LIFF & Birmingham Indian Film Festival 2023 Programme

Experience the highly anticipated LIFF and Birmingham Indian Film Festival, showcasing a range of films. The full programme can be found here.

LIFF & Birmingham Indian Film Festival 2023 Programme - F

The film skilfully navigates the nuances of desire.

Get ready for an exceptional cinematic experience as the BFI Southbank in London and MAC in Birmingham proudly host the UK and Europe’s most prominent South Asian film festivals.

The highly anticipated London Indian Film Festival and Birmingham Indian Film Festival will showcase an exquisite collection of films and premieres.

Kicking off with a captivating season in June, these festivals will treat audiences to a range of feature films and shorts, providing a glimpse into the world of South Asian cinema.

Building on the success of the initial screenings, the festivals will return in September, presenting an extensive program that will captivate audiences across the UK.

From powerful dramas to thought-provoking documentaries, these festivals promise an unforgettable celebration of the cinematic heritage and storytelling of South Asia.

The Storyteller

LIFF & Birmingham Indian Film Festival 2023 Programme - 6The exciting June season, supported by the Bagri Foundation in London, will feature various highlights, including the European premiere of the star-studded film The Storyteller, directed by Ananth Mahadevan.

Based on the writings of Satyajit Ray, this captivating film showcases the talents of renowned Indian arthouse actors such as Paresh Rawal, Adil Hussain, and Tannistha Chatterjee.

The Storyteller is a charming film based on the short story ‘Golpo Boliye Tarini Khuro’ by Satyajit Ray.

It revolves around a wealthy businessman who, in his struggle with insomnia, hires a storyteller to entertain him with tales.

However, as their relationship unfolds, suspicions arise about hidden motives on both sides.

With a stellar cast, this witty and timeless fable had its world premiere at the Busan International Film Festival.

The film pays homage to the master storyteller, Satyajit Ray, and showcases his enduring legacy.

Jio Studios presents this visually stunning movie, and a cast and crew Q&A session is expected.

To Kill A Tiger

LIFF & Birmingham Indian Film Festival 2023 Programme - 7Recognised for its achievements at both the Toronto International Film Festival and Palm Springs Film Festival, To Kill a Tiger takes viewers on an emotional journey through the battle of a father seeking justice for his daughter.

The documentary delves into the harrowing aftermath of a horrifying attack, as the family confronts the unimaginable trauma inflicted upon their beloved child.

Through its powerful and courageous storytelling, To Kill a Tiger sheds light on the profound strength and resilience of a single family as they navigate the complex legal system and societal barriers.

It serves as a testament to their unwavering determination and showcases how their unwavering resolve can overcome even the most heinous of injustices.

Furthermore, this thought-provoking documentary holds the power to ignite a social reckoning.

By exposing the deep-rooted issues surrounding sexual violence, it forces society to confront its complacency and complicity.

The repercussions of this reckoning are far-reaching, with the potential to reverberate for years to come, inspiring lasting change and fostering a safer and more just world.

The Effects Of Lying

LIFF & Birmingham Indian Film Festival 2023 Programme - 5-2Ace Bhatti takes centre stage in the captivating film The Effects of Lying, portraying a devoted husband and caring father whose life takes an unexpected turn when long-held secrets finally come to light.

Directed by Isher Sahota, this delightfully chaotic comedic drama delves into the complexities of a family struggling to maintain their façade of normalcy as their carefully constructed world begins to crumble.

With a stellar British Asian cast, The Effects of Lying weaves a tapestry of captivating performances that bring the characters to life.

Each member of the ensemble delivers a nuanced portrayal, adding depth and authenticity to the unravelling dynamics within the family.

As the film explores the repercussions of hidden truths and the consequences of living a lie, audiences are taken on a rollercoaster ride of emotions.

Moments of laughter and chaos intermingle with moments of introspection and self-discovery, creating a multi-layered narrative that resonates with viewers.

Max, Min & Meowzaki

LIFF & Birmingham Indian Film Festival 2023 Programme - 4Making its premiere at the Busan International Film Festival, the latest offering from N Padmakumar is a delightful and heartwarming romantic drama.

Titled after its adorable feline character, Max, Min & Meowzaki tells the story of Max and Min, a couple on the verge of a breakup.

Their beloved cat, Meowzaki, named after the renowned Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki, becomes the subject of uncertainty as they navigate their separation and the accompanying heartbreak.

This effervescent and crowd-pleasing film takes both characters on separate yet equally transformative journeys, presenting a treat for romantics at heart.

This enchanting film is a must-watch for cat enthusiasts and anime fans.

Call Me Dancer

LIFF & Birmingham Indian Film Festival 2023 Programme - 2Call Me Dancer is an inspiring documentary that invites viewers to witness the extraordinary journey of Manish, a charismatic teenage street dancer hailing from the vibrant streets of Mumbai.

Despite his parents’ financial struggles and their resistance to his aspirations, Manish dares to dream of entering the captivating world of ballet.

Through the course of the film, Manish’s path intertwines with that of a master Israeli ballet teacher who recognizes his talent and becomes his mentor.

With guidance and unwavering support from his tutor, Manish discovers the true depth of his passion and develops the determination to pursue his dreams relentlessly.

As Manish progresses in his ballet training, he finds himself pitted against another talented boy who has captured the attention of the prestigious Royal Ballet School in London.

Faced with this formidable competition, Manish realises that he must push himself beyond his limits if he hopes to have a chance at success.

Call Me Dancer showcases the resilience, sacrifice, and unwavering spirit of Manish as he strives to break barriers in pursuit of his art.

This documentary serves as a powerful testament to the transformative power of determination and the indomitable human spirit.

Amar Colony

LIFF & Birmingham Indian Film Festival 2023 Programme - 1-2-2Nestled within a dilapidated apartment block, Amar Colony delves into the intertwined lives of six tenants.

As their routines start to unravel, they find themselves discarding the societal masks they were expected to wear.

Amid this unravelling, they succumb to their deepest sexual desires and emotional desperations, revealing the raw, unfiltered aspects of their beings.

This mesmerising debut feature, which made its premiere at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, takes viewers on a captivating journey through the hidden corners of human existence.

Against the backdrop of the apartment block, the characters’ stories unfold, exposing the intricacies of their intertwined lives.

The film skilfully navigates the nuances of desire, exploring the complexities of human connection and the pursuit of fulfilment.

Through its hypnotic storytelling, Amar Colony invites audiences to confront the fragility of societal constructs and the transformative power of indulging in our most primal instincts.

It stands as a testament to the audacity of independent filmmaking and marks a promising debut for its director.


LIFF & Birmingham Indian Film Festival 2023 Programme - 3The festival is thrilled to present a special classic showcase at Barbican featuring two award-winning films directed by Deepa Mehta and starring Nandita Das, namely Fire and Earth.

Taking place amidst the partition of India in 1947, Deepa Mehta’s second instalment in her “elemental trilogy” presents an extraordinary narrative of politics, love, and vengeance.

Against the backdrop of India’s impending self-rule, we follow the journey of Lenny, an eight-year-old girl afflicted with polio.

Through her eyes, we witness the deep divisions that will soon ravage her country.

Lenny belongs to a prosperous family residing in Lahore, an Indian city that will soon become the capital of Pakistan.

Her devoted nanny, Shanta, navigates a complex situation, caught between the affections of Hasan, a Muslim advocate for peace, and Dil Navaz, the charismatic Ice Candy Man.

As political tensions escalate, Shanta’s life is thrown into chaos as she strives to protect Lenny from harm.

Meanwhile, the impending partition wreaks havoc on communities, leaving devastation in its wake.

Too Desi Too Queer

LIFF & Birmingham Indian Film Festival 2023 Programme - 8Wrapping up the in-cinema season in June is the festival’s popular annual shorts program, Too Desi Too Queer, which includes the world premiere of the documentary Discovering Kali – 25 Years of the Legendary Club.

The legendary Club Kali’s 25-year history and heritage are celebrated through the eyes of its founders, performers, and attendees in this roaring documentary.

From gripping award-winning dramas to thought-provoking documentaries, this showcase unveils a rich tapestry of stories that illuminate the British Asian experience.

Each film presented offers a glimpse into the vibrant and diverse narratives that often remain unseen or underrepresented.

Additionally, a variety of short film packages will be available online on BFI Player from June 22.

The main film festival, taking place in London, Birmingham, Manchester, and Leeds from September 7 to 14, will showcase premieres of feature films, documentaries, and shorts, along with new South Asian series, gaming, and XR experiences.

Full Listings of LIFF and BIFF June Mini Season:

The Storyteller
Thursday 22 June, 18:00 – BFI Southbank
Friday 23 June, 19:00 – MAC Birmingham

Too Desi Too Queer
Friday 23 June, 18:00 – BFI Southbank
Sunday 25 June, 18:00 – The Electric, Birmingham

New Brit-Asian Shorts
Saturday 24 June, 20:20 – BFI Southbank
Thursday 29 June, 20:00 – MAC Birmingham

Max, Min & Meowzaki
Sunday 25 June, 15:00 – BFI Southbank
Wednesday 28 June, 20:00 – MAC Birmingham

Sunday 25 June, 15:00 – Barbican

Call Me Dancer
Tuesday 27 June, 20:40 – BFI Southbank
Sunday 2 July, 14:00 – MAC Birmingham

Amar Colony
Monday 26 June, 18:10 – BFI Southbank

The Effects of Lying
Wednesday 28 June, 18:00 – BFI Southbank
Sunday 2 July, 19:15 – MAC Birmingham

Wednesday 28 June, 18:30 – Barbican

To Kill A Tiger
Thursday 29 June, 17:50 – BFI Southbank
Friday 30 June, 20:00 – MAC Birmingham

For more information about the festival, please visit and

Ravinder is a Journalism BA graduate. She has a strong passion for all things fashion, beauty, and lifestyle. She also likes to watch films, read books and travel.

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