"We are delighted to be dipping our toes into cinemas again"
The Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival (LIFF) 2020 and Birmingham Indian Film Festival (BIFF) are back in theatres across the UK.
Known as the UK and Europe’s largest South Asian film event, the festival is hitting the cinemas with a spectacular line-up of films.
Post the hybrid online festival, LIFF will be showcasing a rare 100% women director line-up.
The success of the hybridised London Indian Film Festival saw several in conversations with Oscar nominees Mira Nair and Deepa Mehta.
India’s A-listers Ayushmann Khurrana, Anurag Kashyap and Shabana Azmi just to name a few also took part.
Audiences will get a chance to visit a number of cinemas. These include BFI Southbank London, Cinè Lumière London and Millennium Point Birmingham from September 17 to 20, 2020.
Millennium Point Commercial Director, Rebecca Delmore shared her excitement of working with the festival. She said:
“We are delighted to welcome Birmingham Indian Film Festival (BIFF) to our giant screen Auditorium at Millennium Point.
“Our Auditorium offers a unique space to bring both films ‘Natkhat’ and ‘Roam Rome Mein’ to the big screen in a celebration of Indian independent cinema.
“We are excited to be supporting BIFF and their ongoing work bringing diversity and representation to Birmingham’s mainstream film industry ecosystem.”
Supported by The Bagri Foundation, a BFI Audience Fund Award and the awarding National Lottery funding, LIFF will showcase the finest talent from the east.
Speaking about the event, trustee of The Bagri Foundation and title sponsor, Alka Bagri said:
“Championing diverse filmmaking has always been a big part of the work that the Bagri Foundation does and to highlight this stellar line-up of women-made films, in a particular delight.
“The highs and lows of human lives told through the female gaze, continues to be rare.
“We congratulate LIFF on their resilience in this tough year and as cinemas reopen to the public for those who feel comfortable.
“We hope you enjoy this glimpse into important narratives on the big screen.”
The participating cinemas have mindfully set up health and safety measures in line with the UK government guidelines.
Arati Kadav brings the sci-fi film, Cargo (2017) to BFI Southbank. Produced by Anurag Kashyap, the film delves into a spaceship that stores the death.
This out-of-the-world film sees the rebirth of the dead. Vikrant Massey, Shweta Tripathi and Nandu Madhav star in this amazing fantasy parable.
Singer Sona Mohapatra discusses the hardship she has faced as a female in music, the #MeToo movement and receiving death threats in her documentary Shut Up Sona (2019).
The festival features a double bill with Roam Rome Mein (2019) and Natkhat (2020) at Cinè Lumière. Dharmesh Rajput, Deputy Director, Birmingham Indian Film Festival presented by LIFF said:
“I’m thrilled to be able to give audiences a live cinema experience in Birmingham in a big way with the giant screen at Millennium Point and a double bill screening – all with our audience safety in mind.”
Directorial debutante Tannishtha Chatterjee will have her psychological film Roam Rome Mein showcased at Cinè Lumière.
She stars in the film alongside actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui and an Italian cast.
The story follows Raj (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) who travels to Rome in search of his sister Reena (Tannishtha Chatterjee).
The short film Natkhat (2020), which was produced by Vidya Balan also stars the actress as a doting mother to her seven-year-old son, Sonu.
Prathana Mohan directs the rib-tickling film, The MisEducation of Bindu (2019). The film stars Megan Suri, Priyanka Bose and David Arquette.
The MisEducation of Bindu (2019) explores what it is like to be an American Asian immigrant at high-school.
The musical documentary Breaking Barriers revolves around the underprivileged slum area in Tamil Nadu, India.
Breaking Barriers explores the societal issues including the oppression of women, caste discrimination and much more.
Full List of the Festival Programme
Double Bill | Roam Rome Mein (Every Inch of my Being) & Natkhat (The Brat) | Thu 17 Sep 2020 at Cinè Lumière | Sun 20 Sep, 17.00 pm at Millennium Point (Birmingham)
Synopsis for Roam Rome Mein:
Brick Lane actress Tannishtha Chatterjee’s directorial debut Roam Rome Mein is a psychological drama.
Raj (Nawazuddin Siddiqui), travels to Italy, in search of his missing sister and the magical characters he meets on a journey of awakening.
Synopsis for Natkhat:
Vidya Balan stars as a doting mother trying to teach her young son about the importance of gender equality in the short film Natkhat (The Brat).
Cargo | Fri 18 Sep, 20.30 pm at BFI Southbank
A spaceship that stores the dead and prepares them for rebirth is the setting in the out of this world spectacular fantasy parable by Arati Kadav.
Produced by Anurag Kashyap, the film stars Vikrant Massey, Shweta Tripathi and Nandu Madhav.
The MisEducation of Bindu | Sat 19 Sep, 19.30 pm at Ciné Lumière
Prarthana Mohan directs a funny and charming coming-of-age story about a high-school teen. She tries to fit in.
The film stars Megan Suri, Priyanka Bose and David Arquette. The film is executively produced by Hollywood’s Duplass brothers.
Shut Up Sona | Sat 19 Sep, 20.40 pm at BFI Southbank
Outstanding documentary directed by Deepti Gupta about the singer and #MeToo activist Sona Mohapatra’s fight for equal rights.
The documentary also touches on the opposition from internet trolling and anonymous death threats.
Breaking Barriers | Sun 20 Sep, 17.00 pm at Ciné Lumière
Directed by German director Maja Meiners, this documentary follows a protest music band in South India. They mix folk music with rap and rock to take on the big social issues facing Indian society.
It includes caste discrimination, the oppression of women, LGBTQ+ people and those from underprivileged and marginalised backgrounds.
It is represented by the band members themselves, who are led by PA Ranjith, a very famous and controversial director in Tamil cinema.
The exciting line-up of films and documentaries will allow audiences the chance to enjoy a cinematic experience.
The Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival continues to ensure the highest quality entertainment.
Cary Rajinder Sawhney MBE, Executive & Programming Director of LIFF explained the journey this year:
“It’s been an adventure this year to transform Europe’s largest South Asian film festival into both a digital version that continues to attract good audiences and an actual physical film festival.
“We are delighted to be dipping our toes into cinemas again with the support of our regular cinema partners BFI Southbank and Ciné Lumière and new partners Millennium Point in Birmingham, presenting a power-packed all-female programme.”
For more information about the Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival 2020, please visit the website here.