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London Indian Film Festival (LIFF) eight-day film extravaganza begins today – new British comedy film to have LIFF premiere at BFI…

London Indian Film Festival (LIFF) eight-day film extravaganza begins today – new British comedy film to have LIFF premiere at BFI…

Film festival also goes to Birmingham and here our big picks…

🎥 The Effects of Lying – All-star British cast in family comedy: Ace Bhatti, Laila Rouass, Navin Chowdhry, Lauren Patel, Bhasker Patel and Shaheen Khan.

🎥 To Kill a Tiger – about a young sexual assault victim in a village in India fighting for justice against male attackers

🎥 Discovering Kali – documentary about British club which is iconic and one of the first safe spaces for LGBT+ Asian community and part of LIFF Too Desi Too Queer programme of shorts…

🎥 Amar Colony – indie Indian film explores taboo subjects – fresh from global film fest success – first UK screening…

🎥 Call Me Dancer – from Mumbai street dancer to UK ballet talent

ONE of the dates in the UK South Asia film buff’s calendar has arrived.

The London Indian Film Festival (LIFF) opens today (June 22) for a week-long movie- fest showcasing South Asian stories.

Among the highlights for is the world premiere for a new British film called ‘The Effects of Lying’. It features a slew of stars, including Ace Bhatti, Laila Rouass, Navin Chowdhry, Bhasker Patel and Shaheen Khan.

The Effects of Lying

A comedy, it features a dysfunctional family whose secrets and lies all tumble out over a madcap day. It’s directed by Isher Sahota and produced by fledgling production outfit Bonaparte Films, run by actor-producer Jon Tarcy. It is from a script written by James Hey, who has written TV episode drama scripts before but this appears to be his first produced film title.

Sahota is a graduate of the BBC’s much coveted New Directors Scheme and has made shows such as ‘Father Brown’ for the BBC and ‘Grace’ for ITV. Both Sahota and Tarcy will be present for a Q&A after the screening at the BFI Southbank next Wednesday (June 28) – see the listing below.

Jon Tarcy (producer) and Isher Sahota (director) pic: JonPayne

Sahota said: “It was so thrilling to read James Hey’s script – a universal story about family, relationships and identity that just happened to be British Asian. Not a mention of a chapati, not a sniff of a chicken tikka masala, no reference to the many heads of Brahma.”

Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) award-winner ‘To Kill a Tiger’ comes to the UK for the first time. Premiering last year at TIFF, it won an award there and charts the story of family who seek justice for their daughter who has been attacked by a group of influential men in the village. Award-winning director Nisha Pahuja is set to be in attendance for the screening at the BFI Southbank next Thursday (June 29).

To Kill a Tiger

The festival also goes to Birmingham from June 23-Sunday, July 2 – see link below.

There are also screenings of some very special short films – among them a documentary (40 minutes) about Club Kali – ‘Discovering Kali’ and helped in its making by pioneering DJ and broadcaster DJ Ritu – who was awarded an MBE in the King’s first birthday honours list just last week. This screens tomorrow at 6pm (June 23) at the BFI Southbank in London.

Amar Colony

At the vanguard of a new type of Indian indie cinema – unafraid of tackling some of the most sensitive of taboos around sex, adultery and loneliness – is ‘Amar Colony’. Director Siddhant Chauhan talked to us just after its screening at the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR). You can see our interview here about the film – or see the link at the bottom.

Discovering Kali

As well as the ‘Too Desi Too Queer’ collection of short films looking and covering LGBTQIA+ issues, there is also ‘New Brit-Asian shorts’ which includes a Q&A with the aspiring star directors of the future. It hits London this Saturday (June 24) and Birmingham next Thursday (June 29).

The Storyteller

LIFF’s opening film tonight is ‘The Storyteller’ directed by Ananth Mahadevan, is based on the writings of the legendary Indian film director Satyajit Ray (1921-1992) and features well-known actors, Adil Hussain, Tannistha Chatterjee and Paresh Rawal. Director Mahadevan will be present and participate in a Q&A. It starts at 6pm this evening and at the time of going to press there were still tickets – see here.

Call Me a Dancer

Take a trip back in movie time with an opportunity to see two of great director Deepa Mehta’s early pathbreaking films. ‘Fire’ and ‘Earth’ come to the festival with special panel discussions. ‘Fire’ screens at the Barbican this Sunday (June 25), while ‘Earth’ can be viewed on the same venue next Wednesday (June 28) in London.

Cat lovers shouldn’t miss ‘Max, Min & Meowzaki’ which also has elements of anime and is made by N Pamakumar who made the affecting, ‘A Billion Colour Story’. (See review link below)

There is a European premiere for ‘Call Me Dancer’ – which is about a teenage street dancer from Mumbai who dreams of making it in the world of ballet and has to pit his wits against another Indian dancer who has already caught the eyes of those in London. It screens next Tuesday at the BFI Southbank and next Sunday (July 2) in Birmingham. It’s directed by Leslie Shampaine and Pip Gilmour.

This June programme is supported by the Bagri Foundation.

Main picture: Sangeeta (Laila Rouass), Priya (Shaheen Khan), Brian (Mark Williams) and Naveen (Ace Bhatti) picture: Jon Payne

The Effects of Lying trailer

To Kill A Tiger –

A Billion Colour Story review –

Festival links

London Indian Film Festival full programme –

Birmingham Indian Film Festival –

Tonight – The Storyteller, 6pm – BFI Southbank, Belvedered Road, SE1 8XT – see here for tonight

The Effects of Lying, BFI Southbank 6pm, Wednesday, February 28 – see here

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Written by Asian Culture Vulture