Ferdie and her friends follow in the footsteps of a childhood sweetheart.

CinéMasala would like to thank the generous donors of this edition:
Faculty of Arts, Unil
Interface Sciences-Société, Unil

Salam Bombay: Multiple views of a city

17 November, City Club, Pully
Living on the streets: the story of a street child in Mumbai

7PM Doors open
8PM Screening of Salaam Bombay! directed by Mira Nair (1988, 113 min, subtitled in French)

Salaam Bombay!

Mira Nair (1988, 113 min, Original version with French subtitles)

Indebted to his mother for 500 rupees, Krishna, a young boy, works in a travelling circus. One day, abandoned by the showmen who have left without him, he finds himself in Mumbai, where he becomes a tea carrier.

Discussion with René Véron from the Institute of Geography and Sustainability (University of Lausanne)

20.11.14 Cinéma Oblò, Lausanne
Dreaming the city: coveted Mumbai, issues surrounding a territory

An evening in collaboration with Norlha, a non-profit organisation working in the Himalayan regions. The first edition of FilmSLASia in 2013 was organised in close collaboration with Norlha. This year, we are collaborating on a special evening as part of the association’s ‘Himalayan Festival’, which takes place in November (see the programme at This evening is an opportunity for Norlha to present its activities over a small buffet prepared by them.

The documentary Roshni, distributed by The Unknown Film Company, who kindly allowed us to screen it even though it has not yet been officially released, incorporates FilmSLASia’s theme of Mumbai and Norlha’s theme of the Himalayan regions.


6PM doors open
6.30PM Special screening of the documentary Roshni by Nazneen Bhatia & Anshul Adhikari (2014-15, 45min, vosten)

Roshni lives in the land of the gods called Dev Bhumi and dreams of leaving for the land of illusions called Maya Nagari, Mumbai.

7.15PM Welcome by Norlha, buffet, and screening of the short film The Voice of God by Bernd Lützeler (2011, 9min 35sec, Original version)

If God came to earth and tried to make a living in Mumbai, he would probably become an artist lending his voice to the thousands of films produced by the film industry.


Lutz Konermann & Robert Appleby (2010, 80 min, Original version with French subtitles)

Following the difficulties faced by the planners and residents of the slums, Dharavi explores the different components of urban development, and gives an insight into the living conditions of one of society’s most surprising places.

Discussion with Swetha Rao Dhananka from the Institute of Social Sciences (University of Lausanne)

24 November Zinéma, Lausanne
Stars and glitter : Spotlight on Bollywood and the film industry in Mumbai

7PM Doors open
8PM Screening of the documentary Bombay fait son cinéma by Alexander Ayer & Nicolas Duhamel (2010, 52 m)

Following the testimonies of various players in the Indian film industry, this documentary takes us to the heart of this industry, between Bollywood films, auteur cinema and star-making.

 Bombay Talkies 

Discussion with Charlotte Bouchez from the Section d’histoire et esthétique du cinéma (University of Lausanne)

26 November La Grange de Dorigny, University of Lausanne
Transported and transporters: A closer look at daily life in Mumbai

Un rickshaw dans la ville

6.30PM Screening of the short film Un rickshaw dans la ville (A Rickshaw in the City) by Jonas Parienté & Savitri Medhatul (2010, 14min, fr)

In 2031, Mumbai will become the world’s most populous city, with 34 million inhabitants. The challenges this poses for its leaders and residents are beyond measure. Despite this, there is an intoxicating energy and enthusiasm.

The Lunchbox 

Ritesh Batra

Ila, a young woman neglected by her husband, sets out to win him back by preparing a tasty lunch. She then entrusts her lunchbox to the gigantic delivery service that serves every business in Mumbai. In the evening, Ila expects compliments from her husband, but they don’t come. In fact, the lunchbox has accidentally been given to Saajan, a solitary man nearing retirement.

9PM Festival closing at Zélig (UNIL) with screenings and music by Thibault Usel

FilmSLASia is made possible thanks to the support of a number of partners, to whom we extend our warmest thanks:
The Faculty of Arts of the University of Lausanne
The Interface Sciences-Société of the University of Lausanne

Graphic design: Lalita Diekers

Committee 2014: Philippe Bornet, Nadia Cattoni, Kathrin Holz, Nicola Pozza, Noémie Verdon

Visions himalayennes

This first edition was organised in collaboration with the NORLHA association ( Founded in 2005, NORLHA is a not-for-profit, secular and apolitical NGO based in Lausanne (Switzerland), which is committed to improving the living conditions of the most needy people in the Himalayas in a sustainable way.

Valley of Flowers

Himalaya, la terre des femmes

Summer Pasture

The Sari Soldiers

2013 Committee: Nadia Cattoni, Fanny Meyer, Frédéric Richard, Noémie Verdon