The concept behind the London Indian Film Festival 2014 can be found in my previous post about LIFF. I volunteered over 3 key days: LIFF opening night, the Farhan Akhtar Screen Talk and LIFF closing night.
LIFF Opening Night
Jeffery.D.Brown’s Sold was LIFF’s opening night movie, the atmosphere was buzzing, especially due to the anticipation for Gillian Anderson’s arrival. The film is based on the best-selling novel “Sold” by Patricia McCormick, which focusses on the challenge of human trafficking. The film certainly opens the audiences’ eyes on this topic and encourages everyone to help make a difference to stop human trafficking. Sold ended up being the winner for #LIFF2014 and was well-deserved. Santosh Sivan, Amy Jackson, Nitin Ganatra and Asad Shan were also among the celebrities at the opening night.
The after party was held at the Grange Hotel in St.Paul’s – a great location and guess who was the DJ for the night? None other than Panjabi Hit Squad! They were amazing! and played the best Bollywood hits (Yes! I am sneaking in another video below… sshhh). I have personally never been to a Bollywood night before, but it was so much FUN! A great laugh – would definitely be up for it again.
Here is a brief taster of the beginning of the after party.
Farhan Akhtar Screen Talk
The most anticipated event of LIFF and did not disappoint; Farhan Akhtar was absolutely hilarious. The screen talk took a close look at his work as a director, focussing in particular Dil Chahta Hai and Don, alongside his acting career – especially in Bhag Milka Bhag and Zindagi Na Milegi Na Dobara. You have to admit, Farhan Akhtar is quite a game changer with his movies – my personal favourites have to be Don and Don 2, both were executed brilliantly. Farhan Akhtar entertained us with singing a few lines from a number in Rock On (yes…I filmed it! See it below) and he also did a little snake charmer act on stage – hilarious! Unfortunately I and none of the team got a photo with him (sad face) – however I did act as security for him after the screen talk… maybe I should add that on my CV? Hmm… Also saw a few familiar faces such as Juggy D and got completely star struck as Anupama Chopra and Vidhu Vinod Chopra came to the screen talk! The talk was epic and Farhan Akhtar definitely has a great stage presence!
After acting as security for Farhan Akhtar, myself and the team got to hang out in the “Green Room” at the BFI where VIPs are only allowed normally; the room was pretty cool – had a small bar in the corner and sofas. We used it as a good excuse to snap away with photos! Click! Click! Click!
The Closing night was graced with Europe’s first screening of Hemalkasa, starring the super talented Bollywood actor, Nana Patekar along with Sonali Kulkarni. The film is based on the true story of Dr.Prakash Amte & Dr.Mandakini Amte, which was extremely touching and attention-grabbing film. I was surprised to learn from the director, Samruddhi Porey that there was no spending budget for the film. It is very commendable that such a film with no budget has managed to become a great success and has put across a meaningful message about humanity. Meeting Nana Patekar and Samruddhi Porey in person was a a great honour, two of the most humble people you could ever meet. I was also lucky enough to meet Gurinder Chadha, the British Asian talent behind Bend It Like Beckham and Bride and Prejudice on closing night (what a bonus!). The night ended off with an after party at Ruby Blue with the great Panjabi Hit Squad as DJ – a fun end to LIFF 2014.
Overall working for LIFF was an unforgettable experience and of course not forgetting the team I worked with were AWESOME! I would definitely want to be apart of the fun and filmi experience next year. Woop! Bring on #LIFF2015!
The photo below is dedicated to the amazing people of LIFF! Thank you for an unforgettable experience!