Amar Singh Chamkila: Where Was the Netflix Movie Filmed?

‘Amar Singh Chamkila’ chronicles the extraordinary tale of Amar Singh Chamkila, a folk musician who pushes the boundaries and scope of songs in 1980s North India, becoming a trailblazer for the present-day juggernaut of the Punjabi music industry. Amar Singh (Diljit Dosanjh) is a millworker with a passion for music and jumps at the opportunity to perform with a troupe of musicians visiting the village. Becoming a favorite of the crowd with his boisterous performances, Amar Singh is unwittingly given the stage name Chamkila (one who shines). As he begins to understand the tastes of his audience, he writes songs reflecting the everyday societal realities of village life, from alcohol abuse to extramarital affairs.

Chamkila’s work is well received by the masses and catapults him to fame. His partnership with a promising young singer, Amarjot Kaur, makes him even more popular. However, not everyone appreciates his bold songs, and he faces severe backlash from more conservative elements of society. Directed by Imtiaz Ali and based on the true story of Amar Singh Chamkila, the Netflix musical biopic takes us back in time to 1980s rural Punjab, immersing us in the life of Amar Singh, from his humble beginnings to his astronomical rise to stardom.

Amar Singh Chamkila Filming Locations

Shooting for ‘Amar Singh Chamkila’ was largely carried out on location in the exact Indian neighborhoods where the real-life singer rose to fame, with a few scenes being shot at a studio in the city of Mumbai. Principal photography was carried out between December 2022 and March 2023. The rural shooting locations included Khiala, Chural Kalaan, Sarao, Hathan, and Mehsampur.

The production team also visited the cities of Sangrur, Jalandhar, and Ludhiana in Punjab. Director Ali was very appreciative of the support provided to the team by the villages and the local administration. “Heartfelt thanks to this blessed land, all the people of Panjab,” he wrote in a social media post. “Unprecedented help in the film shoot – there are no better people than you in the world.”

Ludhiana, India

The film crew ventured to the district of Ludhiana, a burgeoning industrial hub of the state of Punjab, to record sequences within the city and its surrounding villages. This included the village of Dugri, where Chamkila was born. The village is now considered a suburb of Ludhiana but still retains a glimmer of the rural atmosphere prevalent during Chamkila’s time. Some of the village scenes featuring the singer’s rise were also shot in Sarao village, to the east of Ludhiana.

Jalandhar, India

Filming for ‘Amar Singh Chamkila’ was carried out in the district of Jalandhar, neighboring Ludhiana to its northwest. The ancient city is known for its revered temples and gurudwaras featuring historical architecture. The city of Jalandhar is recognized for its contributions to the country’s sports on the global stage, supplying both players and equipment. The film’s cast and crew visited the Khiala and Mehsampur villages around Jalandhar to lens pivotal sequences of the movie.

While exiting his vehicle to perform at a concert, Amar Singh Chamkila was assassinated in Mehsampur on March 8, 1988. To recreate the event for the movie, filming was carried out at the location of that ill-fated concert in Mehsampur. While shooting the assassination scene, actor Diljit Dosanjh fell, and his finger sustained a cut from the instrument he was holding. As his blood dripped onto the ground, Dosanjh felt a connection to the late musician, realizing that was the exact spot where Chamkila’s blood had been spilled.

Sangrur, India

The film crew traveled to the Sangrur district and city, south of Ludhiana in Punjab. Filming was carried out in Chural Kalan and Hathan villages, replicating the 1980s atmosphere with their serene backdrops. Astonishingly, all the movie’s songs, which take place in rural environments and at concerts, were performed live at the filming locations and not in a studio. This turned the film set into a live concert every day while shooting a song.

Mumbai, India

The country’s filmmaking hub of Mumbai in Maharashtra was visited by the film’s cast and crew to capture a few segments of ‘Amar Singh Chamkila.’ During their time in the City of Dreams, the production team likely recorded several scenes for the two original songs in the movie by acclaimed composer A.R. Rahman.

Read More: Is Amar Singh Chamkila Based on a True Story?