The diverse Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival (LIFF) have returned for their 7th festival, with an even bigger variety films than ever from Bangladesh, India, Srilanka and Pakistan and include seven films directed by talented female filmmakers, with tales which uncover the harsh realities of social issues to rib-tickling comedy. The festival will be running between 14th – 21st July 2016 across selected cinemas across Birmingham and London.
The line-up of LIFF 2016 includes….
Directed by Leena Yadav, four ordinary women live in a desert Gujarati village, weighed down by centuries of tradition. Rani (Tannishtha Chatterjee) lost her husband at 16 and struggles to bring up her teenage son. Her friend Lajjo (Radhika Apte) is always brimming with positivity, but fears beatings from her drunken husband. Bijli (Surveen Chawla) is secretly Rani’s friend, she’s a local performer and prostitute, but her beauty is coming to an end along with her youth. Janaki (Lehar Khan) is a child bride to Rani’s son, secretly struggling to come to terms with a loveless marriage. These friends’ bonds are put to the test, forcing them to make decisions that will dynamically change their lives forever. Leena Yadav and producer Ajay Devgn will be walking the red carpet at LIFF’s opening night gala to mark the
NAANU AVANALLA AVALU
Based on an empowering true story, Madesha is a fearless young boy from rural Karnataka who cherishes his female persona and gorgeous saris, but his father is ashamed of him and throws him out. Madesha picks himself up and sets out on a journey as he decides to become a woman. In big-city Bangalore he seeks the support of local queens and the Hijra community (Eunuchs and Transgender people), but after a perilous surgery at a backstreet sex change clinic and name change to Vidya, she decides the traditional begging and prostitute life of a Hijra is not for her. Vidya wants something better.
Set in 1980s Bangalore, Naman (Shashank Arora), and his fellow nerdy mates Ajay and Ramu win every local quiz competition and get hammered on the prize money. Then their big chance comes as the All-India Quiz Final in Calcutta is announced. The musketeers set out on a chaotic train ride north, but on the journey Naman has a crush on the super-quiz heroine Naina. Naman and his mate’s quest for glory by outsmarting their rivals gets confused with exploding testosterone levels and slide into a mad adventure with hilarious consequences.
Jalaler Golpo follows three chapters in the life of an infant, a child and teen named Jalal. Abandoned as a baby in the river, he is rescued and raised by Miraj. After a series of misfortunes, the villagers consider the baby to be a curse on their village and Miraj has to abandon the baby back in the river. Karim, a landowner, is bringing up Jalal, now nine. Bizarrely, Jalal is considered the cause of Karim’s wife’s infertility and he is cast back into the river. The 19-year-old Jalal now works for a gang leader and aspiring politician Sajib. This time, a different baby is to be thrown into the river, ahead of the upcoming elections, thanks to Sajib’s antics. Abu Shahed Emon tackles several social issues in Bangladesh including superstition, politically motivated corruption and women’s rights.
MOH MAYA MONEY
Bollywood stars Ranvir Shorey and Neha Dhupia star in this fast-paced slice of Delhi noir, a crooked real estate broker embezzles money from the firm he works for and gets involved in a series of scams. But the proceeds of his schemes are not enough for his greed and when he finds out about a huge deal in his company, he passes it on to a small-time real estate broker and a thug, for a bigger piece of the pie. Soon, he gets involved in a major crime along with his wife. Matters spiral out of control, leading to murder, mayhem and an out of left field twist of a climax.
This is just a snippet of the exciting line-up this year for LIFF, with more movies than ever! There will also be screen talk with Indian film icons from the silver screen: Sharmila Tagore and Kamal Hassan and director Shekhar Kapur . LIFF is overall a liberating film festival, which provides an extravagant platform to support South Asian independent films, and I am glad to say I’m volunteering at LIFF for the 3rd year running!