Community cinema raises awareness on social causes - GulfToday

Community cinema raises awareness on social causes


Loco’motion Community Cinema screens meaningful, educational and inspiring movies.

Manjula Ramakrishnan

Vikas Punjabi, the Dubai-based founder of Loco’Motion Community Cinema, is a man on a mission to change the world. A nine-year successful stint with a leading airline in Dubai still did not give him a comprehensive meaning to life.

“There is so much more to life than amassing wealth. People are so engrossed in this activity that they forget to step back and re-look at their lives. When I quit my job in 2008, I travelled widely, until my return back to UAE in 2013, a different and determined man, wanting to bring about a collective consciousness in the civil society.”

Here is how Vikas set out to do this

What prompted you to launch Loco’Motion and what is the initiative all about?

I left Dubai in 2008 and returned in 2013. I travelled extensively during that period, was deep into reflection and soul-searching. On returning to Dubai, I wanted to do something more meaningful, instil a sense of community and inspire people towards living more consciously.

And so came about Loco’motion Community Cinema, for fostering a sense of community, empowering residents, raising awareness on social causes and shared human values, and elevating consciousness though meaningful, educational and inspiring content.

Why did you choose films as the preferred medium to connect to people?

Films are the most powerful of all art forms; it can make you smile, cry, feel anxious, even make you jump from your seat and scream! Films can engage with its audience emotionally, elevate their soul and inspire them to act on their desires. This is why I was convinced films would establish an instant connect with the civil society. 

Who is your typical audience?

All our screenings are family-friendly, so the audience is the community at large. I like to believe there are quite a few people out there who are over mainstream media and would like to watch something more meaningful, thought provoking and inspiring. Following our screening, we generally have a discussion on the topic of the film, which some people enjoy to participate in, whilst others love to observe!

As an activist are you a satisfied person today about what you set out to do? 

Perhaps… though I do believe we are all activists in our own way.

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