Channel 4 cancels 2011 Bollywood season

Luck By Chance poster

Luck By Chance, one of the films shown in Channel 4's New Voices season last year

[Update: Channel 4 will have a 2011 Autumn Bollywood season]

UK fans of Indian cinema are going to have a quieter than usual autumn this year following Channel 4’s decision to scrap its traditional season of Bollywood films.

The station has long been British television’s biggest fan of South Asian films, screening around 20 each year, and it saves the bulk of them for its centrepiece autumn season.

Last year this ran to 17 films, ranging from classic Bollywood glitz and glamour ‘masala’ titles to art house pictures from left field directors, but now it seems there will be no more Bollywood on Channel 4 in 2011.

Channel 4 Viewer Enquiries told A Tangle Of Wires: “We did have a Bollywood season in April of this year, however, unfortunately we are not aware of any plans to have one in the autumn.”

The films shown in April included the Aamir Khan blockbuster comedy 3 Idiots, and just three others.

Yet in 2008 Channel 4’s public service ‘blue print’ Next On Four outlined its “substantial and long-term commitment to Asian-language cinema” as part of its public service role.

Channel 4 did not respond when asked whether the cancelation of its Bollywood season represented the end of this Asian-language cinema commitment.

So, failing the translation of this commitment to a run of Kurosawa films, there’s always YouTube, which began hosting full length Indian films in 2009.

And looking beyond this autumn, Channel 4 presumably still has the rights to Kaminey, Wake Up Sid and Kurbaan, acquired as part of its syndication deal with UTV Motion Pictures two years ago.


5 responses to “Channel 4 cancels 2011 Bollywood season

  1. Wow not happy at the thought of this being cancelled had been really looking forward to my bollywood fix such a shame!!!!!!

    • Same here 😦

      I have asked Channel 4’s press department whether there will be any more Bollywood films on later this year, but have no answer so far. I’ll post about it if I do of course.

  2. Update on 03/10/2011 – Love Aaj Kal was on Channel 4 on Saturday night at 0.45 and tonight shows Love Sex Aur Dhoka at 01.30am so keep an eye out, looks like they are showing some films (though not sure if these are premieres or re-runs!)

  3. Yes, have bookmarked that page, very excited that Udaan will be on as I have yet to see that and the Dev Anand film season looks a treat too!

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