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India’s Incredibly Cool Hand-Drawn Movie Posters

Ramachandraiah prints movie posters for a living. He’s done it ever since 1971, when he bought an ancient lithograph press. He keeps it in a factory north of Bangalore, far from the English town where it was built 111 years ago.

Most movie posters here are lavish. They’re digitally-printed, full-color, and reach up to 30 feet long.

Ramachandraiah’s posters aren’t.

His are five-color, hand-drawn, and measure just 20 inches by 30 inches. They’re printed on thin paper, and illegally slapped up on building sites and highway overpasses late at night. They cost pennies to print. And they’re absolutely gorgeous.

In his small store-front, filled with shrines to a famous Kannada actor, Ramachandraiah sat me down with a tiny cup of coffee, and plucked two biscuits from a package.

“You must dip them,” he said, miming a biccie-dunk. “Now tell me what you want!”

It had taken me a month to track his shop down. I’d finally found it, hidden in a maze-like neighborhood of local movie theaters and one-shop film distributors.

I wanted copies of the posters — all of them — especially the American ones.

But more than that, I wanted my own poster. I wanted to commission one. (See the sweet new batch of Indian film posters at this more recent post.)

“Okay, okay, drink your coffee,” he said. “We will discuss.”

Outside on the sidewalk, the artist Raju set aside the poster he’d just finished for a Hindi-dubbed 3D run of Underworld: Awakening. He immediately started on another. Raju draws a poster every three hours. In a week, he creates campaigns for dozens of movies.

He traces movie stills or posters, or ads from the paper. Sometimes he just eyeballs other flyers for the same films. And I love the drama, the movement, the passion that he’d capture in his posters. I also loved the color. From one print to the next, it changes as the litho inks mix and combine.

The poster I most wanted was for Poultrygeist, the fowl gross-out musical I made a decade ago with my childhood hero Lloyd Kaufman. I wanted a Kannada original.

“What does Poultrygeist mean,” Ramachandraiah asked.

“Poultry means chicken,” said Raju.

“Yes, but cock? Or hen? And what is this geist? Like ghost? Or geist?”

Ramachandraiah pulled out an old dictionary, and started leafing through it. Raju flipped through a collection of printed publicity stills I’d brought. They argued about which ones would work best.

“Is there a Kannada title,” Ramachandraiah asked, quickly penning one in the local script. He pointed to each word as he translated it. “Night. Chicken. Ghost.

– –

A week later, I returned. The hundred posters were shoved in a corner, rolled up in a tight pile. Again, Ramachandraiah sat me down with a small cup of coffee and two biscuits, while his son unrolled the package.

“Dip the biscuits,” he urged.

His son held up the top poster.

“What do you think? Do you like it?”

I loved it.

I loved it so much, I ordered more. I couldn’t resist commissioning posters for some of my favorite other movies. (Check back in a week to see how they come out! Here’s a hint: Peter Lorre, Nicholas Cage, Orson Welles, Jessica Harper and Molly Ringwald.)

What movies would you choose? What stills would work best for this? And let me know if you’d like one.

Here are some more of Raju and Ramachandraiah’s wonderful ad campaigns…

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118 thoughts on “India’s Incredibly Cool Hand-Drawn Movie Posters

  1. http://Caleb%20Emerson

    Carl Jr. Needs posters!

  2. http://Gabe%20Friedman

    How cool is this?? You gotta send me a copy!

  3. http://MJ

    I’d love one! Truth be told, I’ve written a book and would love to have a poster made of it in that style! Let me know if something can be worked out.

  4. http://TromaRon

    That’s awesome! I need one!

  5. http://Ruth%20Phelps

    Red Lobster would love to have one too! 🙂 Great work!

  6. http://Dan%20Bova

    I would kill Gabe Friedman twice for that Poultrygeist poster!

    1. http://Gabe%20Friedman


  7. andy, arsenio and i would LOVE one!

  8. http://Van%20Man

    yes, please. one for me, thanks!

  9. how do we get a poultrygeist?

  10. http://Jeremy

    Oh man, I definitely want one!

  11. http://Aaron

    Bro, It all makes sense now. Yes, I’d love one!!!

  12. Lloyd/Troma would like to purchase 4! Please contact me,, with details. Thanks!

  13. […] India’s Incredible Hand-Drawn Movie Posters (Asia Obscura) […]

  14. I would order a bunch of those! Contact me for a list of posters. 😉

    Tanks for posting this! Simply awsome!

  15. http://Kevin%20Noble%20Hellon

    He’s wonderful!

    I would gladly purchase one.

  16. I honestly love all of them… Especially the Harry Potter and the one with the woman bleeding from her head with her fist up.

    I would order any and all that he offered. Want. No, sorry—need. Let me know if we can somehow get in touch with him.

  17. But, to follow up, I’d love to see (and buy) any of these poster-ed:

    The Royal Tenenbaums
    Sunset Boulevard
    Clockwork Orange
    Annie Hall
    Fight Club
    The Breakfast Club
    Bill Cunningham New York
    Office Space

    1. http://Dean%20Pickles

      Oh, those would be fantastic! I’d love to see how a young Woody Allen would translate into one of these! And any noir film, I think would be just fantastic. (Sunset Boulevard could be perfect… the vampy climactic staircase-descent?!) They’re doing a 16 Candles poster right now… I’m still waiting for pix of it (and to get back to Bangalore to get my hands on it and the others… just three weeks!) What image would you use from Royal Tenenbaums, tho??? And how about a Dating Brian poster? ;P

      1. http://Gabe%20Friedman


        You HAVE to get them to do a “Poultry in Motion”.

        1. http://Dean%20Pickles

          I almost did… but do I really want a poster of Lloyd Kaufman’s beaked face on my wall? Sheesh….

  18. http://jose%20galvez

    How can I get one these are AWESOME!

  19. http://bork

    Somebody get this guy an Etsy store.

    In any case, if anyone’s putting together orders with him, please email me – I’d love to buy one.

  20. http://Jay

    Gorgeous! I’d love one!

  21. http://ccw

    those are incredible, how can i get one?

  22. Poultrygeist for me !!!!

  23. http://M3%20Sweatt

    Those are brilliant. Very interested in getting a couple of these. Details?

  24. http://Steve

    Damn right, I want one! No, two! Damn right!

  25. […] it in a factory north of Bangalore, far from the English town where it was built 111 years ago.Via Share this:TwitterFacebookTumblrLinkedInDiggLike this:LikeBe the first to like this […]

  26. http://Darren%20Reed

    Would love one of Poultrygeist! Let me know what you need from me.. Thanks!

  27. http://Aubrey

    Love this! How can we purchase?

  28. http://Ross

    Please email me if there is a way to buy these posters. They are awesome

  29. http://Maya

    Wow! These look gorgeous. Would make for an excellent gift for a friend. I live in Bangalore. Dean – could you please share Ramachandraiah’s contact number/address with me. Thanks.

  30. http://Kiran%20Koduru

    Thats some fascinating work there . And 3hours on one poster , damn !

  31. I need one of these posters in my life!!!! The Sixteen Candles one is breathtaking. I would also love to see and buy one of the following:

    The Muppet Movie
    Breakfast Club
    Royal Tenenbaums
    The Hunger Games (I know it’s not out yet!)
    Empire Records

    I am 100% serious about buying copies of these amazing posters!

    1. http://Dean%20Pickles

      What images would you use? Especially for Breakfast Club and Royal Tenenbaums??

  32. And for Hunger Games, which is out in March and will be amazing:

  33. Want want want. Let me know how I can buy one.

  34. http://Sidharth%20Bhatia

    would love to get one done.

  35. http://brian%20trifilio

    amazing stuff– would love to get one shipped to us and would gladly pay– let me know ! thanks

  36. http://Caroline%20Greenway

    Stunning, if they’re for sale I’d buy one.

  37. http://Jay%20Bowser

    Wow, I would absolutely love one! Of really any movie, I’m not picky at all! But a genuine Bollywood film poster would be super sweet. If these are being sold, count me in.

  38. http://John%20S

    Great post, I would like to commission and purchase some as well!
    You can reach me at

    Thanks a bunch! -John

  39. http://Raghav

    Hi, would love to get a few. Do contact for a list. Cheers!

  40. http://chaitanya

    many have found them wonderful here but the streets don’t look good when they are pasted. and i live in bangalore. i want them to be removed

    1. http://Dean%20Pickles

      I’ll see what I can do about getting them sent away, overseas!!! ;P Sorry… I understand how you might feel. But at the same time, they’re so absolutely unique and gorgeous!

  41. http://Matt%20Smith-Johnson

    I’d love one for “Uncle Buck”

    John Candy FTW!

    1. http://Dean%20Pickles

      Now +that’s+ a brilliant idea!

  42. http://Eric

    Would LOVE a Poultrygeist poster and any others you could send. let me know how I can pay and if this is possible. thanks so much.

  43. […] Pickles” of Asia Obscura came across a factory north of Bangalore, where a man called Ramachandraiah prints movie posters […]

  44. http://Travis

    Yay! These are great! I’d love to get a hold of one of these!

  45. http://Pooja%20Pande

    Ghost Protocol, please. And Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. How?

    1. http://Dean%20Pickles

      Aiii… I wish I had more Ghost Protocols! Eternal Sunshine is a great idea — what image would you use???

      1. http://Pooja%20Pande

        Thanks, Dean! The iconic one, of course! Also, how could I buy one?

          1. http://Dean%20Pickles

            Oh yeah — that would be great!

  46. http://gredaline

    Thanks so much for posting these! I worked in Bangalore for a year and loved seeing the new posters every week on my commute to work. So happy to see images of more of them and find out who makes them. I have photos of a few more on my flickr feed too.

    1. http://Dean%20Pickles

      Those ones on your flickr feed are great!!! I love the all-blue Mummy 3, and I had NO IDEA there was a Keanu Reeves remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still. Yowza!!!

  47. http://Shawn

    I would LOVE one! Great post.

  48. Why not commission an ‘Asia Obscura – The Movie’ poster?

  49. […] India’s Incredibly Cool Hand-Drawn Movie Posters – These are awesome!  Done by a Bangalore-based artist. […]

  50. […] upon this fantastic site. It’s about the lost art of making hand-drawn movie posters in India. Check it out. There are Hollywood movie posters as […]

  51. http://Kent%20Didlio

    How do I get a poultrygeist, third man or M poster?

    1. http://Dean%20Pickles

      I’ll be posting some info in the next few days — still working out shipping. (Can’t even find cardboard tubes for sale in Beijing… hoping that I can find some in Bangalore and start taking orders next week, instead.)

      1. http://Kent%20Didlio


  52. http://Ruth%20Phelps

    Thank you, Andy!

  53. http://Reshma

    I would love to purchase one. Please mail me the details.

  54. Fantastic work. I’d love one!

  55. http://Jyothin


    Nice article and awesome find… could you please share Ramachandraiah’s contact number/address with me?


  56. http://Nisha

    These are so amaaazing! Could I purchase one that’s made to order please? Already have a spot marked out for it at home and everything!!

    1. http://Dean%20Pickles

      Glad you like them! Sadly, we only have what’s in our store

  57. http://Hannah

    I love seeing his posters around Bangalore and I love your cult classic series. Great project. Is there any way to buy a couple of them from you locally — without having them shipped from China?

    1. http://Dean%20Pickles

      Sure! We’ll actually be back in town next week. It might cost you the price of a coffee, tho! ;P

  58. http://Michael%20L.

    These are truly amazing posters.
    Can we commission other posters to the artist? Are you the middle-man for that?
    I have titles I’d really love to see done by him.
    Jacques Tati films (Jour de fete/ My Uncle/ Mr Hulot’s holidays) any of these
    Andrei Tarkovsky films (Stalker / Solaris)
    Frankenstein (original James Whale movie with Boris Karloff)
    Godard films (A bout de souffle/ Alphaville/ Pierrot le fou)
    Melville films (Le Samourai)
    Among other…

    besides, can you contact me on my email Dean, so that I can order a batch of several posters directly from you?

    1. http://Dean%20Pickles

      I’m not a middleman, but I might get more done…. those are some amazing ideas (and I’d been thinking about a New Wave series — lots of Antione Doinel… ;P ) M. Hulot would be fantastic, as well…

      You can order the existing posters from, although I’ll be shutting the store down for two weeks, in about 48 hours. (I’ll be traveling, so won’t be able to send any out.)


  59. http://wb

    I’d order a poultry geist.

  60. http://Michael%20Bugg

    I am interested in getting one. I would like to get more detailes about it. Thanks

    1. http://Dean%20Pickles

      you should check the store page! glad you like them!! thx!

  61. http://Serena%20Makofsky

    Hello! I loved your post. I would love to write about Ramachandraiah and his art for a piece I’m writing about artists’ interpretations of movie posters. Do you have an email address for him?

    1. http://Dean%20Pickles

      Hi Serena, sorry but afaik he doesn’t have email. (I’ll ask him next time I’m in Bangalore, but he’s an old man using a 1901 piece of machinery. Not your top gmail candidate. ;P) If you’re in BLR, though, I’d gladly email you directions to his shop….

      1. http://Serena%20Makofsky

        Thanks so much for your reply! I would love to reference your interview in my article. If that’s okay with you, what name do you prefer I use? Best, Serena

        1. http://Dean%20Pickles

          That’d be fine! Be sure to send me a link! And why don’t you call me the real one: Andy Deemer. 🙂 Thanks!!

  62. http://Ramdas%20Nair

    Hi Dean,
    Iam based in Mumbai. I want to get some posters done with him. could you send me his email id and telephone nos. Would be quite greatful

  63. http://Karl%20Fornander

    Great site ….I love this focus on the posters
    Can you please send me directions the place where they make these movie posters !!
    I will be eternally grateful !!

    I”m working in Bangalore now…in sleepy Whitefield

    Thanks…love your site

  64. http://Mia

    These are incredible! Are you able to get some on order? How much? 🙂 I tried the link for your store page but it’s not working. These are super amazing, my husband is an artist and if you’re willing to act as a go-between I’d LOVE to order some myself (and happy to pay you something for your time as well).

    1. http://Andy%20Deemer

      Hi Mia! Sorry, but I’ve gotten this request a bunch of times, and after a lot of consideration decided I couldn’t add this to my workload. 🙁 (It wouldn’t be easy.) If you guys come to Bangalore, though, I’d love to take (or send) you there!!! I sold out of almost all of my posters, and moved myself into a storage unit, so took down the store. Sorry!!! But LOVE that you like them!!! 🙂

      1. http://Mia

        Thanks so much for the reply… but MAN WHAT A BUMMER! Hubs would have loved some horror movie posters (the classics, Jason, Freddy etc). Well… if you ever need some pocket money or want an art trade (, shoot me a message, I would absolutely be up for this anytime since going to Bangalore is not a possibility in my lifetime I think 🙂 And thanks for sharing these amazing things! I’ve only just found your site today and managed to waste about 7 hours 😛

        1. http://Andy%20Deemer

          I’ll definitely let you know if I’m heading back for more posters… And thanks for the lovely words!!! 😛

          1. http://mia

            Thanks Andy, you’re the mutts nuts 🙂 have a good one!

  65. […] India’s Incredibly Cool Hand-Drawn Movie Posters, A Huge New Horde of Hand-drawn Indian Movie Posters, A Sweet New Batch of Indian Movie Posters […]

  66. Hi Andy, I am in Bangalore currently. Any way I could get this artist’s contact? I will explain more over email. Many thanks

  67. […] posters are the norm for tons of cinemas in India. This insanely huge set of posters were done by Raju, who draws a new poster every three hours and gets them reproduced in giant, 20″ x 30″ […]

  68. […] 还不够?请移步发掘此神人的Asia Obscure网站 […]

  69. […] hand-drawn Indian film-posters wipe the floor with those Polish ones doing the rounds all the […]

  70. Wow! I’m so jealous Andy! I’ve been scraping those posters off the walls since I arrived in Bangalore 10 months ago to hang them with pride in my living room. Now you’re telling me you got Ramachandraiah’s details? would you dare sharing is address with me? That would be much appreciated!

  71. […] An Indian artist named Ramachandraiah creates these hilarious 5-color hand-drawn versions of movie posters that measure as large as 20″x30″. Apparently they are printed cheaply and put up illegally by Ramachandraiah. Here are just a few of these wonderfully funny pieces. […]

  72. […] rely on local artists to create their own home-grown movie promo. In India, lithographers like Ramachandraiah have made a living from their craft for decades. In rural Ghana, mobile cinemas (small screens […]

  73. http://Carrie%20G

    Hi there, I know I’m late to this party but in case you’re still around, I work for Rupert Wyatt who directed RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES. He loves the poster for his film, is there any way we could get a couple or even one? Happy to pay! Would love it if you could email me and let me know how that might be accomplished? Or if anyone has any information on how to acquire one from the US? Many many thanks x

    1. http://Andy%20Deemer

      Hi! Sorry, but the only copy I have right now is in a storage unit somewhere in China. I’ll keep an eye out for another copy, though — I do stop by Ramachandraiah’s office occasionally…

  74. […] These posters are made by a lithographer called Ramachandraiah who’s been making his living entirely from his movie art since the early 1970s. His lithograph press is cheaper method of publishing using a stone and a smooth surface. The originals are brightly hand-drawn creations illegally posted on the sides of buildings on on highway overpasses late at night. Images via AsiaObscura […]

  75. http://Sonia

    Hi where can i get one of these awsome poster ?
    I’m in Paris.. 🙂

    1. http://Andy%20Deemer

      You can come to Bangalore! ;P Although perhaps I could bring one or two to Paris in July… let me see!

  76. http://david%20cantella


  77. http://batface

    Thanks for the article Andy 🙂 Where in Bangalore can i find him?

  78. http://Saurabh

    Hey, I just stumbled across your site, absolutely fantastic stuff. I love in India (New Delhi). Is there a way one could get these posters shipped to my end in Delhi (or is there a way to contact this poster-artist). It would be lovely if you could email me regarding this. Thanks

  79. […] rely on local artists to create their own home-grown movie promo. In India, lithographers like Ramachandraiah have made a living from their craft for decades. In rural Ghana, mobile cinemas (small screens […]

  80. […] rely on local artists to create their own home-grown movie promo. In India, lithographers like Ramachandraiah have made a living from their craft for decades. In rural Ghana, mobile cinemas (small screens […]

  81. […] rely on local artists to create their own home-grown movie promo. In India, lithographers like Ramachandraiah have made a living from their craft for decades. In rural Ghana, mobile cinemas (small screens […]

  82. http://Maddy

    Hey Andy, could you please share Mr. Ramachandriah’s address? I would love to visit him some time for some art work. Thanks!

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