Gangubai Kathiawadi

Young Ganga is tricked by her boyfriend with the promise of a film career and persuaded to leave the countryside for Mumbai. Once there, she is sold to a brothel in Kamathipura – India’s main red-light district in the 1950s – where her resistance is broken and she is coerced into servicing clients. But Ganga’s rebellious spirit endures. She may have no choice but to accept her circumstances but she can at least bend them in her favour. She becomes the feared Gangubai, champion of prostitutes who, allied with the neighbourhood Mafiosi boss, will be the first woman to raise her voice to advocate for the rights of sex workers’ and their children. Her path of emancipation and courage in a profoundly chauvinistic and narrow-minded society leads to an encounter with Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of independent India.
Based on S. Hussain Zaidi’s book “Mafia Queens of Mumbai”, and with superstars Ajay Devgn in the role of the boss and Alia Bhatt bringing her unforgettable all-singing, all-dancing rendition of Gangubai to life, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s lavish blockbuster is an invitation to go back and enjoy cinema in a packed theatre on the largest screen possible, and get swept away by the images, music and passion.
by Sanjay Leela Bhansali
with Alia Bhatt, Ajay Devgn
India 2021 Hindi 152’ Colour World premiere


  • Alia Bhatt (Gangubai)
  • Ajay Devgn (Rahim Lala)


Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Screenplay Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Utkarshini Vashishtha
Dialogue Utkarshini Vashishtha, Prakash Kapadia
Cinematography Sudeep Chatterjee
Editing Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Music Sanjay Leela Bhansali (Songs), Sanchit Balhara & Ankit Balhara (Score)
Sound Design Sanal George
Production Design Subrata Chakraborty, Amit Ray
Costumes Sheetal Iqbal Sharma
Make-Up Preetisheel Singh D'souza
Assistant Director Anisha Shetty
Casting Shruti Mahajan
Choreography Kruti Mahesh
Producers Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Jayantilal Gada
Executive Producer Arvinder Shagmer Gill
Co-Producers Prerna Singh, Dhaval Gada, Aksshay Gada, Reshmaa Kadakia
Associate Producer Chetan Vaishali Deolekar

Sanjay Leela Bhansali

The Indian filmmaker, screenwriter, composer, editor and producer has won numerous prizes during a career spanning three decades, this includes winning the Indian National Film Award five times. His novel adaptation Devdas premiered at Cannes in 2002; in 2008 he produced the opera “Padmavati” at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. He has been composing the music for his own films since 2010 and is also a successful producer with his company Bhansali Productions.


1996 Khamoshi 1999 Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam 2002 Devdas 2005 Black 2007 Saawariya 2010 Guzaarish 2013 Ram Leela 2015 Bajirao Mastani 2018 Padmaavat 2021 Gangubai Kathiawadi

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2022