We take a special look at the opening and closing gala screenings to this year’s London Indian Film Festival and the special charity event…
SET IN THE 1970s and 1980s, 'Umrika' is a recognisable tale of longing, ambition and fulfilling the American dream as seen by a rural community in Northern India. Udai (Bollywood star Prateik Babbar) heads for the mythical land of opportunity, and leaves a behind a family both excited and nervous about his journey.
Months pass and little is heard from Udai, and optimism turns to despair until letters and photographs arrive from the US and all seems well again. However, Ramakant (Suraj Sharma) Udai’s brother uncovers a well-intentioned but misleading fraud on the part of close relatives in relation to Udai’s travels and sets off on his own discovery of truth with friend Lalu (Tony Revolori last so memorably seen as the bell boy in ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel.’)
Director Prashant Nair, who will be doing a Q&A after the screening, presents his second film after the largely comedic, 'Delhi in a Day'.
He said: 'I’m so excited to hear that ‘Umrika’ will open the London Indian Film Festival (LIFF) this year. We’ve heard such great things about the audiences at LIFF and can’t wait to share our film with them. We’re hoping the film’s nostalgic portrayal of 1980s India, its themes and the many cross-cultural references will resonate with LIFF’s audiences.'
Umrika – Thursday, July 16, 6pm Cineworld, Haymarket 98 minutes, see link below
BOLLYWOOD star Manisha Koirala, Nepali herself, and director Mani Ratnam join forces to raise money for a Nepal Earthquake appeal with all funds going to Indian Ocean Disaster Relief. Set up just after the devastating Asian Tsunami in 2004, by Grange Hotels, the much needed funds will go towards rebuilding devastated communities in the Himalayan kingdom. Koirala and Ratnam will present their much acclaimed film, ‘Bombay’ (a story about an inter-religious love affair). There will be a champagne reception followed by a three course dinner at the 5-star Grange St Paul’s, one of the capital’s most iconic hotels. Tuesday, July 21, 7pm. Ticket prices start at £75, contact IODR +44 (0)207 654 6848 or see link below please
CALLING all fans of cricket and even those not captured by it – the festival closes with the documentary film, 'Death of A Gentleman' which is a four-year global probe into the state of the gentleman’s game. Director Sam Collins has delved deep and hard into the issues facing the sport and does not shy away from looking at corruption, probing top administrators and following a trail that leads to some unsavoury findings. Collins said: 'Death of a Gentleman has been four years in the making, and we are hugely excited to be chosen as the closing film at the 2015 LIFF. This is a very human story about passion, money and power, and we hope to make a persuasive case to cricket fans and non-cricket fans alike that the greatest game in the world needs to change its ways.' Collins will be answering a Q&A after the film and organisers say there will be 'other special guests'...it’s the summer, it’s the Ashes, it’s a film...supported by the Bagri Foundation as part of their aims in raising social awareness.
Alka Bagri from the Foundation, said: 'Cinema has a vital role to play in exploring lives, sharing emotions, investigating social issues, and expanding horizons. Given the explanatory power of this medium, we are absolutely delighted to be supporting the London Indian Film Festival as title sponsors.' Thursday, July 23, 6pm, BFI Southbank. See link below for booking details
For booking/info details to London Indian Film Festival Gala closing screening see here.