Asian Pop-Up Cinema: SHANKAR'S FAIRIES (2021) : Block Museum - Northwestern University
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Asian Pop-Up Cinema: SHANKAR'S FAIRIES (2021) 

A young girl on a swing with green foliage in the background
5:30 PM

Event Details

Date & Time:

Wed April 10, 2024
5:30 PM


The Block Museum of Art
40 Arts Circle Drive
Evanston, IL 60208


Open to the public


Asian Pop-Up Cinema: SHANKAR'S FAIRIES (2021) 

With director Irfana Majumdar and Columbia College Associate Professor Ron Falzone

SHANKAR’S FAIRIES (Irfana Majumdar, 2021, 93 MIN, DCP, India)

Please note early start time of 5:30 PM



Drawing on her mother’s childhood experiences, Irfana Majumdar’s poignant directorial debut SHANKAR’S FAIRIES tells the tale of an unlikely friendship between a young girl and her family’s domestic worker while shedding light on personal experiences of the caste system in a newly independent India. Set in 1962, the film focuses on Shankar (Jaihind Kumar), a servant in a strictly stratified household headed by a retired government official and his wife. Their daughter, Anjana (Shreeja Mishra), though, forges a close bond with Shankar, who beguiles her with stories and sees in her a reminder of his own daughter, who he is separated from. Family is at the heart of the film’s story and this intimacy pervades Majumdar’s beautiful and delicate film that the Locarno Film Festival says is “a sensitive tale of tales, a story of listening to stories and learning to see beyond them.”

“SHANKAR’S FAIRIES is an absolutely stunning piece of filmmaking, a detailed and beautiful ode to the art of telling stories and the value of learning about the world through these small but significant encounters.” - International Cinephile Society

Irfana Majumdar is the founding Artistic Director of the NIRMAN Theatre and Film Studio in Varanasi, India. She studied Performance at the University of Chicago, and has been awarded fellowships for her commitment to themes of social justice and process of collaborative creation. She now directs and teaches, creates solo performances, and programs annual arts events, residencies, and internships. At NIRMAN’s International Education Program, she teaches and mentors undergraduate and post-graduate students. She also leads the vision committee for the development of NIRMAN’s riverside campus, which is a site of arts, education, research, and environmental change. She has directed three documentaries. SHANKAR’S FAIRIES is her debut feature.

Ron Falzone is an award-winning screenwriter and associate professor in Directing and Cinema Studies in Cinema and Television Arts at Columbia College Chicago. 

Asian Pop-Up Cinema at the Block Museum

Asian Pop-Up Cinema, founded in 2015, is an annual Asian Film Festival dedicated to “bridging east and west through cinema.”

In collaboration with the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at Northwestern University, Asian Pop-Up Cinema brings four films from China, India, Japan, and South Korea respectively to Block Cinema. This new program features films reflecting on contemporary social issues and fostering a shared appreciation for Asian art and culture. 

This initiative is made possible through the generous support of Northwestern University’s Block Museum of the Art, Buffett Institute for Global Affairs, WCAS Language Resource Center, the Council on Language Instruction, as well as the Simeon Leland Forum.  

Ticketing Note from Asian Pop-Up Cinema: For free screening ticket holders, seats on the day of the screening are subject to availability on a first-come, first-serve basis. Any unclaimed seats will be released 15 minutes prior to showtime.

Shankar's Fairies (India) Excerpt from Asian Pop-Up Cinema on Vimeo.

Contact The Block Museum of Art for more information: (847) 491-4000 or email us at