We’re excited to announce that the 2017 Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival (LIFF), Europe’s largest Indian film festival, is nearly upon us! We’re delighted to return with LIFF for a third year, to celebrate the very best in independent cinema from the Indian subcontinent. This year’s packed programme runs from 22 – 29 June in 11 cinemas in London, and in Birmingham, from 23 June – 2 July in 3 cinemas. The 2017 festival offers a vibrant and diverse combination of films which explore all aspects of human experience, tackling hard-hitting issues through fiction and documentary. From international award winners to an exciting selection of new cutting edge films, from comedies to thrillers to documentaries, there is something for everyone.
Highlights of this year’s programme include the award winning documentary at Cannes, The Cinema Travellers, directed by Shirley Abraham and Amit Madheshiya. The film invites the viewer on a stunning journey with the travelling cinemas of India. Don’t miss the Berlinale 2017 award winner Newton, directed by Amit Masurkar, a subtle parable about politics and ideals rooted which are India yet are universal. There’s a chance to see Venice 2016 award winner and recipient of many other international awards, powerful Nepalese drama Seto Surya (White Sun), directed by Deepak Rauniyar, which offers a searing portrait of post-civil war Nepal.
Catch another Venice award winner with gentle and tender Indian comedy Hotel Salvation which tells the story of an over-worked son (Adil Hussain) forced to accompany his 77-year-old father (Lalit Behl), who is in search of salvation, to the holy city of Varanasi. The film is directed by Shubhashish Bhutiani, winner of the 2014 Satyajit Ray Short Film Award in 2014 for his film Kush.
The festival offers an Indian music documentary double-bill, travelling from north to south India, beginning with the international premiere of Zikr Us Parivash Ka (In Praise of That Angel Face). The film, directed by Nirmal Chander Dandriyal, details the life and work of Begum Akhtar known as Malika-e Ghazal (Queen of the Ghazal) for her legendary voice, she sang the ghazal, dadra and thumri genres of Hindustani Classical Music. This will be followed by Overtone, directed by Rajiv Menon, which traces the origin of Carnatic classical music and paints a vivid picture of legendary percussionist Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman.
Thriller comes in a few forms this year in Pakistani gangster romance Gardaab (Whirlpool), directed by Harune Massey, which brings together Romeo and Juliet and The Godfather in a tale of two star-crossed lovers caught in a web of family and gang warfare in the underbelly of Karachi. The festival will close with the Malayalam indie thriller Sexy Durga, directed by Sanal Kumar Sasidharan, which this year won the prestigious Tiger Award for best film at Rotterdam.
LIFF again this year offers stimulating talks, bringing together key figures of the LGBTQ+ community, proposing a critical discussion around the future of artists in the face of Brexit and acclaimed director Ashutosh Gowariker comes to LIFF for an exclusive masterclass. The festival also gives a platform for emerging filmmakers through the Satyajit Ray Short Film Competition. For the full programme and to book your tickets visit: http://londonindianfilmfestival.co.uk/
On the subject of Indian cinema, check out the last episode of our Small Talk series with screenwriter, director and producer Prashant Nair and film producer Swati Shetty. In this engaging final episode, Prashant and Swati discuss how they entered into film-making, Indian independent cinema and their film Umrika, which had its UK premiere at the Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival. See the episode here: www.bagrifoundation.org/media/smalltalk7/