It’s that time of year! It’s the UK and Europe’s largest South Asian film festival… LIFF (London Indian Film Festival) which is supported by the Bagri Foundation and BFI. LIFF 2019 runs from 20th June to 8th July across 5 UK cities (London, Birmingham, Manchester, Halifax and Stockport) and continues to showcase thought-provoking independent cinema, including India’s new wave of LGBTQ+ films. LIFF’s variety of themes this year include…
Highlighting this region’s unique contribution to Indian and world cinema. There is an opportunity to catch Bengal’s hottest new talents with films like eerie sci-fi Ghost of the Golden Groves, or relationship drama Unsaid, to legendary film-makers including a Q&A with one of Kolkata’s finest master’s Buddhadeb Dasgupta alongside his magic realist film The Flight. LIFF also honour the recent passing of director Mrinal Sen with a restoration of his classic Khandhar and offer a rare screening of Jean Renoir’s The River at new venue partner Cine Lumiere.
Keeping LIFF’s reputation up as the Punk Rock of Indian film festivals their strand Young Rebel literally busts all the stereotypes with an action-packed, fun and thought-provoking bunch of movies exploring younger lives. Multi-award winning director Rima Das returns to LIFF with her must-see Bulbul Can Sing. Coming-of-age comedy The Lift Boy will have you falling off your seat, while the Roobha, and Kattumaram premieres present young lives struggling to find their own space in the system. In Chuskit a disabled Ladakhi girl fights for her education.
True to the festival’s mission to screen films about real people’s stories, deep dive into their Extra-Ordinary Lives strand, with amazing documentaries and dramas from across South Asia. An audience favourite at Cannes, LIFF presents the Mumbai romantic drama Sir, and the rollicking Hindi martial arts hit The Man Who Feels No Pain that delves into Tamil pop-culture in Mumbai, which won the Midnight Madness Audience award at TIFF. Don’t miss the tense Kannada whodunnit Arishadvarga, or the international premiere of unforgettably feel-good documentary My Home India.
Film, Power & Politics
This strand offers a critical insight into the fast-moving political changes within South Asia. Toronto (TIFF), state of the Indian nation documentary, Reason by Anand Patwardhan; based on a true terrorist incident the compelling Bangladeshi drama Saturday Afternoon; Gandhian values black comedy #Gadhvi; and Kashmir-based Widow of Silence are a few films to look out for.
At LIFF expect a host of filmmaker Q&As and special guests with a highlight being the anticipated return of festival favourite director Anurag Kashyap, who has grabbed headlines with Sacred Games. Gurinder Chadha OBE is in conversation to discuss her new film, Blinded by the Light, which hits UK cinemas this August, and her ITV period drama, Beecham House. Radhika Apte is due for a special event, based on her stellar work with Netflix, and hit films with Superstar Rajinikanth and Akshay Kumar.
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