London Indian Film Festival 2012

With another year of support from agencies including Film London, Satyajit Ray Foundation, BFI and Cineworld, the London Indian FIlm Festival 2012 aims to be a spectacular event, featuring a selection of some incredible films.

independent South Asian and British Asian filmmakers will be hosted by the festival

The 3rd Indian Film Festival starts on the 20th June 2012 and will go on until 3rd July 2012. This third offering will is being called a ‘feast for the senses’ which features circuses, mobsters, cockfights, transvestites and kite-flying, set in some of the world’s greatest cities and some never before seen virgin locations.

The festival is funded by Film London, the National Lottery and supported by the BFI and BAFTA, and sponsored by Western Union and Grand Hotels. It will present a selection of cutting edge films to UK audiences from some of the hottest independent film making talents from India, UK, US and Bangladesh.

The festival will open with the UK Premiere of Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur, right after its full house screenings at the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight, at Cineworld, Haymarket on 20 June. British director Danny Boyle has cited Kashyap’s Black Friday as an inspiration for Slumdog Millionaire.

The premiere film produced by Viacom 18 stars Manoj Bajpayee, Richa Chaddha, Reema Sen, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Jaideep Ahlawat, Piyush Mishra and Mukesh Chhabra amongst others. It is a story is set in the town of Wasseypur (in Bihar) which starts towards the end of colonial India and transcends to the Internet age featuring the tale of revenge, vengeance and gang violence in the name of honour.

Two British films will be premiered at the festival. Tooting Broadway featuring Elizabeth Henstridge, who has been touted the next Keira Knightley, from her beginnings in the TV series Hollyoaks, to her new status in Hollywood, and receiving its world premiere, Arjun and Alison which has a storyline with parallels to the murder of British teenager, Stephen Lawrence, and is a film that tackles racism in British society.

A showcase of the work of the new wave of independent South Asian and British Asian filmmakers will be hosted by the festival. This includes work by the following directors:

  • Gandu – Bengali film with subtitles by a director only named as Q
  • Dekh Indian Circus – Hindi film with subtitles by Mangesh Hadawale
  • Gattu – Hindi film with subtitles by Rajan Khosa
  • Aaranya Kaandam – Tamil film with subtitles by Thiagarajan Kumararaja
  • Abosheshey – Bengali film with subtitles by Aditi Roy

Queens! Destiny of Dance directed by David Atkins is full of glamour, dancing and fabulous saris and is is set in a palace owned by head transvestite Ammu, played by Seema Biswas (of Bandit Queen fame).

A definite family favourite will be Busan International Film Festival audience award winner Dekh Indian Circus with Q&A by Tannishtha Chatterjee (BIFA nominated for Brick Lane).

Delhi In A Day engages the British writer of All God’s Creatures, Billy Fox, as the storyline consultant. US film A Decent Arrangement stars Adam Laupus of Law and Order fame and Indian actress extraordinaire, Shabana Azmi

Bengali director Srijit Mukherji’s thrill a minute whodunit Bengali film Baishey Srabon (Seventh August) will close the festival on 3rd July, alongside a Q&A with its beautiful actress, Raima Sen.

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.”

Venues for the festival are all in London and will stretch across the city such as the Tate Modern, Cineworld O2 and ICA for the very first time. Venues like the BFI Southbank, Nehru Centre, Watermans and Cineworlds Trocadero, Wood Green and Wandsworth will all be participating in hosting the festival like they did in past festivals.

Talking about Gandu, Cary Rajinder Sawhney says:

“As part of the festival we are undertaking several exciting new commissions, mixing film and arts, one of these is Gandu Circus – a live Jungle – rap rock performance by Kolkata based rapper and revolutionary film director, Q.”

He adds: “This performance will be performed on stage at BFI Southbank on 21st June after a screening of Q’s film Gandu, a compelling story of a young Bengali teenager addicted to rap and sexual fantasies. Expect some special guests on stage including Asian Dub Foundation’s Steve Chandra Savale, joining Q for this one-off, unforgettable performance!”

The Satyajit Ray Foundation’s Short Film Competition has joined the Festival with the winning filmmaker receiving a £1,000 Award on 3rd July at Cineworld, Haymarket.

All audiences at the festival will be encouraged to vote for this year’s Western Union Audience Award and the winning feature film will be announced at the close of the festival.

Amit enjoys creative challenges and uses writing as a tool for revelation. He has major interest in news, current affairs, trends and cinema. He likes the quote: "Nothing in fine print is ever good news."