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‘Shiraz: A Romance of India’ London Film Festival glittering premiere and heading to India with Anoushka Shankar

‘Shiraz: A Romance of India’ London Film Festival glittering premiere and heading to India with Anoushka Shankar

* Shiraz: A Romance of India heading to India next
* World Premiere this evening at Barbican, London
* Part of UK-India 70 celebrations

ONE OF THE MOST eagerly anticipated events of the London Film Festival (LFF) takes place this evening at the Barbican Centre.

Celebrating 70 years of India’s Independence and part of the cultural programme devised for this year and supported by both the UK and Indian governments (as part of #UKIndia70), the 1928 film, ‘Shiraz: A Romance of India’, a silent film, will play to a live orchestral score composed Anoushka Shankar.

She announced excitedly that she will be visiting India with the film and her original score in November – see the FB link at the end.
The daughter of the late sitar maestro Ravi is an accomplished musician herself and earlier this year when the UK-India programme was announced, she talked about the challenges. See here

While this is a highly anticipated one-off in the UK now, LFF continued with a late flourish for some of the South Asian films screening at the 10-day fest, which ends tomorrow.

There’s also still time to see ‘Abu’ which screens this afternoon at the BFI Southbank at 3.30pm.

This deeply poignant tale of masculinity, sexuality and marginality, all set against the backdrop of the South Asian immigrant experience in Canada (in the West in general) rarely touches mainstream audiences but filmmaker Arshad Khan has assembled a very personal and timely story.

Screening this lunchtime was ‘Prince of Nothingwood’. Another documentary it examines the cult of Salim Shaheen, a genuine film star hailing from Afghanistan.

The eponymous hero is followed by radio journalist Sonia Kronlund, whom after 25 years of covering conflict in the region, switches media to tell the story of a man who has made a staggering 110 films in over 30 years as actor, director and producer. Our critic was charmed.

Last night, ‘Beyond the Clouds’ took centre stage as the film was screened for the very first time. It got the full red carpet treatment as a gala film and was unveiled at the Embankment Garden cinema, the temporary venue that is becoming a regular feature at the fest, after debuting to great success last year. We covered the gala screening of ‘Mirzya’; the visually stunning film by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra failed to ignite at the box office though).

Beyond the Clouds’ saw a brother of one of Bollywood’s best known stars, Ishaan Khattar, make his debut. Shahid Kapoor is one of Bollywood’s biggest stars and is all set to be unleashed as one of the sparring protagonists in auteur Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s forthcoming historical epic, ‘Padmavati’, wich releases on December 1.

ACV contributor Tasha Mathur gives her reaction.

Iranian auteur Majid Majidi was at the helm for ‘Beyond the Clouds’ and it isn’t the first time an Iranian director has made a film in India.
(Earlier this year, we covered on Facebook, ‘Salaam Mumbai’, a romantic drama starring Dia Mirza and Iranian idol, Reza Golzar.

Earlier, ACV’s Suman Bhuchar caught the mood on the Red Carpet last night.

Beyond the Clouds’ screened this morning and is set for a wider release from this weekend.

*Catch up with all our of LLF news next week when we round up our coverage of #LFF

See Anoushka Shankar’s announcement

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Written by Asian Culture Vulture