The London Indian Film Festival festival showcases an eclectic variety of South Asian independent films: more here.

The London Indian Film Festival is the UK and Europe’s largest platform of South Asian (Indian, Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Sri Lankan) independent films. It runs from 23rd June – 3rd July 2022 with premieres, special screenings, masterclasses and Q&As across London. The LIFF festival also continues to show a selection of films regionally, with screenings in Manchester and Birmingham.

There are a number of highlights to look out for during the festival, including:

Too Desi Too Queer

Alongside city-wide Pride celebrations in London, LIFF are delighted to present their ‘Too Desi Too Queer’ shorts programme, exploring images of the lives, experiences and well-being of South Asian LGBTQIA+ communities in the Subcontinent and diaspora, through a dynamic and thought-provoking selection of recent LGBTQIA+ short films.

Friday 1 July, 18:00, BFI NFT1

https://whatson.bfi.org.uk/Online/default.asp?doWork::WScontent::loadArticle=Load&BOparam::WScontent::loadArticle::article_id=E96C8139-F038-4A23-A2EF-E9112C1847C3&BOparam::WScontent::loadArticle::context_id=E6A5F56A-E44A-44A5-BC88-8A924CF79BAA

ONCE UPON A TIME IN CALCUTTA

UK PREMIERE

Dir: Aditya Vikram Sengupta

With: Sreelekha Mitra, Shayak Roy, Bratya Basu

131 mins | 2021 | India, France, Norway

Bengali with English subtitles

World premiered at Venice Film Festival, Sengupta’s gorgeously shot film follows the story of Ela, a failed actress; she has recently lost her daughter – who was the only reason for Ela to stay with her husband. Ela faces various setbacks in her personal, professional and love life, but she doesn’t lose hope and sets out to find a new identity, love and independence in the booming streets of Calcutta. Showcasing beautifully nuanced performance from Sreelekha Mitra, the film captures the hustle and bustle of a city constantly in a state of flux.

Friday 1 July, 20:00, Ciné Lumière

https://www.institut-francais.org.uk/cine-lumiere/whats-on/special-screenings/once-upon-a-time-calcutta/

Aparna Sen / In Conversation + The Rapist

Dir: Aparna Sen

With: Konkona Sen Sharma, Arjun Rampal, Tanmay Dhania

132 mins | 2021 | India

A rare talk by India’s greatest and longest standing female writer director, known for her frank and honest views on women’s experience and filmmaking in Bengal. Aparna first came to international attention as a child actor in director Satyajit Ray’s classic Teen Kanya (Three Girls) (1961). She soon established herself as an established filmmaker in Bengal and then internationally, helming the acclaimed feature 36 Chowringhee Lane (1981), a slew of acclaimed hits followed, making her one of the most famous names in Bengali cinema.

Aparna Sen’s Busan premiered drama tells of a survivor of rape of and the struggles she goes through to reconcile her life and future. Aparna Sen’s powerful drama world premiered at Busan. Naina (Konkona Sen Sharma), a professor in criminal psychology, is married to academic Aftab (Arjun Rampal). Their lives change one night when Naina is raped and her friend killed. She testifies and the rapist is sentenced. Naina deals with her trauma when she finds she is pregnant. Director Aparna Sen examines the psychology of violence and raises disturbing questions about gender, class and legal rights.

Saturday 2 July, 17:00, BFI NFT1

https://whatson.bfi.org.uk/Online/default.asp?doWork::WScontent::loadArticle=Load&BOparam::WScontent::loadArticle::article_id=03AB05DB-4284-46CF-AE87-0E0D07860498&BOparam::WScontent::loadArticle::context_id=6BF14AB7-CE8F-4255-9E24-60A8CB85BCED

CLOSING NIGHT GALA – SUPERFAN: THE NAV BHATIA STORY

Dir: Amar Wala

50 mins | 2021 | Canada

English with English subtitles

A unique and uplifting documentary focusing on the life of the Toronto Raptors biggest fan, Nav Bhatia, and the massive impact he has had on the city’s basketball community. The film charts his journey to Canada as a low income immigrant worker from India and how his relentless passion for life not only built his career, but as he came into contact with basketball for the first time quickly expanded into supporting a struggling team. Bhatia not only inspired the players, but inspired generations to get into the sport and has brought together the city’s black and South Asian communities. This is a film that is bound to leave everyone who sees it with a smile on their face and in their hearts.

Sunday 3 July, 15:00, BFI NFT1

Q&A with Nav Bhatia and Producer Rinku Ghei

https://whatson.bfi.org.uk/Online/default.asp?doWork::WScontent::loadArticle=Load&BOparam::WScontent::loadArticle::article_id=43522B3E-4CBF-41FC-821C-56B996D57788&BOparam::WScontent::loadArticle::context_id=1D4E646E-EFA7-466C-8E18-6588AB075124

You can find out more information about the festival, including venues in Birmingham and Manchester, and other films you can see on their official website.  LIFF also provides accessibility worldwide through its online platform LoveLIFFatHome.com.

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