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Bird Bites: London Indian Film Festival; Busan; Mami; Punjabi poetry-song; Asian Media Awards; Urdu day…

Bird Bites: London Indian Film Festival; Busan; Mami; Punjabi poetry-song; Asian Media Awards; Urdu day…

Things you should know about…

London Indian Film Festival (LIFF) opens tomorrow


THOSE of you particularly interested in South Asian independent cinema, should check out the forthcoming London Indian Film Festival programme.
A mix of old and new, it brings 25 films to London, Manchester, Leeds and Bradford- all until Saturday, November 4.
It all kicks off tomorrow (October 25 ) with ‘Berlin’ – which looks like an intriguing spy drama with a deaf young man and a sign language interpreter at the heart of the action. It is the Opening Gala Film and takes place at Picturehouse Central in Piccadilly, London. Two stars from the film will be walking the LIFF Gala Opening red carpet – Aparshakti Khurana and Ishwak Singh – along with several other Asian celebrities.
Indian movie star Rahul Bhatt will be attending the screening of his film, ‘Kennedy’ which had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in May. He will be joining director Anurag Kashyap who is longtime friend of the festival and there is a chance to see his magnum opus, ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ too in the festival. ‘Kennedy’ screens at the Regent Street Cinema on Wednesday, November 1. The festival also has a games section.
See our interview with Kashyap and Bhatt in Cannes to know more about the film and what it was like for Kashyap to return to Cannes with a film…

Check out the full programme for all the towns from here –

Busan International Film Festival highlights


SPEAKING of film festivals, one of Asia’s biggest has just concluded – the Busan International Film Festival in South Korea ended on October 13 and it was among the best attended in its history, according to reports.
Among the international stars in attendance were Chow Yun Fat, Luc Besson, Fan Bingbing, Hirokazu Kore-eda and Ryusuke Hamaguchi.
Japan had the most number of films at the festival which screened 209 features from 70 countries in all – a decent number despite the cutbacks and lower funding available to organisers this year.
Karan Johar’s hit ‘Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani’ was screened and its director Karan Johar spoke through a video message. Hansal Mehta’s (‘The Buckingham Murders’) Hindi series ‘Scoop’, which airs on Netflix, won the Best Asian TV Series award. Its lead actress, Karishma Tanna, who accepted the award at BIFF, won the Best Actress trophy. Sri Lankan director Prasanna Vithanage’s film ‘Paradise’ shared the Kim Jiseok Award with Mirlan Abdykalykov’s ‘Bride Kidnapping’. ‘The Wrestler’, directed by Bangladeshi-Canadian filmmaker Iqbal H Chowdhury and Mori Tatsutya’s ‘September 1923’ were joint winners of the New Currents Award. Nepalese film ‘Where the Rivers Run South’, which was part of the Asian Project Market, received support from the Asian Cinema Fund’s script development pool in the form of a $10,000 grant.

Mumbai Film Festival opens with UK-based film

The Buckingham Murders’

ONE OF INDIA’s most prominent film festivals, the Mumbai Film Festival and better known as Mami (Mumbai Academy of Moving Image) starts this Friday (October 27) and its jury will be headed up by director Mira Nair.
The Opening Gala film is one that came to London FilmFestival and stars Kareena Kapoor Khan. ‘The Buckingham Murders’ (see here for our review) is totally set in the UK and Khan plays a British Asian police inspector. Among the familiar faces to UK audiences in the film are Ash Tandon (‘Bodyguard’) and Keith Allen.
Those who are avid followers of acv will also recognise both ‘Stolen’ (review here ) and ‘Agra’ among the films screening across Mumbai at Mami this year. We aim to have a full preview before the festival starts…

Bhangra singers to perform as traditional troubadours and bards

Kulwant Singh Bhamrah

PUNJABI Shayari poetry comes to Birmingham this Friday (October 27) in the form of three well-recognised bhangra artistes, Channi Singh, Jandu Littranwala and Kulwant Singh Bhamarah.
This form of poetry and public address dates back to the 16th century in India and gained favour in Mughal times with popularity of the poet Tulsidas.
This tradition was somewhat revived when Punjabi immigrants began settling in and around the Midlands, and started performing at weddings and in some pubs.
The three will be performing around local community centres, libraries and some pubs in the city and West Bromwich this Friday.
They are in the area as part of the DESIblitz Literature Festival which finishes on Saturday (October 28). The fest opened with a Goodness Gracious Me 25th anniversary event last Friday (October 20). Among the authors participating are Saima Mir, Ajay Chowdhury and Melissa Addey.
More here –

Asian Media Awards – shows and stars

Parle Patel (Instagram)

MEDIA personalities will be gathering in Manchester this Friday (October 27) for the Asian Media Awards.
This year’s compere is Neev Spencer who is a regular present on Magic Radio and was one of the first Asian broadcasters to have broken through into mainstream commercial radio music presenting and made her name initially on Kiss FM.
There are some 15+ plus awards across the arts and media space up for grabs. The shortlist for each category was announced last month.
In the Best Stage Production there are several shows we have covered including ‘Orpheus’, ‘The Empress’, ‘The Father and the Assassin’, ‘Patel’s Millions’ – social media star Parle Patel also gets an individual nomination award in the Oustanding Stage Performance category, as does Nisha Aaliya for playing the role of Bhanumati in Samir Bhamra’s Phizzical show, ‘Bombay Superstar’; also appearing in the same category in Waleed Akhtar as Bilal in award-winning, ‘The P Word’.
Among those on the shortlist and who have worked with acv previously are Sunny & Shay, who appear in the Radio category; and presenter Attika Choudhary is shortlisted in the Best Podcast category for her Positive Solace series.
Good luck to all nominees!
More here –

One-day festival celebrating a South Asian language

Abi Sampa (Instagram)

URDU – as a language and a culture – will take centre stage at the Jashn-e-Rekhta in London on Saturday (October 28).
Building on the success of a similar initiative in Delhi in 2015 and organised by the Rekhta Foundation, this one-day festival in London will bring together artists, dancers, scholars and poets from across India, Pakistan and the diaspora.
Conceptualised and curated by Huma Khalil, author, translator, and filmmaker, the festival will feature Qawwali singer Abi Sampa. The festival is already sold out at its venue of Westminister Chapel, Buckingham Gate and organisers hope to get a larger venue for next year.
More information:

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Written by Asian Culture Vulture