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Date & Time

Monday Mon, 12 Aug 2019



Bangalore International Centre
7, 4th Main Road, Domlur II Stage
Bangalore, Karnataka 560071 India

Shabana Azmi speaks about her father; Poetry reading – 6:00 pm

Film Screening (Director – Sumantra Ghosal will be there) – 6:30pm

Guftagu with Shabana Azmi and Aakar Patel – 8:00pm 

In this, the centenary year of one of Urdu literature’s brightest stars, Kaifi Azmi, a shayar, a rebel, a writer and a lyricist who has given the Hindi film industry some of its most iconic songs, BIC in collaboration with MAP, celebrates Kaifisaab with his daughter Shabana Azmi, in an evening of poetry, storytelling and guftagu

His life however went beyond literature. “…poetry was but one part of Kaifisaab’s passions. His principle passion was life itself. Kaifi Azmi lived and loved at the cusp of Independence when there was a superb gathering of literary talent concentrated in one vibrant city. And so, to my joy, a larger story – of camaraderie, of nationalism, of idealism, of social commitment – emerged. A story made more poignant by where we are poised today as a nation”  Sumantra Ghosal, director of Kaifinama.

The evening will commence with Shabana talking about her father with some poetry readings in Urdu and English. The story of his life and art will be told by the eloquently made documentary film Kaifinama directed by Sumantra Ghosal. Subsequently, Aakar Patel will be in conversation with both of them. 


90 minutes | B&W and Colour | India

Produced by Mijwan Welfare Society A Cinematic Production
Directed by Sumantra Ghosal

Kaifinama looks at the life and art of the Urdu Progressive poet Kaifi Azmi. Kaifi Azmi was both a poet for social change as well as one of the foremost lyricists in the Hindi film industry. Not content to limit himself to fine writing, he worked ceaselessly throughout his life as a catalyst for change among the disenfranchised. 

The film looks at his small-town roots, his commitment to socialism, his wide- ranging body of work and the enormous changes he brought to the life of the village where he was born. 

This extraordinary journey is documented through extensive interviews with him and his wife Shaukat Kaifi as well as insights from his children – Shabana and Baba Azmi – and reminiscences by his friends and colleagues. 

Kaifinama thus is both the definitive film biography of Kaifi Azmi and a history of the times he illuminated with his genius. 

About MAP:

The Museum of Art & Photography (MAP) is a world-class museum set to open in the latter end of 2020 in the heart of Bangalore’s museum district on Kasturba Road. MAP is custodian to a growing collection of over 18,000 artworks predominantly from the subcontinent and dating from the 12th century to the present and has been organised into six key departments: Modern & Contemporary Art, Photography, Folk & Tribal Art, Popular Culture, Pre-Modern Art and Textiles, Craft & Design.

While the museum’s physical space is being built, MAP is carrying out its mission through a variety of programmes and projects, including loans, exhibitions, educational workshops and lectures.

For more information, visit: www.map-india.org


Shabana Azmi


Shabana Azmi, actor, activist, and daughter of Kaifi Azmi, studied film at FTII, Pune and went on to become a leading actor, first in the parallel and new-wave cinema movement in India, playing progressive female roles in iconic films of the arthouse genre of neo-realistic films by leading directors, before becoming a nationally and internationally known star, doing films in several Indian languages and many foreign films as well. She has won innumerable film awards including a record 5 National Awards, 5 Filmfare awards and several international honours. She was also honoured among leading Indian “women in cinema” at the 30th International Film Festival of India and in 1988, the Government of India awarded her with a Padma Shri.

She is also a women’s rights and human rights activist and along with her husband, poet and lyricist  Javed Akhtar, is a leading voice in many causes and secular movements in the country. She is a Goodwill Ambassador of the UN Population Fund and in appreciation of all her work the President of India nominated her to the Rajya Sabha.

Sumantra Ghosal


Sumantra Ghosal spent the better part of his life making advertising films for his companies Cinematix and Equinox. Now, he makes documentaries.

Noteworthy among his several films on the arts are the two feature-length films: “The Speaking Hand” (on the tabla maestro Zakir Hussain) and “The Unseen Sequence” (on the Bharatanatyam dancer Malavika Sarukkai).

In 2017, Sumantra completed “The Space Between The Notes” – a documentary on a concert by Zakir Hussain and Niladri Kumar. He also served as creative collaborator with Malavika Sarukkai and wrote the poems for the full-length dance project “Thari – The Loom”.

His most recent work is “Kaifinama” – a full-length documentary film to commemorate the birth centenary of the Urdu poet Kaifi Azmi.

Aakar Patel


Aakar Patel is currently the Executive Director of Amnesty International India and a well-known columnist.