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Bird Bites on stories coming – TIFF 2023; Sir Horace Ové; London Film Festival 2023; award winners and books news…

Bird Bites on stories coming – TIFF 2023; Sir Horace Ové; London Film Festival 2023; award winners and books news…

TIFF 2023 Award winners – Minhal Baig and two Indian films

Minhal Baig
(pre-award interview to follow)

A SLEW of awards were announced from the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) which closed yesterday (September 7-17).
Among the winners were ‘Match’, ‘Dear Jassi’ and filmmaker Minhal Baig who talked to about her sophomore feature, ‘We Grown Now’ about two 12-year-old African-American children growing up on the notorious Cabrini Green estate (a housing project in US parlance) and Baig’s home town. Her first film was ‘Hala’ which we saw at Sundance in 2019 and was about a Pakistani origin family finding its feet in the US and the challenges character Hala (Geraldine Vishwanathan) faced as a teenager, pulled in different directions.
Baig told us about why she wanted to make ‘We Grown Now’, her cinematic style which is very distinctive and impressive and about the reaction to the film’s world premiere. The interview was before her Tiff award. We posted on X about the South Asian films and filmmakers winners yesterday (September 1&) – see our X account (
We will have a full round-up shortly. Hala review –

Tributes as Sir Horace Ové passes away

Sir Horace Ové

MANY diverse artists have been mourning the sad death of filmmaker Sir Horace Ové . His passing was announced late on Saturday evening (September 16) in newspapers. He had been suffering from Alzheimer’s.
The filmmaker was one of the pioneers of British cinema a his films centred around people of colour living in Britain.
He was knighted in 2022 and we covered his considerable achievement – he had a very mixed family heritage and was proud of his Indian roots and almost made ‘Bandit Queen’ which Shekhar Kapur went onto direct.
We hope to have a full report with contributions from the Ove family.
Pressure’ which was one of Ove’s most influential films – and now in a restored print, screens at London Film Festival on October 11 and 12 and then the British Film Institute (BFI) Southbank will screen a festival of Ové films at the end of October. We will have more soon. Sir Horace Ové – artistic, visionary British filmmaker who has Indian heritage and nearly made a film about bandit queen Phoolan Devi… – Asian Culture Vulture

London Film Festival (October 4-15) – ‘Sky Peals’ and ‘The Buckingham Murders’ among other South Asian and British Asian offerings…

HAVE you made up your mind about what films you are seeing at this year’s London Film Festival…?
We will carry one final preview – looking at all the films of interest to us.
We’ve already talked to the filmmakers behind ‘Unicorns’, ‘In Camera’, ‘The Taste of Mango’ and ‘Girl’. You can read that here.
Among the ones we will be looking at is Moin Hussain’s ‘Sky Peals’ a Film4 production which enjoyed its world premiere at the recent Venice International Film Festival (August 30-September 9).
Our interview from Venice with Hussain and lead actor Faraz Ayub will be out shortly alongside our final LFF preview.
Remember too that ‘Stolen’ is coming to London as well and we caught up with co-writer and director Karan Tejpal and lead actors Abhishek Banerjee and Shubham (one name) in Venice. You can see those interview here actor Abhishek Banerjee ( and Tejpal and Shubham (
One Indian film that didn’t get a mention in press briefings – ‘Stolen’ did – is Hansal Mehta’s ‘The Buckingham Murders’ starring Kareena Kapoor Khan, one of Bollywood’s biggest names.
We will have a full preview soon with that interview with Hussain and Ayub out too. It will go out on our Youtube channel first – subscribe and don’t miss!

Baldwin Arts Festival rolls on with bookclub events…

James Baldwin ©AllanWarren

CONTINUING their celebration of author James Baldwin, and their festival, the immersive change agency, Words of Colour, invites you to their book club conversations about the legendary author and activist.
On Monday, October 2, the book club will discuss Baldwin’s ‘Notes on a Native Son’ with author Nikesh Shukla in attendance. It’s at bookhaus in Bristol at 7pm and open to anyone. (See links below).
There is an online discussion of the same novel the next day (October 3)at 10.45am BST and hosted by Bristol Libraries. That week’s events concludes with A Salon type event centred around the theme of Friendship and Baldwin’s take on it. It’s online again and starting at 7pm on October 4 – with several authors and publishers participating. You can find details of these and further events running through October here.
The agency also announced its first Poets of Colour Incubator programme for the North of England – see more here –

Musician Jasdeep Singh Degun wins Arts & Culture award

Jasdeep SIngh Degun and friend

SITARIST and composer Jasdeep Singh Degun was among the award winners at the recent Asian Achievers Awards.
Degun spoke to acv about adapting ‘Orpheus Re-imagined’ last year for Opera North – in what was a first.
He adapted an original opera classic for Indian classical instruments and invited Indian classical singers to collaborate.
It was quite the feat and the concert played to packed and very appreciative concert venues. Degun is also something of an arts and musician leader and has also been touring with his album, ‘Anomaly’.
Degun won in the Arts & Culture category. Poloumi Desai, artist and photographer won in the Community Service section, while ITN London News journalist Anila Dhami won in the Media category. The AAAs, as they are known, were held at the Hilton Hotel, Park Lane on Friday, September 15. The awards were hosted by Ainy Jaffri and Nitin Ganatra.
More about the other winners here –

Jhalak Prize announces dates

BRITISH authors of colour, the Jhalak Prize wants to hear from you or your publishers!
Submissions are now open for both the Jhalak and Jhalak Children’s and YA (Young Adult) Prize and the deadline is December 8 this year.
There is a prize of £1,000 and an original artwork.
The judges for the Jhalak are writers Anni Domingo, Stella Oni and Denise Saul; while the YA judges are Danielle Jawando, JP Rose and Rashmi Sirdeshpande.
Books – fiction or non-fiction – must have been published between January 1 and December 31 2023 – and in the UK this year and originally in English. The author also needs to have been resident in the UK for at least one calendar year (this year).
The winner will be announced at a ceremony in May 2024 at the British Library. A longlist will appear on March 14, while the shortlist will be published on April 11.
Sunny Singh, prize director, said: “We are excited about our eighth year. We expect the submissions to be stronger than ever before and can’t wait to celebrate them. Both our judging panels exemplify literary excellence, talent, empathy as well as courage and resilience. We are delighted to welcome our judges. extraordinary experience and insight and are sure they will enjoy the reading that comes their way.”
The Jhalak Prize was created in 2017 to celebrate British authors of colour.
More here –

Author accolade

ALSO congratulations to author Koushik Banerjea, whose unpublished Animal Nightlife finished runner-up in the Novel London Literary Competition, eclipsed only by The Oxford Handbook of Murder by Radostina Christova. Banerjea spoke to us about his second published novel ‘Category Unknown’ Divide and rule – From South Asia to ‘Sarf Lundan’ with a lot in between… – Asian Culture Vulture
More here on his latest accolade –

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Written by Asian Culture Vulture