July 16 2016
Our correspondent gives a personal assessment of the London Indian Film Festival (LIFF) as it moved up to Birmingham, where it had its own opening gala and a separate programme…
By Khakan Qureshi
WHEN one is invited to a red carpet event, one is always excited and apprehensive at the same time. The Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival in Birmingham last night proved no exception.
After a glitzy launch in London, complete with many of the festival talents on parade, the show moved to the Midlands.
I was invited to the reception of award winning film “Parched” at the Park Regis Hotel, Birmingham’s newest premier hotel and it dawned on me that this is only the second year the LIFF has come to Birmingham.
There are not too many film festivals in the city and this launch was a swanky affair. I bumped into Piali Ray OBE, director of dance organisation, SAMPAD and one of the partners of the festival. It is supporting the screening of “Kalpana” (1948), a dance film classic, which features Uday Shankar, the immortal Pandit Ravi Shankar’s brother.
The champagne and orange juice flowed freely. I managed to speak to a young Sikh man who wanted to vlog about travelling across the UK, before the main luminaries of the LIFF were introduced by their own project manager, Dharmesh Rajput.
Cary Sawhney, the director of LIFF spoke proudly about the Festival as not only a showcase for Indian cinema, but World Cinema as it seems to cross the geographical boundaries of South Asia.
I went to meet and greet Sunny and Shay, BBC Radio presenters who have four shows in the West Midlands, and three in London, weekly and LIFF ambassadors, before we were ushered to Cineworld on Broad Street.
The Red Carpet was out and there was a strong presence of local media.
When everyone applauded after the screening, we had the opportunity for a Q & A session with Leena Yadav, writer, produce and director of “Parched”.
We were introduced to several of the stars from the film: the beautifully talented Tannishtha Chatterjee, the shy Lehar Khan who said her next plans are to return to her studies and the handsome Chandan Anand.
The evening was delightful and I am so glad to have been able to say that the film on screen is a touchingly tender yet tough film, evoking a roller coaster of emotions which left me parched and wanting more…
Main picture: Red Carpet; Sunny and Shay with Lehar Khan, one of the stars of ‘Parched’
The London Indian Film Festival continues in Birmingham until July 24.
LIFF in London continues until July 21.
See our preview for futher links and a special discount offer for BFI Southbank films playing as part of Liff. Enjoy two tickets for the price of one!
Red Carpet London http://asianculturevulture.com/?gallery=liff-2016-red-carpet-gallery-pictures
Films to look out for (and discount details)… http://asianculturevulture.com/portfolios/london-indian-film-festival-2016-what-to-look-out-for/
Interview Leena Yadav: http://asianculturevulture.com/portfolios/liff-2016-parched-director-of-film-says-original-idea-was-more-raunchy/
General preview: http://asianculturevulture.com/portfolios/london-indian-film-festival-2016-women-filmmakers-and-gender-issues-in-spotlight/
LIFF programme: http://londonindianfilmfestival.co.uk/