Surviving Mumbai (2009)


The story of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack told by those who managed to survive it.

It is also known as Mumbai Massacre (US) and Secrets of the Dead: Mumbai Massacre.

The documentary inspired the 2018 film, Hotel Mumbai.


On 26th November 2008, ten young Pakistani men sailed into Mumbai, India’s thriving financial heart and home of the Bollywood film industry. The men were armed with AK47s, grenades and plastic explosives, as well as satellite phones and global positioning systems connecting them to their controllers. They spread out across the city. Quick fire strikes on the Victoria Station Railway Station, the busiest train terminus in India, the legendary Leopold Café and Cama Hospital saw more than a hundred dead in only an hour. But this was just the beginning. The gunmen had come for a longer engagement, in targets chosen to grab and hold the world’s attention: the historic Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel, the ultra modern 5 star Oberoi-Trident Hotel and Jewish Community centre, Nariman House. Sixty hours later, the Indian security forces brought the attacks to a close.

Surviving Mumbai brings together candid and very personal accounts from the ordinary and extraordinary people who were caught up in the siege. Readings from the actual transcript of phone calls between the gunmen and their commanders, intercepted by Indian intelligence, and CCTV footage from the hotels give a chilling real-life edge to their stories.The film also explores the dramatic role that modern communications played: mobile phones, the internet and 24 hour television news gave vital information not just to those in hiding – but to the killers commanders in Pakistan.


  • Winner Bronze Award Dramatised Documentaries, Australian Cinematographers Society Awards (WA) 2011.
  • Nominated Best Current Affairs Production, History Makers 2011.
  • Nominated Lotterywest Award for Outstanding Achievement in Factual Production, WA Screen Awards 2011.
  • Certificate of Merit, Documentary: Social Political, Hugo Television Awards, 46th Chicago International Film Festival 2010.
  • Nominated Best Documentary Under One Hour, Samsung Mobile AFI Awards 2010.
  • Nominated Best Cinematography in a Documentary, Samsung Mobile AFI Awards 2010.
  • Nominated Best Editing in a Documentary, Samsung Mobile AFI Awards 2010.
  • Nominated Outstanding Historical Programming, The 31st Annual Emmy Awards for News and Documentary 2010.
  • Nominated Outstanding Individual Achievement in a Craft: Research, The 31st Annual Emmy Awards for News and Documentary 2010.

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): Victoriua Midwinter Pitt.
  • Producer(s): Phil Craig, Rubia Dar, Rakesh Mehra, Andrew Ogilvie, Digvijay Purohit, and Andrea Quesnelle.
  • Writer(s): Victoria Midwinter Pitt and Phil Craig.
  • Music: Tim Count and Keith Van Geyzel.
  • Cinematography: Jim Frater.
  • Editor(s): David Fosdick.
  • Production: Electric Pictures and Furnace.
  • Distributor(s): ABC (Australia).
  • Release Date: 25 November 2009 (US).
  • Running Time: 52-53 minutes.
  • Country: Australia, India, and US.
  • Language: English and Hindi.


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