The 2023 autumn/winter edition of London Indian Film Festival (LIFF) will open later this month with the European premiere of Indian spy thriller ‘Berlin’ as the annual celebration of South Asian cinema expands to more UK cities of Manchester, Birmingham, Bradford and Leeds from this year.
After its London launch on October 25, ‘Berlin’ will also open the Birmingham leg of the festival. In Bradford, LIFF will host the UK premiere of Anurag Kashyap’s thriller ‘Kennedy’, which opened at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year. Kashyap’s latest serial killer thriller also forms the centrepiece of LIFF’s new action strand named “Death By Any Means”, which will also screen films such as ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ and Oscar winner S.S. Rajamouli’s ‘Eega’ (The Fly).
LIFF said: “The festival in London is supported by the Bagri Foundation, and is launching with the European Premiere of ‘Berlin’, likely the most cleverly constructed Indian film of 2023.
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“From writer and director Atul Sabharwal, this compelling spy thriller stars Aparshakti Khurana as a young sign language teacher lured into the dark world of espionage, as he is coerced by undercover security forces to interrogate a young deaf man, powerfully played by Ishwak Singh, who has been accused of spying. Veteran actor Kabir Bedi gives a commanding cameo performance.”
This year LIFF also enters the world of online gaming and XR developed by South Asian creatives, marking the UK’s first showcase of new Indian computer games.
Bengali director Srijit Mukherji returns to the annual festival for the closing night screening in London of his latest film ‘Padatik’. Released this year as part of Mrinal Sen’s 100th birthday celebrations, Mukherji’s film explores the life of one of India’s great filmmakers and follows Sen from his days as a struggling political idealist unable to feed his family to his growing obsession with filmmaking in 1950s Calcutta where, alongside his friend Satyajit Ray, he kickstarted the Indian New Wave cinema movement.
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LIFF, which runs until November 4, also has an “Extra-Ordinary Lives” strand with a range of premieres including ‘Privacy’ – the story of a big city surveillance cop who goes off the rails played by Rajshri Deshpande, and ‘Joram’ – about a father on the run starring Bajpayee and Tannishtha Chatterjee.
*Info: London Indian Film Festival