Celebrating the burgeoning movement of alternative Indian cinema, the third annual London Indian Film Festival, will run from 20 June – 3 July.
Supported by Film London and Western Union, the festival brings to UK audiences a selection of cutting edge films from some of India’s hottest independent talents. Going way beyond Bollywood, these are films that challenge, shock, generate debate and present a more realistic view of India today in all its colour and diversity.
This year the festival is also broadening their horizons to include World Premieres of two UK Asian movies and films from neighbouring Asian countries.
Following the Opening Night UK Premiere screening of Gangs of Wasseypur by maverick Mumbai director Anurag Kashyap, produced by Viacom 18 Motion Pictures, and starring Manoj Bajpai, the festival will go on to showcase the work of the new wave of independent South Asian and British Asian filmmakers, including a director only named as ‘Q’, Rajan Khosa and Srijit Mukherji, whose thrill a minute whodunit Baishey Shrabon (Seventh August) will close the festival on July 3.
The festival will stretch city-wide, opening in the West End at the Cineworld Haymarket and continuing at Tate Modern, BFI Southbank, ICA, Nehru Centre, Watermans, Cineworld Trocadero, Wood Green, Wandsworth and O2.
The Festival covers a wide range of themes and issues – gun-toting action movies, the struggles of frustrated urban youth, twisted romance, Tamil gangsters in the heart of London, kite flying childhood rites of passage to a sari-clad drag queen extravaganza. Uniting these films is a new more assured Indian cool, experimenting with cinematic styles, sexual liberality, new technology and influenced by themes both East and West, which has helped new Indian cinema win favour with the young in-crowd in super cities like Mumbai and Bangalore as well as with connoisseurs of world cinema across the globe.
For the first time the festival joins forces with Tate Modern to curate a season of new Indian experimental film and video which will stretch understandings of the boundaries between film and art.
India is the largest film producing country in the world producing some 1,200 films a year, outstripping Hollywood. But apart from mainstream Bollywood, very few of these films are seen in the UK.
Cary Rajinder Sawhney, Festival Director comments, “In addition to showing great movies, we also aim to help get these films talked about and screened more broadly in cinemas in the UK, in the same way that Iranian cinema has been. London of course has a huge Asian audience for these movies, but many non-Asian Brits would also like to find out more about the 1.2 billion strong India of today, and cinema is a great way to do this”.
London Indian Film Festival is supported by Film London’s Cultural Film Exhibition Fund through the National Lottery on behalf of the BFI.