The London Indian Film Festival (LIFF), is back for its 13th year and we have a sneak peek into the exciting films that will be showcased at the prestigious festival! This year’s LIFF spans 14 days from 23rd June – 6th July, screening in various cinemas across London as well as regionally in Manchester, Birmingham, and Leeds. Plus the BFI Player will host a selection of short films. Plus there will be films available at LoveLIFFatHome.com but more to come on that later.
As with every year, the festival strives to bring thought-provoking, unique viewpoints and outstanding independent films to audiences with the selection of films LIFF brings to the screen. Not only featuring world premieres, and special screenings, LIFF also features masterclasses and incredible Q&A events after the screenings. LIFF brings an in-depth look into cinema.
Festival Director Cary Rajinder Sawhney MBE says, “We are delighted at the exceptionally strong cavalcade of exciting new premieres at this year’s festival in ten different languages and some very rare in-person talks headlined by India’s greatest woman filmmaker Aparna Sen.”
The festival programme opens with the World Premiere of Dobaaraa directed by the acclaimed director Anurag Kashyap and starring award-winning actress Taapsee Pannu as a young woman trapped between two lives in different decades. The highly anticipated thriller is produced by Shobha Kapoor & Ektaa R Kapoor (Cult Movies, a new wing under Balaji Telefilms) and Sunir Kheterpal & Gaurav Bose (Athena). The Opening Night screening at BFI Southbank will be followed by a Q&A by Kashyap.
Festival Director Cary Rajinder Sawhney MBE, “It’s wonderful to have director Anurag Kashyap return to the festival with the supernatural thriller DOBAARAA. We have UK premiered a number of Anurag’s films over the last 12 years – including That Girl In Yellow Boots and Gangs of Wasseypur. Anurag delivers yet another fresh directorial approach and a compelling twisted story. Actor Taapsee Pannu steals the show as a young woman trapped between two lives in different decades.”
Ektaa R Kapoor shares, “ Dobaaraa being premiered at the London Film Festival right ahead of its theatrical release is a testament of its new-age, cutting edge narrative being wholly loved and applauded all over the world. DOBAARAA is our first film under Cult Movies, our new film-division which is set to tell compelling, edgy & genre-bending stories. I feel ecstatic for Dobaaraa and its presence amidst various internationally celebrated films from around the globe and I can’t wait to showcase the film to Indian audiences on 1st July, 2022.”
Female filmmakers are at the forefront of this year’s festival including the European premiere of The Rapist starring Konkana Sen Sharma and Arjun Rampal. The screening of the powerful, award winning film will be followed by a Q&A with its director Aparna Sen, India’s most prolific female filmmaker. Konkona Sen is also expected to be attending.
Rebana Liz John’s documentary Ladies Only explores feminist themes through observing the female-only compartments of Mumbai’s hectic trains.
Among other U.K. premieres are Pan Nalin’s uplifting homage to celluloid Chhello Show (Last Film Show) and Anik Dutta’s Aparajito – a tribute to legendary director Satyajit Ray’s journey of making his first film, the cult classic ‘Pather Panchali’. An intimate look at modern-day Calcutta, Once Upon A Time In Calcutta by Aditya Vikram Sengupta also features in the festival line-up.
Another highlight is No Land’s Man starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui as a man dealing with the complexities of identity. Set against a score by Academy Award winning AR Rahman, who is also Executive Producer. The film’s director Mostofa Sarwar Farooki, will take part in a special Q&A following the film’s premiere.
Under the festival’s ‘Save the Planet’ strand, ecological and climate themes are explored in The Road To Kuthriyar, No Ground Beneath My Feet, and Hatibondhu. Among the films in the ‘Extraordinary lives’ strand are Dug Dug and Paka: The River Of Blood.
The ‘Young Rebels’ strand includes Girls For Future and The Very Fishy Trip.
Cultures collide in selections from the diaspora including British Indian comedy Little English, the Pakistani American film Amercanish from the US. Archival screenings include classic 1990s music documentary Asian Vibes London & Mumbai, plus a special screening of Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi celebrating the 40th anniversary of this multi-Oscar winner.
Additional shorts categories include hit LGBTQIA+ programme Too Desi Too Queer, the films of Mumbai queer pioneer filmmaker Riyad Vinci Wadia, new British Asian emerging filmmakers, and shorts competing in the festival’s annual Satayjit Ray Short Film Competition.
Closing the Festival is the Canadian Indian documentary Superfan: The Nav Bhatia Story, an uplifting tale about the basketball team the Toronto Raptors greatest fan.
So get ready for London Indian Film Festival beginning June 23rd!
We will have much more to come about this film festival full of excellence so watch this space for more. Also, keep an eye on https://londonindianfilmfestival.co.uk to find out about tickets!