Desiring Bollywood

Desiring Bollywood by Gabriel Dattatreyan in collaboration with Jesse Shipley & Olamilekan Akanbi Jason

Desiring Bollywood is a collaborative project that depicts a fictionalized account of a true story. The project, based on a screenplay by Ola Jason, will recreate his experiences in India through improvisational theatre techniques. The story centres on Ola Jason’s time in Delhi as a Nigerian film student who, despite various challenges, has become a successful actor in Indian cinema.

About the Artists:

Dr. E. Gabriel Dattatreyan currently teaches in the Anthropology Department, Goldsmiths, University of London. His work explores the ways young people living in urban India articulate their aspirations and desires for the good life through popular culture consumption and social media circulation. In addition to his film and multimedia work, he has authored several articles and has a book in contract titledThe Globally Familiar: Digital hip hop and difference in Delhi, India. He is currently part of a month-long residency at TIFA Working Studios on a British Academy supported project to research the cinematic cultural connections between India and postcolonial nations in Africa.

Jesse Weaver Shipley is an artist, filmmaker, and ethnographer who explores the links between aesthetics and politics across genres. His visual, sonic, and written work focuses on artistic production in the midst of changing political and economic regimes. He has worked in Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Britain, and the United States focusing on the complex realities of urban life, labor, race, gender, mobility, and new media technologies. He is the author of two books Living the Hiplife: Celebrity and Entrepreneurship in Ghanaian Popular Music and Trickster Theatre: The Poetics of Freedom in Urban Africa and a number of films, articles, and multimedia artworks. He is currently thinking through erasure, revolution, and political violence.

Olamilekan Mohammed Akanbi Ojora, known as Ola Jason, is a Nigerian actor who currently lives in Delhi, India. Before moving to India, he worked in the burgeoning Nigerian film industry, playing roles in the Woman Wrapper (2000), Bridesmaids (2000), Super Story (2002), The Begotten (2003), King of my Village (2004), and the Face of Deceit (2004), to name a few. Since moving to India he has acted in Dangal (2015), Carry on Kesar (2016), Raagdesh (2017), Singam 3 (2017), Sold (Yet to be released), and the Accidental Prime Minister (Yet to be released).  One day Jason hopes to make his Hollywood debut. He is committed to carrying forward his success by helping the people around him.


Chidu Ukaegbu, Shyam Kishore, Deepak Bende, Ana Ilundy Mula, Ashwini Dasgupta, Isha Pungaliya, Myra Pawar, Mahesh Ramanathan, Rushikesh Subbanwad, Tanmayee Ambekar, Anuj Nakade, Meryl Muhirwa, Nuno Moura, Ereualdo Manhique, Gilberto Miguel, Rupinder Kaur, Nino Atsuah, Mario Sevene, Sunil Gore, Mohan Chavan, Raghunath Soni, Bhagwan Gawli, Charles Welling and Karan Ahuja.