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An ominous dream convinces 77-year-old Dayanand Kumar that his end could be near

He takes the news to his son Rajiv, knowing he wants to breathe his last in the holy city of Varanasi and end the cycle of rebirth, by attaining salvation. Being the dutiful son he is, Rajiv, is left with no choice but to drop everything and make the journey with his stubborn father.

Daya and Rajiv check into Mukti Bhawan(Hotel Salvation) in Varanasi, a guesthouse devoted to people to die there. But as the days go by, Rajiv struggles to juggle his responsibilities back home, while Daya starts to bloom in the hotel.

Rajiv gives his father a shot at salvation but as family bonds are tested, he finds himself torn, not knowing what he must do to keep his life together.

  • It's not a dark drama about death but a promising tale of life and relationships

    There's nothing morbid. It's warm and will make people laugh and cry...
    The Times of India

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  • 'Mukti Bhawan' gets standing ovation at Venice Film Festival

    Director Shubhashish Bhutiani, whose film "Mukti Bhawan" recently premiered at the Venice International Film Festival, is overjoyed as it received a 10-minute standing ovation from the audience....
    News X

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  • The work of the Indian Shubhashish Bhutiani is refined and characterized by a great ease

    Hotel Salvation is a film about bonds, of choices, of growth, of self, of love, of fathers and sons with a direct and poetic style whose freshness is unfortunately unknown to much current European cinema...
    Anonima Cinefili

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The Director

Personal Note

The moment I heard about these hotels in Varanasi, I knew I had to go see them for
myself to be able to believe it. I did not know what to expect in a place where
people check themselves in to die.

Surprisingly, these hotels were all so unassuming - all a part of the city, tucked away in a lane, sometimes very hard to find with each having their own set of rules, that
operated like a world in itself. But the real surprise, however, lay in my
conversations with the guests and the stories of the people who live there.

One such story about a son who had to bring his father here for his last days, made
me stop looking at Mukti Bhawan as a setting, but as a place shaped by the
relationships of the people in it. While this could have been a film about any of
the guests at the hotel, Mukti Bhawan is about the impact of this place on one
particular family. It explores this idea of liberation and what that means to
the three different generations, beginning with the patriarch.

Ironically, Mukti Bhawan isn’t a story of death,
but of life and relationships that make us who we are, in a city that sometimes
sees death as part of it’s fabric and sometimes as a celebration.


Shubhashish Bhutiani grew up in a small Himalayan town in India where he attended Woodstock School. After being heavily involved in theatre he transitioned from acting to writing/directing and went to learn filmmaking at the School of Visual Arts in New York. His thesis film, Kush,
premiered at the 70th Venice International Film Festival where it won the Orizzonti Prize for Best Short Film. Kush was shortlisted at the 2014 Academy Awards and has won over 25 awards all over the globe.

Screening Schedule

Film Festival 1
Time | Date
Film Festival 2
Time | Date
Film Festival 3
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Film Festival 4
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Cast & Crew


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