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May 25th 11.30am - Due to serious flooding our kitchen is currently closed and we are not serving hot food from our cafe bar. Sandwiches and hot drinks are still available. Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

News

Europe’s largest Indian Film Festival fearlessly presses feminist and LGBTQ+ buttons

The London Indian Film Festival (LIFF) encourages audiences from all cultures to celebrate the very best of independent South Asian films that introduce viewers to a world away from the better known Bollywood movies and celebrates the diversity of the subcontinent in terms of language and geography. This year’s festival reflects the linguistic diversity of UK's South Asian communities. The carefully curated programme will include major South Asian languages including Punjabi, Bangla, Urdu, Tamil and Malyalam, and includes films from Bangladesh and Pakistan.

The season at mac starts with a screening of I am not He.....She (15 July), a groundbreaking film, based on the true story of a teenage boy who wants to be a woman. The film highlights his personal journey and societal struggle to become a transgender person.

A celebration of regional diversity, LIFF includes a very rare on-stage Q&A at Cineworld Broad Street, with one of South Asia’s greatest ever superstars - Kamal Haasan, who moved from child actor to Tamil cinema star, to produce, write and direct some of India’s most acclaimed features, including many Bollywood hits, including 80s superhit films, Ek Duuje Ke Liye, Sadma, and India's new millennium Oscar entry, Hey Ram. He is adored by millions of fans, worldwide.

Also in the line-up is a special screening of the risque film Brahman Naman, directed by India's leading indie director Q who will take part in conversation after the screening of the hilarious coming-of-age comedy which is exclusive to Netflix. The Mumbai music industry focused Jugni, shows that love and a damn-good Punjabi song, can conquer even the toughest hearts with female director, Shefali Bhushan in a post-screening Q&A, while Director Jayaraj from Kerala, presents the Berlinale Crystal-Bear winner, Ottaal (The Trap), a heart-wrenching drama, based on the roots of child slave labour.

The closing night gala, with legendary director Ketan Mehta in attendance, sees the world premiere of the incredibly moving and intense Toba Tek Singh, which focuses on patients locked in a Punjabi mental health hospital during Partition.

The festival is being supported by key local partners in Birmingham including mac birmingham and Sampad Arts, while Film Birmingham and the newly opened Park Regis Hotel join the festival for the first year. As well as synchronous screenings in London and Birmingham from 14-24 July, the Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival goes live on digital, with the festival showing a selection of films on BFI Player into the Autumn.

The Director of the Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival, Cary Rajinder Sawhney said: "We aim to showcase films that entertain but challenge and make one think about the many social issues happening in India today, and that includes many positive changes including the fact that so many emerging Indian women filmmakers are producing world-class films that are giving their male counterparts a serious run for their money”.

Title Sponsor Alka Bagri of the Bagri Foundation added: “We are delighted to support such an incredible festival which reveals the richness of South Asian culture and offers a wonderful platform for emerging talent. This year’s programme epitomises the diversity and dynamism of South Asian cinema, and through films, debates and panel discussions, we will explore topical issues such as gender, identity, mental health and equality. We look forward to being joined by two acclaimed figures of Indian cinema: Kamal Haasan and Shekhar Kapur who will take us on their cinematic journey”.

Festival Patron Tony Matharu, who is also the founding sponsor from Grange Hotels, continues to support with full fervour, and the festival welcomes back supporters including title sponsor, the Bagri Foundation, who share a passion for South Asian arts and culture. The British Film Institute and Cineworld Cinemas who have supported LIFF since its inception. The festival enjoys on-going essential support from major sponsor, Sun Mark Ltd.

Participating cinemas in Birmingham are: Cineworld, Broad Street and mac.

To see films screened at mac see here. To see the Birmingham screenings in full, see here.

For press enquiries contact Dharmesh Rajput at: dharmesh@londonindianfilmfestival.co.uk.


We aim to showcase films that entertain but challenge and make one think about the many social issues happening in India today, and that includes many positive changes including the fact that so many emerging Indian women filmmakers who are producing world-class films that are giving their male counterparts a serious run for their money."

Cary Rajinder Sawhney, Director of the Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival

....This year’s programme epitomises the diversity and dynamism of South Asian cinema, and through films, debates and panel discussions, we will explore topical issues such as gender, identity, mental health and equality. We look forward to being joined by two acclaimed figures of Indian cinema: Kamal Haasan and Shekhar Kapur who will take us on their cinematic journey."

Alka Bagri of the Bagri Foundation