About Us

Since January, 2000, SACF has been successfully promoting a positive film culture. We at SACF, have done this by showcasing meaningful cinema from South-Asia. Besides Hindi films, we have showcased regional cinema from India and films and filmmakers from India’s neighbours including Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan. South-Asian cinema not only has distinctive qualities but provide new insights into the life and experience of people from the sub-continent.

What is SACF?

South Asian Cinema Foundation (SACF) is a not-for- profit film organisation open to people of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds.

SACF was set up by Indian Film Historian, critic and former BBC Broadcast Journalist Lalit Mohan Joshi and Cultural Historian and Researcher Dr Kusum Pant Joshi in January 2000 with active support from renowned Indian film archivist, Shri P.K. Nair and British film critic Derek Malcolm.

It has an active group of committed volunteers and has been working collaboratively with organisations in UK such as the British Film Institute (BFI), the Indian High Commission, The Nehru Centre, various British Universities and a network of film lovers and students and teachers of cinema.


SACF has been playing a unique role by:

  • Projecting and highlighting meaningful cinema from the Indian subcontinent.
  • Developing a positive film culture among diverse audiences.
  • Linking cinema with society, politics and local communities in creative ways.
  • Providing a discussion forum for filmmakers/film audiences.
  • Researching/ documenting South Asian film history/ heritage especially in UK.
  • Developing web resources to reach out to a wider audience.
  • Building South Asian film resources and archival material.


SACF has been playing a unique role by:

  • Holds thematic Film Festivals to bring together film audiences from various backgrounds and communities to view and discuss significant films linked to specific themes or film makers. This has helped develop a positive film culture and capacity for film appreciation.
  • Organises special events to pay tribute to notable filmmakers to enable audiences to see their films, interrelate with them and realise the power of the film medium.
  • Periodically produces a thematic journal South Asian Cinema (SAC) where leading film critics and film academics critically analyse and comment on the works of filmmakers, scriptwriters, lyricists, actors and music composers. Subscribers of SAC include film lovers, media students and universities from all over the world.
  • Organises Film Workshops and discussions on current issues and cinema.
  • Holds the Dada Saheb Phalke Memorial lecture on cinema.

Special Achievements

Events / Lectures & Festivals

In December 2018 – SACF was awarded a grant by the Heritage Lottery Fund, UK. It is titled: Selective Inclusion: African & Asian Celebrities in London’s ‘Vanity Fair’ magazine (1868-1914).

2013/2014 – SACF managed a Heritage Project with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund titled: Indo-British Collaboration in UK: A Hidden Heritage (1930 -1951)

2013 – Filmmaker/ Music Director Vishal Bhardwaj Honoured in London with SACF’s Excellence in Cinema Award.

2012 – SACF honoured filmmaker Shyam Bengal with Excellence in Cinema at the BFI. SACF also organised Dada Saheb Phalke Lecture by Shyam Benegal on Independent Indian Cinema at the Nehru Centre.

2011 – SACF was awarded a Heritage Lottery Grant to run a project: Indo-British Collaboration in UK, Niranjan Pal: A Forgotten Legend (1908-1929) to highlight the life and work in UK of film legend Niranjan Pal. SACF produced/published a book containing the autobiography of Niranjan Pal and a documentary on Niranjan Pal.

2010 – SACF honoured filmmaker, lyricist, screenwriter Gulzar with Excellence in Cinema. Also held, Phalke Memorial Lecture by Raza Ali Abidi at the Nehru Centre.

2010 – First ever Festival of Gulzar Films in London.

2009 – Filmmaker from Karnataka, Girish Kasaravalli Honoured with Excellence in Cinema Award at the Nehru Centre. Phalke Memorial Lecture by Dr Gautam Sachdev at The University of Westminster.

2009 – SACF held the first ever Festival of Girish Kasaravalli Films in London.

2008 – Filmmaker Saeed Akhtar Mirza Honoured with Excellence in Cinema Award at the Nehru Centre. Phalke Memorial Lecture by Saeed A. Mirza at The University of Westminster.

2008 – SACF held the first ever Festival of Saeed Akhtar Mirza Films in London.

2007 – SACF held the first ever Cinema of Independence Festival.

2006 - SACF produced and screened their seminal documentary film: "Beyond Partition" (2006).

2006 - SACF Honoured filmmaker from Kerala, Adoor Gopalakrishnan. Also held the first ever Retrospective of the Films of Adoor Gopalakrishnan at London’s Nehru Centre.

2005 - Partition Films Festival (2005) held by SACF in London.

2004 - SACF Honoured filmmaker M.S. Sathyu. Phalke Memorial Lecture by MS Sathyu at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan.

2003 - SACF organised the First Dada Saheb Phalke Memorial Lecture by veteran film archivist, PK Nair.

Some SACF Partners