Tag Archives: LIFF

‘Sold’ wins London Indian Film Festival

Sold  LIFFOscar-winning director Jeffrey D Brown’s hard-hitting child trafficking drama Sold, executive produced by Emma Thompson and starring Gillian Anderson, which opened the 5th edition of the London Indian Film Festival (July 10-17), has won the festival’s Pure Heaven audience award.

Jeffrey D Brown said, “It’s really amazing. I hadn’t really anticipated this at all. I’m really grateful, humbled and speechless. I really hope this galvanises more people to see the film so that we can help the kids who’ve been through this ordeal and we can end this travesty around the globe.”

Brown and producer Jane Charles are in advanced discussions with distributors with a view to securing a global release for Sold in early 2015.

The runner-up for the audience award was Samruddhi Porey’s Hemalkasa, the festival’s closing night film starring Indian cinema icon Nana Patekar. The film is a biopic about a doctor couple that dedicated their lives towards improving the lot of tribal people in Western India with little or no help from the government.

The festival’s popular Satyajit Ray Foundation Short Film Competition was won by Shubhashish Bhutiani’s Kush. The award carries a cash prize of £1000. Kush previously won short film kudos at Venice and was long-listed for the live action short film Oscar. Ananya Kasaravalli’s Devil in the Black Stone (Kappu Kallina Saitana) won a Special Mention.

Shubhashish Bhutiani said, “Thank you so much to the London Indian Film Festival Jury and the Satyajit Ray Foundation for this amazing honour. His dealing with children and the way he told truthful and complex stories in such a simple way are some of the things I’ve learnt from Satyajit Ray. I heard the story for this film in a classroom many years ago, and felt compelled to share it after it resonated with me for all that time. With an incredibly supportive cast and crew, we made the film with the little resources we have, and for it today, to be recognized by our own community in such a culturally diverse part of the world, means a lot to me.”

The London Indian Film Festival has grown exponentially in five years and is now the largest South Asian film festival in Europe. Festival Director Cary Sawhney says, “I think it’s been an amazing festival. We’ve grown by at least 30% this year and we’re getting global films! We’ve got Hollywood films in the festivals, Indian films, British films, Bangladeshi films, Pakistani films and it’s all happening in the heart of London, the only city where this kind of engaging range of cinema is embraced. It’s great!”

Highlights of the festival included the UK premiere of The Walt Disney Company’s Indian-themed Million Dollar Arm, followed by a Q&A by star Madhur Mittal and producer Mark Ciardi, Gillian Anderson who delivered a moving Q&A on opening night along with Jeffrey D Brown and Jane Charles and sold out screen talks and masterclasses at the British Film Institute delivered by Santosh Sivan ASC (The Terrorist) and Farhan Akhtar (Bhaag Milkha Bhaag).

FarhanAkhtar said, “The London Indian Film Festival is run by a group of passionate people and I think it is a great platform to share my experiences with aspiring filmmakers.”

LIFF 2014

London Indian Film Festival celebrates Farhan Akhtar, Santosh Sivan

Farhan Akhtar - Daboo Ratnani 2The London Indian Film Festival (LIFF, July 10-17) will host a Screen Talk with the multifaceted Farhan Akhtar and a Masterclass with the award-winning Santosh Sivan at the British Film Institute (BFI) Southbank.

Akhtar has come to the world’s attention over the last decade, as multiple award-winning director, producer, and actor, straddling an impressive range of roles, from long distance runners to rockstars. He also commands audiences of thousands, at his live music shows, as he continues to juggle a career as a musician and songwriter, with his incredibly successful film industry career. He started his career as director. His directorial debut, Dil Chahta Hai was a runaway hit. He went on to direct the remake of Don and its sequel, Don 2. Besides that he has produced many successful films. As an actor he has won critical acclaim for his performances in Rock On, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. 

Says Farhan Akhtar,  “At its heart, Cinema is about sharing ones culture with the world. Be it on-screen or in representation of ones work. I look forward to sharing my experiences, memories and motivations.” The Screen Talk will be at the BFI Southbank on Wednesday 16th July.

Santosh Sivan is India’s most awarded cinematographer. He is also the only Indian member of the American Society of Cinematographers. He shot to prominence on the national stage with Mani Ratnam’s Thalapathi and is celebrated for his work on Roja, Dil Se, Iruvar and Kaala Pani. His international credits include Bride & Prejudice and Mistress of Spices. Sivan debuted as a director with Halo, followed by Malli, both films aimed at children. His next film, The Terrorist, premiered at BFI London Film Festival and was championed by John Malkovich, who ensured that it found global distribution.

Sivan says, “For a visual artist, the world is a stage. And the BFI is the centre stage.” The Masterclass is at the BFI Southbank on Friday 11th July.

LIFF events at the BFI also include UK Premieres of Qissa: The Tale of a Lonely Ghost on Saturday 12th July and Apur Panchali on Sunday 13th July. LIFF opens with Sold, executive produced by Emma Thompson and starring Gillian Anderson, on July 10, and closes with Hemalkasa, starring Nana Patekar on July 17.

LIFF partners include Pure Heaven, BFI, Cineworld, Grange Hotels, ICA, BAFTA, Asian Single Solution, DESIblitz.com, Asian Culture Vulture and Satyajit Ray Foundation.

LIFF 2014