Opening this Thursday and running through July 12th is the London INDIAN Film Festival. This is the second exciting year and once again they have quite the eclectic lineup of films to showcase. Not only is the Imran Khan starrer Delhi Belly premiering at the festival but also showing are some of the best films that are outside the classic Bollywood box and includes some of the finest independent films from all over India, not only Hindi, but also Bengali and Malayalam films.
The films presented this year cover a wide range of themes and issues not generally seen in mainstream Indian cinema. Not only are the subjects new but the treatments, the cinematic styles, the music and so much more are what make these films have a new voice and really stand out. Cary Rajinder Sawhney, Festival Director said, “LIFF’S heady cocktail of films are as unpredictable as the London summer, but we promise that whatever movie you decide to attend, you’ll leave entertained, surprised and perhaps even a little shocked!”
Besides the screenings of the films the festival promises interaction with both actors and directors during Q & A sessions. Here is who will be there!
Director Abhinay Deo will be in attendance for the World premiere of Delhi Belly on June 30th for the opening night of the Festival and will be part of the a special question and answer session after the film.
On Friday July 1st, Rang Rasiya (Colour of Passion) will have its premiere at the V&A. In attendance will be the director director Ketan Mehta, producer Deepa Sahi, and actors Nandana Sen and Ferena Wazeir. There will also be a question and answer period with the director and actors after the screening. Rang Raisya is an homage to the revolutionary painter Raja Ravi Varma whose paintings in the 1890s influenced modern Indian art and cinema. The film by Ketan Mehta pushes the envelope of eroticism as the painter seduces his gorgeous muse, leading to Bombay’s scandal of the century.
Also being shown is the UK premiere of Anurag Kashyap’s That Girl in Yellow Boots, which stars Kalki Koechlin. The film tells the story of a young girl of UK/Indian mixed parentage who goes in search of her Indian father in Mumbai but discovers a terrible secret in the squalid underbelly of the city of dreams. Not only will audiences get to experience this great film but after the screening on July 7th the director will take audience questions.
Director turned actor Rituparno Ghosh will be there representing two films. On July 5th he will be there for Memories in March at the Trocadero and then on July 9th for Just Another Love Story. Memories in March connects us with the life of Aarti (played by Deepti Naval), a middle aged woman who goes to Kolkata to pick up her deceased son’s belongings, only to learn about his world and find that she didn’t really know him at all. Ghosh will also introduce Just Another Love Story, an awe-inspiringly brave tale about two generations of transsexuals in Bengal and the life and loves of a famous, female impersonator Chapal Bhaduri, as told through the eyes of a gay Delhi director.
The Closing Night Film is the UK Premiere of Autograph. It is the story of a young filmmaker who gets his big break, not only to remake the classic film Nayak by master filmmaker Satyajit Ray, but to also to direct the city’s greatest superstar. Also for closing night singer Raghu Dixit will perform before the screening on July 12th.
Other films are also making their UK premiere at the festival including Shunko Lanka (Dry Red Chillies), Ladli Laila (Virgin Goat), Kanasemba Kudureyaneri (Riding the Stallion of a Dream), Veettilekkulla Vazhi (The Way Home), and The White Elephant.
Also running during the festival is the are two special events:
The Stayajit Ray Foundation’s Short Film Competition
The London Indian Film Festival has once again teamed up with the Satyajit Ray Foundation to present its prestigious annual short film competition. A programme of shortlisted films will be screened in a special free event at the Nehru Centre. The judges are director Menhaj Huda (Kidulthood, Everywhere and Nowhere), film critic Mark Adams (Screen International), filmmaker Billy Dosanjh (winner of the 2010 competition for his graduation documentary ‘A Miracle in West Brom’) and head of the Jury Satwant Gill (London Indian Film Festival). The winner of the £1,000 award will be announced, and the film screened, on Tuesday 12th July at the Cineworld Haymarket during the closing night ceremony of the London Indian Film Festival.
What’s New? The Changing Face of Indian Cinema: Contemporary and Historical Contexts
The University of Westminster’s India Media Centre, in association with LIFF, will be hosting a special conference on the challenges that the burgeoning new Indian cinema poses to mainstream filmmaking. Filmmakers that toy with, or eschew, the conventions of the familiar multi-genre, song and dance extravaganzas are appearing across Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and beyond. What do their films mean for the future of Indian cinema and the global aspirations of India’s urban ‘multiplex’ generation? Conference includes international keynote speakers, over forty papers from scholars around the world, and masterclasses with Rituparno Ghosh and Anurag Kashyap.
Be sure to check out the LIFF website for more information, tickets and schedules here.