NEWS: The London Indian Film Festival

The London Indian Film Festival launches from 15th – 20th July 2010 in London, with a range of cutting-edge movies from some of India’s hottest independent talents, “we aren’t talking Bollywood here, but films that challenge, make you think and show a more realistic view of India today in all its colour and diversity.”

The festival’s selection of films are screened across London, opening in the city centre at Cineworld (Haymarket), then Barbican, Nehru Centre, Watermans and Genesis cinemas.

The festival promises to cover a wide range of themes, from family dramas, coming-of age tales to twisted urban romance. “What pervades many of these movies is a new more assured Indian cool, experimenting with cinematic styles, new technology and influenced by themes both East and West, which has helped them win favour with the young in-crowd in super cities like Mumbai.”

Highlight of the festival is said to be Love, Sex Aur Dhokha (Love, Sex and Betrayal), by director Dibakar Banerjee, which opens the event. “Through three intertwined tales, this controversial film explores sexuality, voyeurism, love and betrayal in modern India.”

Other highlights include “the high-impact City Of Gold, by the maverick director Mahesh Manjrekar, on the forgotten history of mill workers of Bombay, whose livelihoods were crushed when the mills were converted into the glitzy shopping malls and five star hotels; and Last Chance Mumbai, a sophisticated multi-strand ensemble exploring the connective lives of the city’s inhabitants over a 24 hour period by acclaimed director Saeed Akhtar Mirza.”

India is the largest film producing country in the world producing up to 1,000 films a year, out stripping Hollywood, but apart from mainstream Bollywood, very few of these films are seen in the UK. Festival Director Cary Rajinder Sawhney explains: “Apart from just showing great movies, we also aim to help get these film talked about and screened more broadly in cinemas in the UK, in the same way that Iranian cinema has been. London, of course, has a huge Asian audience for these movies, but many Brits would also like to see what’s going on in the 1.2 billion strong India today, and cinema is a great way to do this.”

The Satyajit Ray Foundation’s Short Film Competition has joined the festival with the winning filmmaker receiving a £1,000 Award on 20th July at Cineworld, Haymarket. More guests are expected to be confirmed nearer the time.

For more information on the event, visit the festival’s official website here.

Last Chance Mumbai

Love, Sex Aur Dhokha

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