The London Indian Film Festival (LIFF) is at almost at the half-way point, here’s our mini-round-up...
WE ARE NEARLY at the half-way point of the festival which ends this Sunday (July 3)…what films have you seen, if any?
Yesterday (June 26), in something of a homage, we were at the BFI Southbank to see ‘Chhello Show’ (‘Last Picture Show’).
Writer-director Pan Nalin was at the main theatre – NFT 1, to introduce his feature, which has significant autobiographical elements.
We spoke to him about his feature pre Liff 2022 release here – see below.
Our review from Tribeca (remotely) last year: http://asianculturevulture.com/portfolios/tribeca-treats-2021-last-film-show-gujarati-india-sweets-and-spices-manisha-koirala-and-lockdown-comedy-drama-7-days-from-team-ro/
It is a shame in some ways that not more Gujaratis were in the audience to see this film, which is shot wholly on location in Kathiawad – the Gujarat Peninsula. Nalin said there are lots of different ethnic groups in this area, which is more commonly known as Saurashtra. In the film, the young boy ‘Samay’ (and loosely based on Nalin), played absolutely brilliantly by Bhavin Raberi, has a group of friends, and just like Raberi they are local and includes one boy who is from the Siddi/Siddhi community – which originated from Africa and have long been settled in that part of Gujarat.
Palin’s film has some gastronomic elements to it, as we discussed in our Zoom and he said at the BFI that his family was obsessed with food (as many South Asian families are) and that his brother helped to make the dishes that are so beautifully and lovingly shot in the film. Asked about restaurant recommendations in a question fron the floor – Nalin gave the perfect answer, he prefers “home-cooked food”.
He also said it was amazing to him that the film has been sold to famous Japanese film company, Shochiku.
“I learnt about Japanese films through Shochiku and mine was the first Indian film they bought in 100 years.”
There is a screening of ‘Chhello Show‘ tomorrow at Cine Lumiere in South Kensington at 6pm.
At the other end of the spectrum in a manner of speaking almost, was ‘Americanish’ – the directorial debut of Egyptian American director, Iman Zawahry. It screened at the festival for the first time yesterday (June 26) afternoon at Picturehouse Central.
Brought up in the US and with co-writer and star of the film, Aizzah Fatima, the two effectively presented their US festivals-award winning film in Europe for the first time yesterday as well at Picturehouse Central. It is very much a South Asian Muslim tale of our times: poignant, funny and romantic. It screens again on Wednesday (June 29) at Cine Lumiere at 6pm. More on this soon – as we speak to Zawahry and Fatima about their film. Matriarch in the film – Lillete Dubey was the Opening gala film, ‘Dobaara’ on Thursday. And the film also features Indian influencer and actor, Shenaz Treasury.
Starting this evening is Save The Planet strand – with the quirky ‘The Road to Kuthriyar’ screening at the Barbican this evening (June 27).
Tomorrow (June 28) there is ‘Hati Bondhu – Friends of Elephants’ at Rich Mix in Shoreditch, east London. And you can watch ‘Moving Upstream: Ganga’ and Chasing Sustainability: Tales from South Asia – a series of shorts on the LoveLiffathome web platform. (See Liff website for details).
Tomorrow sees another unusual documentary in the form of ‘Dug Dug’ again at the Barbican at 5.50pm.
Meanwhile, we covered Bollywood star Taapsee Pannu’s Liff Talk on Saturday (June 26) at Cine Lumiere here – https://www.instagram.com/p/CfT79FRsU4c/
We also have a video of the red carpet of the world premiere of the British feature, ‘Little English’ coming to the site shortly.
Our video and pictures from the opening night are here –
If you’re looking for the Liff festival experience – there are still some tickets for the closing gala film – ‘Superfan: Nav Bhatia’. If you are uncertain, just stay tuned to us to learn more… 😉
Listings for Liff 2022 here – https://londonindianfilmfestival.co.uk/
*We also have a mini-round-up of Tribeca Festival coming up with a couple of reviews – the Indian film, ‘Two Sisters and a Husband’ and the American narrative feature, ‘God’s Time’ which saw Liz Caribel Sierra win a Tribeca Jury Mention for her performance in a lead role. Well worth seeing her and one to look out for – reminds us a little of Sasha Lane’s breakthrough debut in ‘American Honey’ (2016).