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Shiraz: A Romance of India with Anoushka Shankar

Part of Anoushka Shankar

Be transported to India at a screening of an epic silent film, accompanied by a live score composed and performed by sitarist Anoushka Shankar.

A lavish spectacle with a cast of thousands, Shiraz: A Romance of India was shot entirely on location in India and released in 1928. It is the tale of a great love: the fictionalised backstory behind India’s most iconic building, the Taj Mahal, the monument built by a Moghul emperor in the memory of his beloved queen.

Six-time grammy-nominated sitar player and composer Shankar, the daughter and pupil of the legendary Ravi Shankar, has written a score that echoes the magnificence of the Taj Mahal in its stunning virtuosity.

The film has been restored to its former glory by the BFI National Archive, and the score was specially commissioned by the BFI in 2017 in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the creation of India and Pakistan in 1947 as part of BFI’s India on Film programme and the UK-India Year of Culture, supported by the British Council.

Based on Niranjan Pal’s original play, the film follows the story of Shiraz, son of a village potter, who rescues a baby girl. Unknown to all, the girl, Selima, is of royal descent. As the two grow up, Shiraz falls in love with Selima and devotes himself to protecting her – even if it costs him his life.

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Royal Festival Hall


£25 - £35
Booking fee: £3.00 (Members £0.00)
£25, £30, £35


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New trailer for Shiraz: A Romance of India I BFI