"The 2022 programme is very diverse"
The 2022 UK Asian Film Festival, presented by Tongues of Fire, has unveiled the programme for its 24th edition.
It is the world’s longest-running South Asian film festival outside India.
DESIblitz.com is proud to be the Official Online Media Partner for UKAFF and the hybrid festival programme will run at venues across London, Birmingham, Leicester, Coventry, Warwick, Bradford, Stockton and Glasgow from May 4 – 15, 2022.
It will also be available online at BFI Player.
The 2022 festival’s ‘Dare To Dream’ theme commemorates 75 years of India and Pakistan’s Independence.
The curation will acknowledge personal and societal freedoms as well as address topical issues such as climate change and human resilience in the face of oppression through its programme of film screenings, premieres, live events and industry panel discussions.
The opening film will be the world premiere of Javed Iqbal: The Untold Story Of A Serial Killer at 6 pm on May 4 at BFI Southbank.
Currently banned in Pakistan, the film depicts the untold story of Lahore’s notorious serial killer, Javed Iqbal, who confessed to police and media that he had abducted, sexually abused and murdered more than 100 boys in Lahore between 1998 and 1999.
Iqbal was arrested and sentenced to death.
But just two years into his sentence, he allegedly took his own life in his prison cell.
The authorities believed his crimes were part of a wider paedophile ring.
The Abu Aleeha-directorial provides a detailed analysis of Iqbal’s statements and his time in police custody.
Actors Yasir Hussain and Ayesha Omar will introduce the film.
Additional screenings will take place on May 7, 9 pm at Phoenix Leicester; May 8, 3 pm at Harrow Arts Centre; May 11, 8 pm at Glasgow Film Theatre.
Javed Iqbal: The Untold Story Of A Serial Killer will also be screened at Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre on May 14 at 7:30 pm. Faisal Shafi, Events and Features Editor, DESIblitz.com will be hosting the Q&A and he said:
“We are delighted to be supporting the 2022 UK Asian Film Festival for the second consecutive year as the ‘Official Online Media Partner’.
“The 2022 programme is very diverse, reflective of South Asia and beyond.
“We are also pleased to be hosting the Q&A for the hard-hitting Javed Iqbal at Belgrade Theatre Coventry.”
In keeping with the festival’s historically feminist focus, the closing film will be the UK premiere of Gangnam Girls on May 15, 11:30 am at BFI Southbank.
The film sees four friends grow up supporting each other’s dreams.
While each undergoes personal challenges, their friendship helps them navigate a passage through their early years.
However, they go their separate ways after a fallout.
A decade later, the four friends reconnect over the course of a weekend and confront their past differences.
Gangnam Girls will be introduced by director, Charmi Nemchand Chheda, and producer, Nyema Zam.
The screening will be followed by the Tongues On Fire Flame Awards presentation.
On May 7 at Phoenix Leicester will see the world premiere of the digitally remastered 1980 film Chann Pardesi.
This Punjabi film tells the story of a childless landowner who rapes and impregnates his farmhand’s wife.
Her son is faced with confronting his origins.
Starring Raj Babbar, Amish Puri and Rama Vij, this iconic piece of regional cinema is an enduring tale to be experienced on the big screen.
On May 9, Lines will be screened and it stars Hina Khan.
This Hussein Khan film tells a tale of love divided by borders. Young girl Nazia represents the pains of the people of Kashmir who have been the sufferers of hatred between India and Pakistan.
Other films that will be screened at the 2022 UK Asian Film Festival include the UK premiere of Gandhi & Co, the world premiere of Who Am I and the UK premiere of US-Asian romcom, Hot Mess Holiday, among many others.
UK Asian Film Festival Founder and Director, Dr Pushpinder Chowdhry MBE said:
“We are thrilled to reveal an incredibly strong lineup of shorts, documentaries and feature films for the festival this year.
“Audiences across the nation will be able to enjoy our eclectic collection of global, South Asian content on the big screen and digitally.
“The festival also makes space for important and intriguing discussion through a host of talks and workshops.
“Our 2022 theme, ‘Dare to Dream’, is about how we deal with typically taboo issues and redefine freedom.
“We are excited to offer a space for our community to experience culturally relevant art, particularly to our young audiences with whom we will be hosting an event focusing on the implications of climate change.
“We cannot wait for you to join us, so we can be inspired to dream together.”
UK Asian Film Festival Creative Director, Samir Bhamra added:
“The festival’s theme this year, ‘Dare to Dream’, speaks to the challenges of our time.
“In this era of reckoning, we ask are people free to dream?
“75 years after Indian and Pakistani Independence, telling taboo stories still comes at a price.
“Our festival facilitates the conversations that we need but are often prohibited from having.
“The programme for our festival is full of vibrant and meaningful cinema that captures societal truths, be it social division, climate change, the global pandemic or censorship.
“Year on year, we fight to enable storytellers to dream freely.
“It is their intense, powerful and thought provoking films that allow our audience to see the world through new eyes and imagine a future where dreaming is no longer a risk.”