Starting with the world premiere of the Taapsee Pannu led thriller ‘Dobaaraa’, this year’s London Indian Film Festival (LIFF) opens next week in London with a strong female line-up of Indian actors and filmmakers.
LIFF 2022 includes the European premiere of ‘The Rapist’, starring Konkana Sen Sharma and Arjun Rampal, followed by a discussion with the award-winning director of the film – Aparna Sen. Also included is Rebana Liz John’s documentary ‘Ladies Only’, which explores feminist themes through observing the female only compartments of Mumbai’s packed commuter trains.
Festival Director Cary Rajinder Sawhney said: “We are delighted to be back in cinemas fully this year, opening with the World Premiere of thriller ‘Dobaaraa’.
“We are delighted to have rare live In Conversations with India’s greatest woman indie director Aparna Sen and with Nandita Das, and Konkona Sen, as well as Taapsee Pannu.
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“We are very happy to join forces this year with our long term supporters Blue Orchid as our new Title sponsor Blue Orchid Hotels.”
The festival opens on June 23 with the premiere of ‘Dobaaraa’, directed by filmmaker Anurag Kashyap and produced by Shobha Kapoor & Ektaa R. Kapoor’s Cult Movies – a new wing under Balaji Telefilms.
Sameer Nair, CEO of Applause Entertainment – behind another major film ‘The Rapist’ – said: “It is an intense portrait of a personal trauma while examining factors that cause sexual violence in India, told in the most subtle, yet gut-wrenching manner by Aparna Sen.
“We at Applause Entertainment believe it is a story that deserves to be shared with the widest possible audience and that it will resonate with viewers everywhere. The film has been winning hearts at festival runs and we’re immensely delighted to have it screened at the London Indian Film Festival for the UK audience.”
Among other UK premieres at the annual film festival celebrating Indian cinema in London, which runs until July 3, are Pan Nalin’s uplifting homage to celluloid ‘Chello Show’ and Anik Dutta’s ‘Aparajito’, a tribute to legendary director Satyajit Ray’s journey of making his first film – the cult classic ‘Pather Panchali’. An intimate look at modern day Calcutta, ‘Once Upon a Time in Calcutta’ by Aditya Vikram Sengupta and set against a score by Oscar-winning A.R. Rahman, who is also Executive Producer, ‘No Land’s Man’ starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui are among some of the other highlights this year. Under the festival’s ‘Save the Planet’ strand, ecological and climate themes are explored in ‘The Road to Kuthriyar’, ‘No Ground Beneath My Feet’ and ‘Hatibondhu’.
Rebana Liz John, the filmmaker behind ‘Ladies Only’, said: "It is a privilege for me that my film will play at so many screens across the UK this time, that too in festivals that fuse multiple worlds together.
“I am interested in getting to know an audience in the UK through this film and through the frames of the Indian Film Festivals in London, Manchester and Birmingham. It will be a little UK tour for me and I am looking forward to it!"
Pan Nalin, behind ‘Chhello Show, added: “We need celebrations like LIFF to show the world that Indian Cinema is extremely rich and diverse – and goes beyond Bollywood.
“What better event than the LIFF, BFI in London to celebrate cinema with ‘Chhello Show’ (Last Film Show).”
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Selections from the diaspora including British Indian comedy ‘Little English’ and there is also a special screening scheduled of Richard Attenborough’s classic ‘Gandhi’ to celebrate the 40th anniversary of this multi-Oscar winner.
“This year’s programme is packed with exciting, entertaining and thought-provoking films, including films which align with Integrity International Trust’s concerns around human rights, particularly relating to children, minorities and women, and environmental issues – depicted in several of the festival’s powerful premieres,” said Tony Matharu, Chairman of Blue Orchid Hotels and Integrity International Trust, title sponsor and patron of LIFF.
Canadian Indian documentary ‘Superfan: The Nav Bhatia Story’, set around the Toronto Raptors basketball team’s greatest fan, closes the festival in London.
Apart from its London leg, the film festival also travels to Birmingham until July 5 and Manchester until July 6.
*Info: London Indian Film Festival