FESTIVAL ARCHIVE 2010
Overview of the 2010 Festival
London INDIAN Film Festival launched 15-20 July 2010 with a simple and focussed brief: to show the very best of new Indian independent films, especially those made by a younger generation of filmmakers. It did this in a spectacular way, capturing the imagination of cinema partners across London, who shared our passion and supported our cause. Cineworld cinemas (Cineworld Haymarket), Barbican, Watermans Arts Centre, Nehru Centre, and Genesis cinema all hosted films and events to our diverse audiences.
In our first year funding partners included the Satyajit Ray Foundation, ImagineAsia Ltd, Official Hotel Partner Grange Hotels, Mint Leaf, as well as Feel Soft Ltd and Sitaaray, Voodoo Entertainment, and Media Partners Eastern Eye, and Exclusive London
Our programme kicked off with a red-carpet UK Premiere of the stunning ‘Love Sex Aur Dhoka’, directed by Dibakar Banerjee who, with Actor Anshuman Jha, gave a sparkling Q&A after the screening to a packed house at Cineworld Haymarket’s largest screen. Other UK premieres included Anurag Kashyap’s hit ‘Dev D’, Eastern Eye Gala ‘Road To Sangam’, and ‘City of Gold’.
‘Last Chance Mumbai’ was also screened and the festival closed with Marathi Producer Girish Kulkarni presenting the UK premiere of Berlin Film Festival hit ‘Vihir’ (The Well).
With its finger firmly on the pulse, LIFF 2010 attracted gigantic media coverage in UK and internationally, well above any other festival of its scale in Britain. Press coverage in the UK alone topped a circulation of over 2.5 million, with articles in Evening Standard, Guardian, Metro, Independent, Empire Online, Eastern Eye, and local papers. Alongside considerable coverage in Times of India, Variety, Screen International, and major movie websites, our circulation was raised to over 10million people and this didn’t include the interviews on BBC radio, Zee and Sony Television worldwide.
Our first year also saw The Satyajit Ray Foundation’s annual Short Film Competition move to LIFF with a £1,000 prize awarded, on our Closing Night, to Billy Dosanjh, for his documentary ‘A Miracle in West Brom’ (UK. 2010). Our very first LIFF 2010 Audience Prize was won by Gandhian tear-jerker ‘Road To Sangam’, directed by Amit Rai.
The 2010 Programme
Thursday 15th July -Opening Night 7.00pm Love Sex Aur Dhokha screening and Q&A with Director Dibakar Banerjee, Actor Anshuman Jha in conversation with Critic Asjad Nazir at Cineworld Haymarket.
Friday 16th July 3.00pm Satyajit Ray Foundation’s Short Film Award nominees screening at Nehru Centre 7.00pm City Of Gold screening at Genesis 8.00pm Dev D screening at Watermans
Saturday 17th July 7.45pm Last Chance Mumbai screening at Barbican 8.00pm Love Sex Aur Dhokha screening at Watermans
Sunday 18th July 3.45pm Road To Sangam (Eastern Eye Gala) screening at Barbican, introduced by Critic Amit Roy, 7.00pm Last Chance Mumbai screening at Watermans 7.00pm City Of Gold screening at Genesis
Monday 19th July 1.00pm India/UK Co-production & Distribution Industry Lunch 7.00pm Road To Sangam screening at Genesis
Tuesday 20th July 7.00pm Satyajit Ray Foundation’s Short Film Awards & Closing Night Film Vihir (The Well) + Q&A with Producer Girish Kulkarni in conversation with Critic Naman Ramchandran at Cineworld Haymarket
Love Sex Aur Dhokha
Dir. Dibakar Banerjee / Script Kanu Behl, Dibakar Banerjee / with Anshuman Jha, Neha Chauhan, Raj Kumar, Arya Banerjee / 2009.
Shocking and gripping, this international (un-censored) version of LSD pulls no punches as it introduces us to the surveillance stuffed world of modern mega-city India. Deftly told through 3 inter-twinned stories, Banerjee takes us on a roller coaster ride of twisted tales of young love, soaked in betrayal. These are voyeuristically served up for the viewer through a spicy and intrusive mix of modern technology, online chat-date sites, amateur cameras, and supermarket surveillance equipment. Not shying away from hard social issues, the film also vividly portrays social concerns of inter-caste romance, honour killings, and blackmail, where modernity crashes headlong with age-old custom. Our lives are not our own, so be careful what you do! Don’t miss it!
For more information go to: www.lsdthefilm.com
City Of Gold
Dir. Mahesh Manjrekar / Screenplay Jayant Pawar & Mahesh Manjrekar / with Shashank Shende, Seema Biswas, Ankush Choudhary / 2010.
Set at a similar time as Slum Dog Millionaire, this is a powerful tale about a great time of change in Mumbai – regarded by many as the ‘City of Gold’. The Dhuri family of mill workers, headed by their strong-willed mother, played by the great Seema Biswas (Bandit Queen), live on the edge of the slums. They struggle to survive the abyss of poverty as Mumbai’s great mills are struck down by political corruption and commercial greed, to make way for glittering new shopping malls and 5 star hotels. As dad looses his job and they tip into the abyss, the young sons and daughters must all make heart-wrenching decisions to save the family: mixing with the darker side of under-world power; and trying to marry themselves off to men with jobs. None is as great as that of budding writer son, Baba, who is un-able to sell his scripts and makes an even more desperate sacrifice.
For more information go to: www.cityofgoldthefilm.com
Dir. Anurag Kashyap / Script Vikramaditya Motwane, Anurag Kashyap / with Abhay Deol, Mahie Gill, Kalki Koechlin / 2009
From Anurag Kashyap, who’s at the vanguard of cutting edge Indian directors, comes this brilliant, luxuriantly visual contemporary re-telling of the classic story of Devdas. Teenage Dev is forced to leave his childhood sweetheart, Paro, behind when he is sent abroad. He struggles through his studies and years later returns home to India where his family hopes he will marry Paro. However, Dev’s promiscuity sees him lose her. He realises too late that he truly loves her and becomes tortured by regret, hurtling into a downward spiral of drugs and alcohol, with his only solace coming from Chanda, a prostitute with traumas of her own. Inevitably, Dev falls foul of the law and redemption proves elusive. The film’s path-breaking narrative struc-ture and rousing musical score capture the zeitgeist and underbelly of modern India, with Deol’s laconic portrayal of Dev instantly establishing him as the poster boy of alternate cinema from the subcontinent.
Last Chance Mumbai (Ek Tho Chance)
Dir. Saeed Akhtar Mirza / with Vijay Raaz , Purab Kohli, Rajat Kapoor / 2009
‘Monsoon Wedding’ actor Vijay Raaz leads an impressive cast of characters in this multi-strand ensemble, set in the megalopolis of modern Mumbai. Acclaimed Director Saeed Akhtar Mirza explores the connected lives of the city’s varied inhabitants over the same 24 hour period: from street kids struggling to live; a self indulgent millionaire playboy, who gets whatever girl he wants; to a sleek night thief (Raaz), who inadvertently steals from the wrong car, crossing a corrupt politician. He begins a police hunt that will bring all our characters head on, towards a spectacular road-crash finale.
For more information go to: www.ekthochance.com
Road to Sangam
Dir. Amit Rai / with Paresh Rawal, Om Puri, Tushar Gandhi / 2009
Mahatma Gandhi still evokes powerful feelings of sacrifice and secularism for many Indians today, over 60 years after his death. Some of Gandhiji’s ashes, which must be taken to the Hindu holy river ‘Sangam’, are discovered. A devout Muslim mechanic Hashmat (Paresh Rawal), has been entrusted the job of repairing the historic lorry that will carry the last ashes of the Mahatma. Hashmat is, however, caught in a complex situation when two innocent Muslim youths are arrested by police in his locality and are accused of terrorism. A strike to work is called by a prominent Muslim leader, played by Om Puri (East is East), to protest against this unjust treatment. As pressure increases, Hashmat is torn between whether to obey the strike and down tools, or follow his other ideals and strive to finish his work in honour of the great leader.
For more information go to: www.roadtosangam.com
Vihir (The Well)
Dir. Umesh Kulkarni / Script Girish Pandurang Kulkarni / with Madan Deodhar, Alok Rajwade, Dr Mohan Agashe / 2009
A wonderfully moving coming of age tale, stunningly filmed amongst the grandeur of the rolling Indian plains. Young Sameer leaves the city with his parents to visit their country family, who are preparing for a wedding. Sameer, however, has only one aim, to meet his cousin and best friend Nachiket. The two adolescent boys are inseparable and Sameer looks up to his older, free thinking cousin, who teaches him many truths as they stand at the cross-roads of their lives, with the innocence of child-hood slipping away. This change is echoed by the fate of Sameer’s female cousin, who is being forced into a marriage for the family’s petty gains. Nachiket becomes increasingly distraught by this marriage, until he can take it no longer, leading to an action that will change Sameer’s young life forever.
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