The Cinema Travellers – Oct. 13

The Bozeman Doc Series returns for another season of the year’s best documentaries on Thursday, October 13th, at the Emerson Center with the Montana premiere of the award-winning documentary, The Cinema Travellers.

For more than seven decades, touring trucks weighed down with massive film projectors and theater tents have traveled dusty backroads to bring the magic of the movies to India’s remote villages. In the darkness of the cinema tent, villagers have been transported to faraway lands, enchanted by ancient mythological adventures, and dazzled by the brilliant color and music of Bollywood. Though embraced by the villagers for years, with the rise of television and digital technology, the touring cinemas now struggle to stay afloat.

A gorgeously shot, colorful tour of India’s countryside villages, The Cinema Travellers follows three men determined to keep the magic and tradition of the touring cinemas alive. Mohammed, an ambitious young man struggling to provide for his family, battles with an ancient projector as he tries everything to attract crowds at India’s chaotic rural fairs. Bapu, a kind-hearted man who has traveled the circuit for years, carries on despite his dilapidated truck and dwindling crowds, the looks of amazement on the faces of the children, who attend his shows for free, enough to keep him going. Away from the bustle, Prakash, a wizened projector mechanic and lifelong lover of the movies, toils away to single handedly repair all the cinema projectors of foreign make that have made their way to rural India. He waits for customers even as the murmurs of digital technology grow louder in the touring cinemas.

Capturing the lives of these men and their patrons with great warmth and humor, The Cinema Travellers is a beautiful ode to the love of movies.

The Cinema Travellers world-premiered at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, where it won a Special Jury Prize. The film arrives in Bozeman one day after its U.S. premiere at the New York Film Festival on October 12th.

The Huffington Post calls the film “a masterpiece”, while Screen Daily declared, “Whatever masterpieces, if any, bow at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, it is likely none will communicate the excitement engendered by movies more headily than The Cinema Travellers.”

Tickets are available at the door or before the show at Cactus Records and Movie Lovers. Tickets are also available online at, where you can also buy Season Passes and 7-film punch cards, learn more about the series, and view trailers for upcoming films. The series will continue on Sunday, October 23rd and continue every other Sunday through Christmas. In January, the series will move to every other Thursday through the spring beginning January 12th. Doors open at 6:30 PM, and the films begin at 7:00.