London Film Festival Showcases Independent Indian Films
The London Indian Film Festival (LIFF), in its fourth year showcases cutting-edge films by independent film-makers from South Asia.
Organizers say the festival aims to dispel the myth that the Indian film industry is confined to Bollywood. The 10-day programme includes films which present a more realistic view of India, tackling issues of sexuality, infidelity and corruption.
The Opening film of this year’s LIFF is Monsoon Shootout, directed by debutant Amit Kumar. A dark thriller set in Mumbai, it tells the story of a rookie cop facing the dilemma: to shoot or not to shoot.
“Being the opening film in LIFF is like coming home, as I developed the original idea for the film in London, It’s like a tribute to all the people from the UK who’ve been involved in the project.” says Amit Kumar.
For the first time the festival includes a female director from Pakistan. Iram Parveen Bilal has written, produced and directed Josh, which tells the story of motherhood, class struggle and feudalism.
The young film-maker says she is delighted to be screening her work at the festival, which she believes is Europe’s largest platform for South Asian cinema.
“It’ll be interesting to get the British viewpoint about the Pakistani film – they have a history and a connection with Pakistan which is very different from the US or anywhere else in the world,” she says.
“LIFF provides a platform for film-makers to get their movies out there because that’s the ultimate aim of the game,” Sheena Morjaria, chief executive officer of film consultancy Flick the Switch.
Other screenings include Shahid, by Hansal Mehta, and Tasher Desh (The Land of Cards), by Bengali director Q – an adaptation of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s dance drama.
Films are in multiple languages including Hindi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi and Urdu, but all of them have English subtitles.
The festival runs from 18-25 July. It will also tour Bradford’s National Media Museum and Glasgow’s Film Theater.