London Indian Film Festival 2018 Programme

The 2018 lineup of the London Indian Film Festival features female filmmakers and extraordinary lives. Take a look at the full programme for London, Birmingham, and for the first time Manchester, here.

London Indian Film Festival 2018 Programme

"there are always stories of comedy, hope and the inexhaustible energy of over 1.3 billion South Asian lives"

Over the years, the Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival has cemented its position as one of the key film festivals in Europe to touch upon hard-hitting issues from the Indian subcontinent.

Now in its ninth year, the festival’s 2018 lineup is no exception. If the Opening Night film of Love Sonia is anything to go by, film enthusiasts can anticipate yet another year of thought-provoking and socially-riveting cinema from some of the most talented filmmakers and storytellers around.

Kicking off in London from Thursday 21st June 2018, the festival will feature films from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh and covers several strands, including the female directorial eye, fathers and sons and extraordinary lives.

With feature-length dramas, documentaries and shorts, the festival which has firmly established itself in London and in Birmingham also travels to Manchester this year, where it will hold three screenings at the city’s HOME cinema.

For its headliner, LIFF has chosen a fitting crossover film that sees an all-star cast from both Bollywood and Hollywood.

Quick Programme Links:
London | Birmingham | Manchester

Love Sonia follows two sisters forced into Mumbai’s dark and sordid sex industry. Starring the likes of Demi Moore, Mark Duplass, Freida Pinto, Manoj Bajpayee, Rajkummar Rao, Richa Chadda, and Anupam Kher, the film hones in on Sonia who travels across three different continents in an attempt to find and rescue her sister Preeti from the horrors of the global sex trade industry.

With a notable emphasis on issues of human-trafficking and vulnerable women in this opening night film, this year’s festival also invites six talented female filmmakers to showcase their exceptional works.

Directed by Rima Das, Village Rockstars is a moving mother-daughter story about a young girl from the village who aspires to one day be a rock guitarist.

British Bengali director Sangeeta Datta offers a poignant insight of the private life of the late Bengali filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh in her film, Bird of Dusk.

Hva vil folk si (What Will People Say) touches on the taboo of interfaith relationships. Directed by Iram Haq, it tells the story of a Pakistani teenager and her white Norwegian boyfriend.

Discovered by her outraged father, the young girl Nisha is sent to Pakistan in an attempt to ‘learn how to behave properly’.

In addition to the strong female voices, LIFF also highlights fathers and sons in a number of films that touch on issues of masculinity and patriarchal role models.

Gali Guliyan (In The Shadows) by debutant director Dipesh Jain reveals the dark truth behind a violent father and his abused son. A psychological thriller set in the walled city of Old Delhi.

Wolverhampton-born, Antonio Aakeel stars in Eaten By Lions, a hilarious British comedy that sees two half-brothers brought up by their grandmother. Omar (played by Antonio) goes in search of his real Asian dad, only to discover an orthodox family.

Socio-political stories also form the heart of LIFF’s extraordinary lives strand. In particular, Halkaa (Relief) addresses toilet hygiene in one of Delhi’s oldest slum. A young boy spurs on his family and friends to build a toilet to stop them from having to defecate in the open.

Bollywood star Irrfan Khan stars in the cinematically mesmerising film, The Song of Scorpions. Directed by Anup Singh, it follows a young tribal woman in Rajasthan with the ability to heal scorpion stings by singing.

Khan also features in the Bangladeshi film, Doob (No Bed of Roses) which sees a successful movie director undergo a midlife crisis. He falls in love with his daughter’s childhood friend, creating a huge national scandal.

In addition to the films, is the annual Satyajit Ray Short Film Award which celebrates the works of talented and emerging filmmakers. The short films will also be screened in Birmingham for the first time.

Speaking about 2018’s lineup of films, Festival director Cary Rajinder Sawhney says:

“One great thing about being in the UK and especially London is that we are culturally intertwined to India and South Asia, not just through our shared history but our living, everyday experience where South Asian communities add so much to UK cultural life, of which cinema is an important aspect.”

“This cutting edge festival showcases indie cinema that entertains but shows the more realistic and sometimes the raw side of South Asian culture but, at the same time, there are always stories of comedy, hope and the inexhaustible energy of over 1.3 billion South Asian lives from the Indian subcontinent.”


Here is the full programme of films and activities for the ninth annual London Indian Film Festival 2018:

LONDON

LOVE SONIA (English, Hindi, Cantonese with English subtitles) | OPENING NIGHT | WORLD PREMIERE | (15)
Showing: 21 June, 18:15, Cineworld Leicester Square | 23 June, 20:15, BFI Southbank
Dir. Tabrez Noorani with Mrunal Thakur, Freida Pinto, Demi Moore, Mark Duplass, Manoj Bajpayee, Rajkummar Rao, Richa Chadda, Riya Sisodiya, Anupam Kher, Adil Hussain, Sunny Pawar

T FOR TAJ MAHAL (Hindi, English with English Subtitles) | WORLD PREMIERE | (PG)
Showing: 23 June, 18:00, Cineworld Leicester Square | 24 June, 18:30, Watermans Arts Centre
Dir. Kireet Khurana with Subrat Dutta, Ali Faulkner, Pitobash, Bidita Bag, Raveena Tandon

MR INDIA (Hindi with English subtitles) | SRIDEVI TRIBUTE | 12
Showing: 23 June, 16:00, Genesis Cinema
Dir. Shekhar Kapur with Sridevi, Anil Kapoor, Amrish Puri, Satish Kaushik

TEEN AUR ADHA (THREE AND A HALF) (Hindi, Marathi with English Subtitles) | INTERNATIONAL PREMIERE | (12A)
Showing: 24 June, 20:00, BFI Southbank | 25 June, 20:45, Genesis Cinema
Dir. Dar Gai with Zoya Hussain, Jim Sarbh, Suhasini Mulay

BIRD OF DUSK (Bengali and English with English subtitles) | UK PREMIERE | (U)
Showing: 24 June, 15:00, BFI Southbank | 26 June, 20:00, Watermans Arts Centre
Dir. Sangeeta Dutta with Soumitra Chatterjee, Nandita Das, Aparna Sen, Kaushik Gangully, Dorothee Wenner, Konkona Sen Sharma

VILLAGE ROCKSTARS (Assamese with English subtitles) | ENGLISH PREMIERE | (U)
Showing: 26 June, 18:30, Stratford Picturehouse | 27 June, 18:20, BFI Southbank
Dir. Rima Das with Bhanita Das, Basanti Das, Manabendra Das.

HVA VIL FOLK SI (WHAT WILL PEOPLE SAY) (Norwegian, Urdu with English Subtitles) | ENGLISH PREMIERE | (12A)
Showing: 26 June, 20:30, Barbican | 27 June, 18:30, Picturehouse Central
Dir. Iram Haq with Maria Mozhdah, Adil Hussain, Rohit Saraf, Ali Arfan, Sheeba Chaddha

KHO KI PA LU (UP DOWN & SIDEWAYS) (Chokri with English Subtitles) | UK PREMIERE | (U)
Showing: 24 June, 16:00, Barbican | 27 June, 20:00, Watermans Arts Centre
Dir. Anushka Meenakshi, Iswar Srikumar

BHASMASUR (Hindi with English Subtitles) | UK PREMIERE | (U)
Showing: 23 June, 20:30, Cineworld Wembley | 24 June, 16:00, Cineworld Wembley
Dir. Nishil Sheth with Trimala Adhikari, Mittal Chouhan, Raghav Dutt, Imran Rasheed, Bhushan Vikas, Ravi Goswami

EATEN BY LIONS (English, no subtitles) | ENGLISH PREMIERE | (12A)
Showing: 25 June, 18:45, Picturehouse Stratford | 27 June, 20:00, Cineworld Leicester Square
Dir. Jason Wingard with Antonio Aakeel, Jack Carroll, Asim Chaudhry, Johnny Vegas, Nitin Ganatra, Kevin Eldon

GALI GULIYAN (IN THE SHADOWS) (Hindi with English Subtitles) | UK PREMIERE | (15)
Showing: 22 June, 18:00, BFI Southbank | 24 June, 18:00, Barbican
Dir. Dipesh Jain with Manoj Bajpayee, Neeraj Kabi, Shahana Goswami, Ranvir Shorey, Om Singh

HALKA (RELIEF) (Hindi with English Subtitles) | EUROPEAN PREMIERE
Showing: 22 June, 20:00, Cineworld Wembley | 24 June, 16:30, Cineworld Leicester Square
Dir. Nila Madhab Panda with Tathastu, Ranvir Shorey, Paoli Dam

THE SONG OF THE SCORPIONS (Hindi with English Subtitles) | (15)
Showing: 23 June, 18:30, Picturehouse Central | 24 June, 15:00, Crouch End Picturehouse
Dir. Nila Madhab Panda with Tathastu, Ranvir Shorey, Paoli Dam

CYCLE (Marathi with English Subtitles) | INTERNATIONAL PREMIERE | (U)
Showing: 23 June, 16:30, Watermans Arts Centre | 24 June, 18:30, Cineworld Wembley
Dir. Prakash Kunte with Hrishikesh Joshi, Bhau Kaman, Priyadarshan Jadhav, Deepti Lee

THE ASHRAM (English) | UK PREMIERE | (12A)
Showing: 22 June, 20:30, Cineworld Leicester Square | 27 June, 20:30, Crouch End Picturehouse
Dir. Ben Rekhi with Sam Keeley, Melissa Leo, Kal Penn, Radhika Apte, Hera Hilmar

DOOB (NO BED OF ROSES) (Bengali with English subtitles) | UK PREMIERE | (12A)
Showing: 24 June, 18:30, Genesis Cinema
Dir. Mostofa Sarwar Farooki with Irrfan Khan, Parno Mittra, Nusrat Imroz Tisha, Rokeya Prachy

BENGAL SHADOWS (Bengali, English, French with English subtitles) | DOCUMENTARY | (12A)
Showing: 22 June, 18:30, London School of Economics | 25 June, 18:45, Genesis Cinema
Dir. Joy Banerjee & Partho Bhattacharya with Soumitra Chatterjee, Madhushree Mukerjee, Richard Toye

MY SON IS GAY (Tamil with English Subtitles) | UK PREMIERE | (12A)
Showing: 25 June, 18:30, SOAS – Khalil Lecture Theatre
Dir. Lokesh Kumar with Anupama Kumar, Ashwinjith, Abhishek Joseph George, Kishore Kumar G

UMA (Bengali with English Subtitles) | EUROPEAN PREMIERE | (PG)
Showing: 24 June, 18:30, Cineworld Leicester Square | 26 June, 18:30, Cineworld Leicester Square
Dir. Srijit Mukherji with Jisshu Sengupta, Sara Sengupta, Anjan Dutt

MESHAMPUR (Punjabi, Hindi, with English subtitles) | UK PREMIERE | (15)
Showing: 22 June, 18:15, Picturehouse Central | 23 June, 20:30, Cineworld Wembley
Dir. Kabir Singh Chowdhry with Navjot Randhawa, Devrath Joshi, Lal Chand, Surinder Sonia, Kesar Singh, Tikki, Jagjeet Sandhu

SATYAJIT RAY SHORT FILM COMPETITION
Showing: 27 June, 18:45, SOAS | (15)

Shortlisted Films:

  • THE PEANUT SELLER ~ Dir Etienne Sievers, 19 mins, Hindi
  • MAUN ~ Dir Priyanka Singh, 11 mins, Hindi
  • THE FISH CURRY ~ Dir Abhishek Verma, 12 mins, Hindi
  • CIRCLE ~ Dir Jayisha Patel, 14 mins, Hindi
  • PARO ~ Dir Vijay Kumar, 20 mins, Hindi
  • JAAN JIGAR ~ Dir Ranjan Chandelr, 19 mins, Hindi
  • DREAMS ~ Dir Athithya Kanagarajan, 10 mins, Tamil

VENUS (English, no English subtitles) | CLOSING NIGHT | UK PREMIERE | (12A)
Showing: 29 June, 18:15, BFI Southbank
Dir. Eisha Marjara with Debargo Sanyal, Jamie Mayers, Pierre-Yves Cardinal, Zena Darawalla, Gordon Warnecke


BIRMINGHAM

LOVE SONIA (English, Hindi, Cantonese with English subtitles) | OPENING NIGHT | (15)
Showing: 22 June, 19:00, Cineworld Broad Street
Dir. Tabrez Noorani with Mrunal Thakur, Freida Pinto, Demi Moore, Mark Duplass, Manoj Bajpayee, Rajkummar Rao, Richa Chadda, Riya Sisodiya, Anupam Kher, Adil Hussain, Sunny Pawar

TEEN AUR ADHA (THREE AND A HALF) (Hindi, Marathi with English Subtitles) | MIDLANDS PREMIERE | (12A)
Showing: 26 June, 20:00, mac Birmingham
Dir. Dar Gai with Zoya Hussain, Jim Sarbh, Suhasini Mulay

BIRD OF DUSK (Bengali and English with English subtitles) | MIDLANDS PREMIERE | (U)
Showing: 27 June, 19:00, mac Birmingham
Dir. Sangeeta Dutta with Soumitra Chatterjee, Nandita Das, Aparna Sen, Kaushik Gangully, Dorothee Wenner, Konkona Sen Sharma

VILLAGE ROCKSTARS (Assamese with English subtitles) | MIDLANDS PREMIERE | (U)
Showing: 28 June, 19:00, mac Birmingham
Dir. Rima Das with Bhanita Das, Basanti Das, Manabendra Das.

EATEN BY LIONS (English, no subtitles) | MIDLANDS PREMIERE | (12A)
Showing: 29 June, 18:00, mac Birmingham
Dir. Jason Wingard with Antonio Aakeel, Jack Carroll, Asim Chaudhry, Johnny Vegas, Nitin Ganatra, Kevin Eldon

GALI GULIYAN (IN THE SHADOWS) (Hindi with English Subtitles) | MIDLANDS PREMIERE | (15)
Showing: 23 June, 19:00, Cineworld Broad Street
Dir. Dipesh Jain with Manoj Bajpayee, Neeraj Kabi, Shahana Goswami, Ranvir Shorey, Om Singh

T FOR TAJ MAHAL (Hindi, English with English Subtitles) | MIDLANDS PREMIERE | (PG)
Showing: 1 July, 14:15, The Mockingbird Cinema & Kitchen
Dir. Kireet Khurana with Subrat Dutta, Ali Faulkner, Pitobash, Bidita Bag, Raveena Tandon

HALKA (RELIEF) (Hindi with English Subtitles) | MIDLANDS PREMIERE
Showing: 30 June, 18:00, mac Birmingham
Dir. Nila Madhab Panda with Tathastu, Ranvir Shorey, Paoli Dam

THE SONG OF THE SCORPIONS (Hindi with English Subtitles) | (15)
Showing: 30 June, 19:00, Cineworld Broad Street
Dir. Nila Madhab Panda with Tathastu, Ranvir Shorey, Paoli Dam

CYCLE (Marathi with English Subtitles) | MIDLANDS PREMIERE | (U)
Showing: 24 June, 16:00, Cineworld Broad Street
Dir. Prakash Kunte with Hrishikesh Joshi, Bhau Kaman, Priyadarshan Jadhav, Deepti Lee

DOOB (NO BED OF ROSES) (Bengali with English subtitles) | MIDLANDS PREMIERE | (12A)
Showing: 25 June, 20:30, The Mockingbird Cinema & Kitchen
Dir. Mostofa Sarwar Farooki with Irrfan Khan, Parno Mittra, Nusrat Imroz Tisha, Rokeya Prachy

MY SON IS GAY (Tamil with English Subtitles) | MIDLANDS PREMIERE | (12A)
Showing: 23 June, 20:00, mac Birmingham
Dir. Lokesh Kumar with Anupama Kumar, Ashwinjith, Abhishek Joseph George, Kishore Kumar G

UMA (Bengali with English Subtitles) | MIDLANDS PREMIERE | (PG)
Showing: 24 June, 14:00, mac Birmingham
Dir. Srijit Mukherji with Jisshu Sengupta, Sara Sengupta, Anjan Dutt

SATYAJIT RAY SHORT FILM COMPETITION
Showing: 30 June, 16:00, The Mockingbird Cinema & Kitchen | (Recommended 14+)

Shortlisted Films:

  • THE PEANUT SELLER ~ Dir Etienne Sievers, 19 mins, Hindi
  • MAUN ~ Dir Priyanka Singh, 11 mins, Hindi
  • THE FISH CURRY ~ Dir Abhishek Verma, 12 mins, Hindi
  • CIRCLE ~ Dir Jayisha Patel, 14 mins, Hindi
  • PARO ~ Dir Vijay Kumar, 20 mins, Hindi
  • JAAN JIGAR ~ Dir Ranjan Chandelr, 19 mins, Hindi
  • DREAMS ~ Dir Athithya Kanagarajan, 10 mins, Tamil

VENUS (English, no English subtitles) | CLOSING NIGHT | (12A)
Showing: 1 July, 18:00, mac Birmingham
Dir. Eisha Marjara with Debargo Sanyal, Jamie Mayers, Pierre-Yves Cardinal, Zena Darawalla, Gordon Warnecke

MANCHESTER

VENUS (English, no English subtitles) | (12A)
Showing: 30 June, 18:00, HOME Cinema Manchester
Dir. Eisha Marjara with Debargo Sanyal, Jamie Mayers, Pierre-Yves Cardinal, Zena Darawalla, Gordon Warnecke

EATEN BY LIONS (English, no subtitles) | (12A)
Showing: 30 June, 15:30, HOME Cinema Manchester
Dir. Jason Wingard with Antonio Aakeel, Jack Carroll, Asim Chaudhry, Johnny Vegas, Nitin Ganatra, Kevin Eldon

VILLAGE ROCKSTARS (Assamese with English subtitles) | ENGLISH PREMIERE | (U)
Showing: 1 July, 15:50, HOME Cinema Manchester
Dir. Rima Das with Bhanita Das, Basanti Das, Manabendra Das

In addition to outstanding new films and documentaries across three cities, this year’s London Indian Film Festival will also pay tribute to the late Sridevi, with a special screening of Mr India.

The complete run of the London Indian Film Festival showcasing across London, Birmingham and Manchester is:

  • LONDON ~ 21st to 29th June 2018
  • BIRMINGHAM ~ 22nd June – 1st July 2018
  • MANCHESTER ~ 30th June – 1st July 2018

With so many exciting films to look forward to, the London Indian Film Festival once again proves its weight as one of the biggest and most popular South Asian film festivals in Europe and the UK.

For more details of the London Indian Film Festival 2018, including Birmingham and Manchester screenings, please visit the LIFF website here.

Aisha an English literature graduate, is a keen editorial writer. She adores reading, theatre, and anything arts related. She is a creative soul and is always reinventing herself. Her motto is: “Life is too short, so eat dessert first!”

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