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Grabs Top Award at Film Festival for Breaking London Indian

Pan Nalin’s ode to cinema Last Film Show (aka Chhello Show) earned the audience award at The Blue Orchid Hotels London Indian Film Festival, which took place in London, but also traveled to Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds between June 23 and July 8, 2022.

Nalin has previously enjoyed success at the festival with his other award-winning films including Samsara, Valley of the Flowers and Angry Indian Goddess in the Satayjit Ray short film category Jaagran, co-directed by Ritviq Joshi and Hardik Sadhwani, won the LIFF Jury Prize. Jury judges awarded the film for its engaging, relatable and witty exploration of a serious issue everyone can identify with. They also said they found it, socially and politically astute, brilliantly acted and hilariously funny.

Jaagran’ was an over-ambitious 20 page dream that we saw together, said Joshi and Sadhwani. Miraculously, we put together an experienced team who believed in the script, helped us learn and turn our dream into reality. Today, after getting the honor of receiving an award with Satyajit Ray’s name on it, we’re back to square one. We’re back in a dream. Only this time, it’s not limited to the two of us. This one belongs to twenty more dreamers.

Other prizes were awarded to actors Taapsee Pannu and Konkona Sen Sharma who collected outstanding achievement awards, filmmaker and actor Nandita Das, and director Aparna Sen, who received the Icon Award.

Making films on my own terms without commercial compromise for 40 years, has often seemed a thankless job, but now, after the Icon Award from LIFF I feel vindicated. Thank you LIFF for continuing to believe in meaningful cinema, said Sen.

We are delighted that the festival’s drive to return fully to cinemas in U.K. cities London, Birmingham and Manchester has been responded to by record audiences. Certain cinemas, such as the BFI Southbank, described the festival as their best seller over the period. There is clearly an appetite to return to the big screen, especially with a festival cocktail of high quality premieres with frequent guest appearances, said festival director Cary Rajinder Sawhney.

We have had a march of high level Indian talent to the festival, which has been difficult to ignore, helmed by our world premiere of enfant terrible director Anurag Kashyap’s ‘Dobaaraa,’ with Bollywood stars Taapsee Pannu and Pavail Gulati on the red carpet. The tour de force of female indie actor-director greats [continued with] Aparna Sen, Nandita Das and Konkona Sen Sharma, plus British icon Meera Syal [and] strongly cemented the image of the festival as the sole destination for intellectually, stimulating but entertaining debate, with young women in particular stating that the Q&As and in-conversations had deeply inspired them.

A selection from the program is now available on BFI Player and the LoveLiffatHome Online Player.

London Indian Film Festival Returns to Cinemas in June

The London Indian Film Festival is back in cinemas this summer after an all-virtual effort in 2020.

In a challenging year for India and South Asia, the Bagri Foundation-run London festival and sister events in Birmingham and Manchester will premiere new indie films from the Indian subcontinent and diaspora, running from June 17-July 4. The fest will also have a virtual component via LoveLIFFatHome.com.

The festival is supported by the British Film Institute (BFI) using funds from the National Lottery.

The festival’s opening night U.K. gala premiere is feature documentary W.O.M.B. (Women of My Billion), which tells the story of one woman, Shrishti Bakshi, who walks the entire length of India (nearly 4,000 km) over 240 days to explore the experiences of other women in its one billion-plus population. Another highlight of the festival is a special focus on British Asian filmmakers and their continued contribution to British cinema, which often depicts the British Asian immigrant experience.

Festival director Cary Rajinder Sawhney MBE said: Last year we grew our audiences quite substantially by going online and U.K.-wide. With the U.K. scene improving, we are delighted to not only offer a strong high definition online experience on LoveLIFFatHome.com, but to also welcome our audiences back to the big screen in three major U.K. cities, at some of their finest cinemas.

Cinemas across the U.K. will begin to open their doors from May 17.

We will be showcasing the unstoppable force that is India’s rich and diverse filmmaking, and of course the festival will be helping to highlight and support COVID charities working in South Asia, added Sawhney. In this year when ‘Britishness’ is being re-defined, we offer our ‘Great British Asians’ strand which will celebrate British Asian filmmakers and throw a spotlight on exciting emerging talents.

This year’s highlights include special in conversation events with screenwriters Hanif Kureshi (My Beautiful Laundrette); Oscar and BAFTA-winning director Asif Kapadia (Amy) at BFI Southbank; director Gurinder Chadha (Blinded by the Light), alongside the 20th anniversary of the making of her Bend It Like Beckham; and British feminist filmmaker Pratibha Parmar (Sari Red) at the Barbican. The festival also celebrates feature doc Ahimsa: Gandhi The Power of the Powerless and also marks India’s greatest director, Satyajit Ray, on his 100th birth anniversary.

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