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Presented by FD Zone London, a collaboration between the Westminster School of Media, Arts and Design, University of Westminster, and the Films Division, Government of India, in conjunction with London Asian Film Festival.

In this stunning documentary, Cities of Sleep, first-time filmmaker Shaunak Sen takes us into a world of insurgent sleeper communities and the infamous ‘sleep mafia’ in Delhi, where securing a safe sleeping spot often becomes a question of life and death: “the difference between public and private property is sleep”. It trails the lives of two men, Shakeel, a renegade homeless sleeper, and Ranjeet, a sleep entrepreneur who runs a ‘sleep-cinema’ community under Loha bridge. Both observational documentary and a philosophical exploration of sleep inspired by the ideas of Jacques Ranciere, this multi-award-winning film draws on three years of research in streets and night shelters. The film has been enthusiastically reviewed and the filmmaker will be present by Skype for a Q&A discussion after the screening, moderated by Professor Rosie Thomas, Director of Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media (CREAM), University of Westminster. Read's review of Cities of Sleep. 

Awards won include:

  • Best Documentary at Seattle South Asian Film Festival 2016
  • Best Documentary at River to River Florence Indian Film Festival 2016
  • Best Documentary at New York Indian Film Festival 2016
  • Next Generation Best Debut Director at Taiwan International Documentary Festival 2016.
  • Asian Film Festival list of “Asian Films you cannot miss from 2016”​


The event is free to attend but pre-booking is essential. 

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About FD-zone London 

FD-zone London is a collaboration between the Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media (CREAM) at the University of Westminster and the Films Division, Government of India. Established in 1948, Films Division India is one of the largest documentary, experimental and short film-producing units in the world. It has an archive of more than 8000 titles, which chronicle the story of independent India through diverse narratives. FD-zone London will bring this archive into conversation with contemporary independent films through a programme of regular screenings and discussions curated by film scholars. ​​