July 10 2014
The London Indian Film Festival opens today with the film, ‘Sold’ and we have news of a discount offer, but hurry it’s limited…
READERS of www.asianculturevulture.com can obtain a discount for films and talks showing at the BFI Southbank as part of the London Indian Film Festival.
But hurry – this is a limited offer and won’t be available for long, so book as soon as you can to take advantage of the discount.
To enjoy the £1.50 discount off the standard £10.45 ticket, you MUST quote the reference LIFF and it can be done either online, in person or on the phone.
Featuring at the BFI tomorrow (July 11) is the screen talk for one of India’s most dynamic and versatile screen figures.
Kerala-born Santosh Sivan is the only Indian member of the American Society of Cinematographers and declared himself as a director on the world stage in 1998, with the award-winning, and internationally-acclaimed, “The Terrorist”, about a Tamil Tiger woman suicide bomber.
The film was championed by John Malkovich and was able to secure international distribution from it.
Since then Sivan has worked internationally, alongside director Gurinder Chadha on “Bride and Prejudice” (2004) and then with her writer-director husband, Paul Mayeda Berges on “Mistress of Spices” (2005).
Sivan will appear in a masterclass at 6.30pm on Friday, July 11 and it will be a rare opportunity to hear from and quiz a remarkable filmmaker, who straddles both Bollywood and international films.
In India, Sivan has worked with megastar Shah Rukh Khan on Asoka (2001) and Mani Ratnam, one of the country’s indisputable auteur directors.
On Saturday (July 12), one of the most powerful films to have emerged from India in recent years is being screened.
Anup Singh’s “Qissa” is a masterful portrait of a society riven by division and trauma. (See below for link on acv story).
Set in the backdrop of Partition and starring Irrfan Khan, who was in Ang Lee’s blockbuster, “Life of Pi”, it won an audience award at the Toronto International Film Festival last year.
It deals with issues still confronting India today – including the strong desire for many families to have a male heir.
Screened as a UK premiere, you can see it at 8.10pm and there will be a Q&A with director Singh afterwards.
Fans of Satyajit Ray should not miss “Apur Panchali” (‘Apu’s Song’) on Sunday at 3pm.
Showing for the first time in the UK, it is a film that charts the tragic story of child actor Subir Banerjee, who played the young Apu in Ray’s immortal, “Pather Panchali”.
Almost 60 years after his film debut, a student discovers Subir in some difficulties. The London Indian Film Festival describe it as “cineaste heaven”. There will be a Q&A with director Kaushik Ganguly following the screening.
There are other great films in the line-up and tickets are still available…
Among the select picks is audience favourite “Hank and Asha”, a gentle romantic comedy which charts an unlikely romance between a New Yorker and an Indian film student based in Prague.
It has won numerous awards at film festivals in the US and is coming to Britain for the first time. “Time Out” Film chose it as the best film of the lot featuring at this year’s London Indian Film Festival. You can read more about it here.
For the non-Bollywood Indian film fan, there will be some particularly hard choices and all the films have something to recommend them.
But if you need assistance narrowing the choices down, we suggest you examine these three more closely.
They’re worth checking for their seeming originality and intriguing descriptions.
Showing as a European premiere is “Kanyaka Talkies” (‘Virgin Talkies’).
In Malayalam, the language of the southern Indian state of Kerala – with something of a racy reputation for producing illegal pornographic movies – it’s a film centred around an old cinema theatre, where the mainstay was soft porn. A priest arrives in the village and the dynamic changes completely and he is haunted by ghostly apparitions…or is he? It shows on Sunday at 4pm at Cineworld in Wandsworth and then again on Monday at the ICA for 6.15pm.
From Pakistan comes what looks like a fascinating crime thriller.
“Anima State” is by British-based director Hammad Khan and follows on from the success of his first film, “Slackistan” (2010).
It screens as a European premiere on Monday (July 14) at 6.15pm at Cineworld Haymarket, and then again on Tuesday at Cineworld The O2 at 7pm. There will be a Q&A with Khan.
A documentary with great crossover appeal is “An American in Madras” and is precisely about that.
Filmmaker Ellis R Dungan arrived in the bustling capital of Tamil Nadu in 1935, not expecting to stay long, but he became one of the mainstays of the emergent Tamil film scene and directed superstar turned politician, the late MG Ramachandran (known popularly as MGR) in his first film, “Sathi Leelavathi” (1936).
Though Dungan left India, he was recognised in 1994 on a return trip to Madras (now Chennai) by the Tamil Film industry and this documentary examines his contribution and influence. It screens again as a European premiere, showing first at the ICA on Tuesday at 8.20pm and then again at Cineworld Wandsworth at 8pm.
Don’t forget the BFI Southbank discount! Get booking.
Main picture: Irrfan Khan in ‘Qissa’
- Interview with Anup Singh last year about the making of ‘Qissa’
- Story about the London Indian Film Festival and our part in sponsorship
And follow the bird @asianculturevul for more coverage on Europe’s biggest and most influential Indian/Asian film festival!
For information and the full London Indian Film Festival programme, please see www.londonindianfilmfestival.co.uk