5 items from 2016
Saadat Hassan (Vinay Pathak, whose character’s name serves as a nod to the author who wrote the story the film is based on) arrives at the Lahore Mental Hospital in 1947, just prior to Partition and the subsequent independence of India and Pakistan. He serves both as a narrator of events outside the hospital, and a witness to events inside it.
Ketan Mehta (perhaps best known for Mirch Masala and Bhavni Bhavai)’s film is an adaptation of Saadat Hassan Manto’s short story, “Toba Tek Singh”, which deals with the exchange of the patients of a mental institution several years after Partition. The Lahore Mental Hospital’s most curious inmate is Bishan Singh (Pankaj Kapur), a man who never sits, never lies down, and who, it is said, has not slept for ten years. Bishan Singh, generally quiet, does, nevertheless, have a bit of nonsense that he babbles every so often, »
- Katherine Matthews
Toba Tek Singh follows the story on Bishan Singh (Pankaj Kapoor), a Sikh inmate of a mental institution, who hasn’t slept for 15 years and always asks the same question “Where is Toba Tek Singh?”, the name of his home village. The new warden (Vinay Pathak) takes delight on Bishan and the other patients’ eccentricities. However, with the Partition of India and Pakistan it seems that the world outside is more insane then the people inside, and the institution must give up all its Hindu and Sikh inmates. Singh is marched to the new border, but in which country is his beloved home?
The film, directed by Ketan Mehta, is part of Zeal For Unity, »
- Núria Bonals Hidalgo
Challenging stereotypes of India and South Asia, and wrestling with some very hard issues the 7th Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival returns this Summer.
The Director of the Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival, Cary Rajinder Sawhney states,”We aim to showcase films that entertain but challenge and make one think about the many social issues happening in India today, and that includes many positive changes including the fact that so many emerging Indian women filmmakers who are producing world-class films that are giving their male counterparts a serious run for their money.”
The diverse programme of brand new features, documentaries and shorts includes seven films directed by power-packed women filmmakers that give the Bechdel Test a run for its money, including the Thelma and Louise-esque opening night buddy movie, Parched, set in the desert villages of India’s Gujarat (female director Leena Yadav and Producer and Bollywood star Ajay Devgn, is expected). Double Oscar® winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, introduces her punch in the guts, documentary, A Girl In The River – The Price of Forgiveness.
With a strong Lgbtq+ following, the festival proudly hosts its first Transgender movie based on an empowering true story – I am Not He…She, at BFI Southbank, supported by Mac Cosmetics and Sun Mark Ltd, amongst others. Bangalore Director Bs Lingadevaru, is expected.
Reflecting the linguistic diversity of UK’s South Asian communities, the carefully curated programme will include 15 major languages, including films from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka. All films are English subtitled.
This celebration of Indian regional diversity includes a very rare on-stage Q&A at BFI Southbank with one of South India’s greatest ever superstars – Kamal Haasan, who moved from child actor to Tamil cinema star, to produce, write and direct some of India’s most acclaimed features, including many Bollywood hits. He is adored by millions of fans, worldwide.
The closing night gala, is the world premiere of the incredibly moving and intense Toba Tek Singh, which focuses on patients locked in a Punjabi mental health hospital during the Partition (legendary director Ketan Mehta, is expected).
Sri Lankan breakout filmmakers Kalpana & Vindana Ariyawansa explore the taboo subject of obsessive compulsive disorder (Ocd) in a very personal family drama Dirty, Yellow, Darkness, while at the Ica, Director Jayaraj from Kerala, presents the Berlinale Crystal-Bear winner, Ottaal (The Trap), a heart-wrenching drama, based on the roots of child slave labour.
On a lighter note the festival also celebrates two icons of cinema with on-stage interviews with Satyajit Ray’s favourite actress Sharmila Tagore from Kolkata and the only Indian filmmaker to truly cross from Bollywood to Hollywood – Shekhar Kapur, who will discuss his plans for Elizabeth 3. Let’s hope that Cate Blanchett continues her reign in this expected sequel.
Also in the line-up is a special screening of the risque film Brahman Naman, directed by India’s leading indie director Q, the hilarious coming-of-age comedy is exclusive to Netflix. The Mumbai music industry focused Jugni, shows that love and a damn-good Punjabi song, can conquer even the toughest hearts (female director, Shefali Bhushan, is expected).
As well as synchronous screenings in London and Birmingham from 14-24 July, the Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival goes live on digital, with the festival showing a selection of films on BFI Player into the Autumn.
Festival Patron Tony Matharu, who is also our founding sponsor, from Grange Hotels, continues to support with full fervour, and the festival welcomes back supporters including title sponsor, the Bagri Foundation, who share our passion for South Asian arts and culture. The British Film Institute and Cineworld Cinemas have supported Liff since year one. The festival enjoys on-going essential support from major sponsor, Sun Mark Ltd.
Title Sponsor Alka Bagri of the Bagri Foundation says, “We are delighted to support such an incredible festival which reveals the richness of South Asian culture and offers a wonderful platform for emerging talent. This year’s programme epitomises the diversity and dynamism of South Asian cinema, and through films, debates and panel discussions, we will explore topical issues such as gender, identity, mental health and equality. We look forward to being joined by two acclaimed figures of Indian cinema: Kamal Haasan and Shekhar Kapur who will take us on their cinematic journey”.
Liff presents the prestigious annual Satyajit Ray Short Film Competition, in association with the Bagri Foundation, with a prize of £1,000 to the winning film. The short film programme screens at the Ica on Wednesday 20th July and the winning short will be announced at the closing night gala, on 21st July, at BFI Southbank. The festival continues in Birmingham, until 24th July.
Participating cinemas’ in London are: Cineworld (Haymarket, O2, Wandsworth, Wembley), BFI Southbank, Ica, Picture House Central, Crouch End Picturehouse, East London’s rustic Boleyn Cinema, with Cineworld Broad Street and Midland Arts Centre (Mac), in Birmingham.
Director Leena Yadav tells a wonderfully joyous and inspiring tale of female comradery.
– Q&A with Director Leena Yadav and other special guests.
14 July | 18:00 | Cineworld Haymarket, London
15 July | 19:00 | Cineworld Broad Street, Birmingham
16 July | 17.30 | Cineworld Wembley, London
20 July | 20.40 | BFI Southbank, London
Closing Night | World Premiere: Toba Tek Singh
– Q&A with Director Ketan Mehta and other special guests.
21 July | 18:00 | BFI Southbank, London
24 July | 18:00 | Cineworld Broad Street, Birmingham
– Icons from India, polymath Kamal Haasan (whose films have the highest number of Academy Award submissions from India), and director of the exquisite BAFTA & Oscar® winning Elizabeth & The Golden Age films, Shekhar Kapur, will give masterclasses at BFI Southbank, with the famous female scion of the Tagore family, who married into Indian royalty, Sharmila Tagore, speaking at the historic art deco cinema, Cineworld Haymarket.
– A 2016 highlight, is a rare opportunity to hear female filmmakers like Pakistan’s double Oscar®-winning Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Mumbai’s multi-award winning Leena Yadav, documentary filmmaker Rinku Kalsy and other special guests, talking about their unique careers and exploring commonalities of experience, with women filmmakers around the world.
– The UK premiere of the restored verison of the 1948 film Kalpana (Imagination), by the legandary dancer, Padma Vibhushan Uday Shankar (brother of the late Sitar stalwart Ravi Shankar), starring the legendary dancer and actress Padmini (Mera Naam Joker/Thillana Mohanambal), in her cinematic debut, gets a one off special screening in Birmingham.
– Winner of the best directing debut at the Venice Film Festival, the Hindi language film directed by Ruchika Oberoi, Island City, tells three stories, of a drone employee at a soulless corporation wins an office competition entitling him to a whole day of fun at the mall; a domineering head of a family who suffers a stroke and is on life support, and a woman who is leading a mechanical existence blossoms, when she gets a series of anonymous love letters.
– Actor, Leader, Hero, God. For his fans, the superstar Rajinikanth is all of these. Men from various generations alter their lives, sell their belongings, and place fandom above their families in devotion to the iconic actor, a man who has inspired a fanatic cult following across the world ranging from India to Japan. This is explored in the riveting documentary, For The Love Of A Man.
– Made under the Zeal for Unity India-Pakistan filmmaking initiative, Khaema mein matt jhankain (Don’t Peek Into The Tent) and Jeewan Hathi (Elephant In The Room) explore different facets of life in Pakistan. Tamil Naidu’s hottest young filmmaker M Manikandan returns to the festival, after last year’s hit Kaaka Muttai (Crow’s Egg), with the stylish, twisted plot thriller, with Kutrame Thandanai.
– The new tale by Kaushik Ganguly, one of West Bengal’s most accomplished directors, depicts a love-torn nostalgia for the passing age of film called Cinemawala, while Liff’s first Nepali screening is directed by new hot-property director Min Bahadur Bham, who has been delighting audiences around Europe with his film Kalo Pothi (The Black Hen).
– For more information on the festival please visit:
– The full festival programme for London and Birmingham:
The post The London Indian Film Festival brings cinematic diversity to London and Birmingham: 14-24 July appeared first on BollySpice.com. »
- Stacey Yount
What does it take to an endure as a successful film composer in the 21st century? The answer, if you’re Brian Tyler, is versatility – and a lot of energy. Making his concert debut at London’s Royal Festival Hall on Saturday night, the ubiquitous Tyler presented a rollicking line-up of his various scores for film, TV and console games, his muscular offerings proving that he really is this generation’s heir apparent to Jerry Goldsmith (that many of his scores exceed the quality of the projects for which they’re written is another facet he shares with Goldsmith.)
Loose and limber whilst addressing the might of the Philharmonia Orchestra, plus choir, Tyler’s dazzling conducting skills made for sheer spectacle all on their own, the composer using his entire body and vigorously gesticulating to all points »
- Sean Wilson
By Katherine Matthews and Rumnique Nannar
One of the most frustrating aspects of covering festival and indie films has been the limited access for a wider audience – very often review comments run along the lines of: “Tell me where I can see this!” 2015 was a year that finally saw some great shifts in this, with a number of festival films finally getting a theatrical release – some of them films that had been on the festival circuit for a couple of years, some of them hot off the 2015 festival rounds. Audiences for both festival and indie films are small, but they’re growing, and access to this year’s “best of” selection should be easier for interested viewers. 2015 was, indeed, a great year for these films – enjoy our choices for Festival and Indie Bests!
A TIFF2013 film that finally saw its theatrical release this past year, Qissa (“Folktale”), set in post-partition India, »
- BollySpice Team
5 items from 2016
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