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2016 BIRMINGHAM PROGRAMME

Our 2017 programme of films and events will be available soon...for now please have a look at last year's programme below.

Check out our 2016 Festival Trailer >

Birmingham Programme

PARCHED | (15)
Parched
FILM INFO

Hindi with English subtitles | 117 min | India 2015 | Dir. Leena Yadav | with: Radhika Apte, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Surveen Chawla, Lehar Khan.
   
play trailer

15 JULY | 19:00 | CINEWORLD BROAD STREET
Location Map SOLD OUT
SYNOPSIS
Director Leena Yadav tells a wonderfully joyous and inspiring tale of comradery. Four ordinary women live in a desert Gujarati village, weighed down by centuries of tradition. Rani (Tannishtha Chatterjee) lost her husband at 16 and struggles to bring up her teenage son, careful to follow every village rule. Her friend Lajjo (Radhika Apte) is always brimming with positivity, but fears beatings from her drunken husband. Bijli (Surveen Chawla) is secretly Rani's friend, she's a local performer and prostitute, but her beauty is coming to an end along with her youth. Janaki (Lehar Khan) is a child bride to Rani's son, secretly struggling to come to terms with a loveless marriage. As the magical festival of Dussehra approaches these friends' bonds are put to the test, forcing them to make decisions that will dynamically change their lives forever.
 
(Contains some scenes of nudity).
 
Q&A with Director Leena Yadav and Producer Ajay Devgn.
 
Supported by:
DESIblitz.com
Desi Blitz Logo
 
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NAANU AVANALLA AVALU (I AM NOT HE...SHE) | (12A)
Naanu Avanalla Avalu
FILM INFO

Kannada with English subtitles | 115 min | India 2014 | Dir. B S Lingadevaru | with: Sanchari Vijay, Sharada Nani, Kunal Punekar.
   
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15 JULY | 20:30 | MAC CINEMA CANNON HILL PARK Location Map Booking Info
SYNOPSIS
Based on an empowering true story, Madesha is a fearless young boy from rural Karnataka who cherishes his female persona and gorgeous saris. His sister enjoys his natural flamboyance and zest for life, but his father is ashamed of him and throws him out. Madesha picks himself up and sets out on a journey that will change his life forever as he decides to become a woman. In big-city Bangalore he seeks the support of local queens and the Hijra community (Eunuchs and Transgender people), but after a perilous surgery at a backstreet sex change clinic and name change to Vidya, she decides the traditional begging and prostitute life of a Hijra is not for her. Vidya wants something better.
 
Q&A with Director B S Lingadevaru
 
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KAMAL HAASAN | SCREEN TALK
Due to unforeseen circumstances we regret that this event has been cancelled.
Refunds available from cinema Box Office.
Kamal Haasan
16 JULY | 18:00 | CINEWORLD BROAD STREET
 
 
 
map  
SYNOPSIS
Join us for a rare on-stage interview with one of India's greatest film personalities. A President's Medal for his first screen performance at the age of four heralded his arrival as a child prodigy. From that moment, a remarkable and distinguished career spanning more than fifty years and over 200 films in six Indian languages, has cemented Kamal Haasan's unique standing in the Indian film firmament. An actor, director, producer, writer, singer, dancer/choreographer and lyricist par excellence, Haasan stands as a true Indian icon whose legions of fans and admirers have obliterated all barriers of language, community and creed from between themselves. He has spearheaded the early adoption of digital filmmaking technologies and business methodologies in an effort to maximize the tremendous potential of the Indian Media/ Entertainment Industry.
 
Kamal Haasan. Writer. Poet. Filmmaker. Actor. Rationalist. Social activist.
 
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BRAHMAN NAMAN | (18)
Brahman Naman
FILM INFO

English | 95 min | UK/India 2016 | Dir. Q. | with: Shashank Arora, Tanmay Dhanania, Chaitanya Varad.
   
play trailer website

16 JULY | 20:00 | CINEWORLD BROAD STREET
Location Map Booking Info
SYNOPSIS
Festival favourite director 'Q' (Gandu, Tasher Desh) returns with this In-Betweeners style coming-of-age comedy backed by a rock anthem score. Set in 1980s Bangalore, know-it all teenager Naman (Shashank Arora), and his fellow nerdy mates Ajay and Ramu win every local quiz competition and get hammered on the prize money. Then their big chance comes as the All-India Quiz Final in Calcutta is announced. The three quiz musketeers set out on a chaotic train ride north, but on the journey Naman has a mighty crush on the super-quiz heroine Naina. Naman and his mate's quest for glory by outsmarting their rivals gets confused with exploding testosterone levels and the trio slide into a mad-cap adventure with hilarious consequences.
 
(Contains some explicit sexual scenes).
 
Q&A with Director Q.
 
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OTTAAL (THE TRAP) | (12A)
Ottaal (The Trap)
FILM INFO

Malayalam with English subtitles | 81 min | India 2015 | Dir. Jayaraj Rajasekharan Nair | with: Shine Tom Chacko, Kumarakom Vasavan, Ashanth K. Sha.
   
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17 JULY | 14:00 | MAC CINEMA CANNON HILL PARK Location Map Booking Info
SYNOPSIS
Master Director Jayaraj won the Crystal Bear at this year's Berlinale with this adaption of Anton Chekhov's social concern short story Vanka – transposing it into the sumptuous wetlands of the Southern Indian state of Kerala. Kuttappayi has lost both his parents but has been raised by his loving grandfather. Together they tend flocks of ducks in vast flooded fields and tell each other whimsical stories. Kuttappayi's life seems good and easy and he dreams of going to school, but suddenly the old man falls ill and very soon the boy's future is put into doubt. The hard realities of poverty, shared by so many millions of children around the world, soon mean that Kuttappayi must face a hard new future to survive.
 
Special guests expected.
 
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JUGNI (FIREFLY) | (12A)
Jugni
FILM INFO

Hindi / Punjabi with English subtitles | 115 min | India 2016 | Dir. Shefali Bhushan | with: Sugandha Garg, Siddhant Behl, Sadhana Singh.
   
   
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17 JULY | 17:00 | CINEWORLD BROAD STREET
Location Map Booking Info
SYNOPSIS
Travelling through the verdant fields of Punjab, Vibhavari (Vibs) is a gorgeous, young composer from Mumbai. She is in search of Bibi Saroop, the voice that she believes will be the saviour of her new score. She bumps into Bibi's dashing son Mastana who has a stunning voice. Vibs records Mastana's renditions of Punjabi folk songs and the duo soon fall for each other. Vibs returns to a soured relationship with her boyfriend in Mumbai. Mastana is left brokenhearted, but his voice is indeed the magical ingredient of the score, which becomes an instant hit. When Vibs calls Mastana to the big city he is full of hope, but they are forced to make tough choices between their careers and their hearts.
 
Q&A with Director Shefali Bhushan.
 
Supported by:
Asian Single Solution
Asian Single Solution
 
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KUTRAME THANDANAI (CRIME IS PUNISHMENT) | (12A)
Kutrame Thandanai
FILM INFO

Tamil with English subtitles | 98 mins | India 2016 | Dir. M. Manikandan | with: Vidharth, Nasser, Rahman, Pooja Devariya, Aishwarya Rajesh.
   
play trailer  

19 JULY | 19:30 | CINEWORLD BROAD STREET
Location Map Booking Info
SYNOPSIS
Tamil Naidu's hottest young filmmaker M.Manikandan returns to the festival after last year's hit Kaakkaa Muttai (Crow's Egg), with a stylish, twisted plot thriller. Mild-mannered, hard-working bachelor, Ravi has tunnel vision and is on the brink of blindness. With little in the bank, he can't raise money for an eye transplant. He lives in a cheek-by-jowl tenement block and every day watches a young female neighbour below as she greets her male visitors. One day the police call on Ravi. The woman has been mysteriously murdered. Ravi says he saw the last two culprits, but as he is called in to testify in court, the wealthy murder culprits' go-betweens try to bribe Ravi to refute his claim. Ravi sees a last ditched opportunity to make some money and save his sight. He embarks on the dangerous journey into corruption, where he is soon also in danger of becoming the murder suspect.
 
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DOUBLE BILL

We offer a double bill by South Asia's only double Oscar winning director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy. Based in Karachi, her documentaries capture key social issues and great moments of contemporary Pakistani culture.
19 JULY | 20:10 | MAC CINEMA CANNON HILL PARK Location Map Booking Info
A GIRL IN THE RIVER: THE PRICE OF FORGIVENESS | (12A)
A Girl In The River: The Price of Forgiveness
FILM INFO

Punjabi with English subtitles | 40 min | Pakistan 2015 | Dir. Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy.
   
play trailer website

SYNOPSIS
A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness is an honest and at times disturbing documentary about one young woman's journey. After narrowly surviving an attempted honour killing she must maintain the status quo in her village by making peace with her attempted murderers – her own family. Winner of the Best Short Documentary Oscar in 2016.
 
The Bagri Foundation supports documentary films as a powerful medium to raise social awareness.
SONG OF LAHORE | BIRMINGHAM PREMIERE | (12A)
Jeewan Hathi (Elephant In The Room)
FILM INFO

English / Punjabi / Urdu with English subtitles | 82 min | Pakistan / USA 2015 | Dir. Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy.
   
play trailer website

SYNOPSIS
Lahore has always been world-renowned for its music. With the increased Islamisation of Pakistan in the 1970s, many of the city's celebrated musicians have struggled, but this film spotlights one group, the internationally acclaimed Sachal Jazz Ensemble, who have kept on playing. When their unique mix of traditional music with Western flare gets the attention of jazz supremo Wynton Marsalis they are invited to New York.
 
The Bagri Foundation supports documentary films as a powerful medium to raise social awareness.
 
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CINEMAWALA | (12A)
Cinemawala
FILM INFO

Bengali with English subtitles | 105 min | India 2016 | Dir. Kaushik Ganguly | with: Paran Bandopadhay, Parambrata Chatterjee,Arun Guha Thakurta.
   
play trailer  

21 JULY | 18:00 | MAC CINEMA CANNON HILL PARK Location Map Booking Info
SYNOPSIS
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. Pranabendu Das is a semi-retired cinema owner from a small town in West Bengal. He owns a movie theatre 'Kamalini' named after his former wife. He and his ageing projectionist lovingly tend their film stock and wonderfully ancient movie projector, but the audience doesn't come any more and the cinema is falling into disrepair. Meanwhile for Pranabendu's opportunist son Prakash, who has no idealist aspirations, business comes first, he stashes pirated DVDs of new films in the family home and sells them in town. As Pranabendu faces the heart-breaking closure of his beloved cinema and the police come to call about Prakash's bootleg activities, father and son both purveyors of cinema in their own ways, come to loggerheads.
 
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ZEAL FOR UNITY PRESENTS PAKISTAN DOUBLE BILL

21 JULY | 19:00 | CINEWORLD BROAD STREET
Location Map Booking Info
KHAEMAE MEIN MATT JHANKAIN (DON'T PEEK INTO THE TENT) | (12A)
KHAEMAE MEIN MATT JHANKAIN (Don't Peek Into  =The Tent)
FILM INFO

Punjabi / Urdu with English subtitles | 45 min | Pakistan / India 2016 | Dir. Shahbaz Sumar | with: Sara Haider, Zia Khan, Mahtab Murad.
   
play trailer  

JEEWAN HATHI (ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM) | (12A)
Jeewan Hathi (Elephant In The Room)
FILM INFO

Urdu with English subtitles | 60 min | Pakistan / India 2016 | Dirs. Meenu Gaur, Farjad Nabi | with: Naseeruddin Shah, Hina Dilpazeer, Samiya Mumtaz.
   
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SYNOPSIS
Made under the Zeal for Unity India-Pakistan filmmaking initiative, these films explore different facets of life in Pakistan. In Khaemae Mein Matt Jhankain, life in a remote village becomes exciting when a travelling circus pitches up in town. The men and boys of the village cannot get enough of the ravishingly beautiful trapeze artist and visit every night to catch a glimpse of her. But, there is a secret. Acclaimed Indian actor Naseeruddin Shah headlines Jeewan Hathi as a channel owner who will do anything for higher ratings. This riotously funny satire on Pakistan's media industry explores the dark underbelly of a reality show that has the nation enthralled.
 
Supported by:
Zeal for Unity
Zeal for Unity
 
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JALALER GOLPO (JALAL’S STORY) | (15)
Jalaler Golpo (Jalal's Story)
FILM INFO

Bangla with English subtitles | 121 min | Bangladesh 2014 | Dir. Abu Shahed Emon | with: Mohammod Emon, Arafat Rahman, Mosharraf Karim.
   
play trailer  

22 JULY | 18:30 | CINEWORLD BROAD STREET
Location Map Booking Info
SYNOPSIS
This entrancing film follows three chapters in the life of an infant, a child and teen named Jalal. Abandoned as a baby in the river, he is rescued and raised by Miraj. After a series of misfortunes, the villagers consider the baby to be a curse on their village and Miraj has to abandon the baby back in the river. Karim, a landowner, is bringing up Jalal, now nine. Bizarrely, Jalal is considered the cause of Karim's wife's infertility and he is cast back into the river. The 19-year-old Jalal now works for a gang leader and aspiring politician Sajib. This time, a different baby is to be thrown into the river, ahead of the upcoming elections, thanks to Sajib's nefarious antics. Abu Shahed Emon tackles several social issues in Bangladesh including superstition, politically motivated corruption and women's rights.
 
Special guests expected.
 
Supported by:
DESIblitz.com
Desi Blitz Logo
 
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MOH MAYA MONEY (IN GREED WE TRUST) | (15)
Moh Maya Money (In Greed We Trust)
FILM INFO

Hindi with English subtitles | 108 min | India 2015 | Dir. Munish Bhardwaj | with: Ranvir Shorey, Neha Dhupia, Devendra Chauhan.
   
play trailer  

22 JULY | 20:30 | CINEWORLD BROAD STREET
Location Map Booking Info
SYNOPSIS
In this fast-paced slice of Delhi noir, a crooked real estate broker who dreams of riches, embezzles money from the firm he works for and gets involved in a series of scams. But the proceeds of his schemes are not enough for his greed and when he finds out about a huge deal in his company, he passes it on to a small-time real estate broker and a thug, for a bigger piece of the pie. Soon, he gets involved in a major crime along with his wife. Matters spiral out of control, leading to murder, mayhem and an out of left field twist of a climax. Bollywood stars Ranvir Shorey (star of Cannes Golden Camera nominated Titli) and Neha Dhupia (Singh is King) are on terrific form in this cracking thriller that will leave you gasping for breath.
 
Supported by:
DESIblitz.com
Desi Blitz Logo
 
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RINGAN (THE QUEST) | (12A)
Ringan (The Quest)
FILM INFO
Marathi with English subtitles | 105 min | India 2015 | Dir. Makarand Mane | with: Shashank Shende, Saahil Joshi, Suhas Sirsat, Kalyanee Mulay.
   
play trailer  

23 JULY | 18:00 | MAC CINEMA CANNON HILL PARK Location Map Booking Info
SYNOPSIS
This moving father and son drama is set against the backdrop of farmer suicides in the drought-stricken state of Maharashtra. Arjun, the father develops suicidal tendencies due to debts caused by drought. But his love and concern for his stubborn son, Abhimanyu, motivates him to earn the money needed to buy back his ancestral land. He reluctantly takes his son with him when he leaves the village in search of work. They travel across the state and reach the holy town of Pandharpur, where Arjun finds work and Abhimanyu goes in obsessive search of his mother, who has been told, has gone to the Abode of God, which is Pandharpur. The film is a touching, stirring story of unbridled paternal love and fighting against trying circumstances to overcome the odds. It is also a clarion call to that greatest of human emotions – hope.
 
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KALPANA (IMAGINATION) | UK PREMIER OF RESTORED VERSION | (18)
Toba Tek Singh
FILM INFO

Hindi with English subtitles | 160 min | India 1948 | Dir. Uday Shankar | with: Uday Shankar, Lakshmi Kanta, Usha Kiran, Amala Shankar.
   
play trailer  

24 JULY | 14:00 | MAC CINEMA CANNON HILL PARK Location Map Booking Info
SYNOPSIS
Drama filmed as a ballet and based on Uday Shankar's own experiences as he set up the Almora dance centre in the Himalayas and is caught up between two women - Kamini and Uma. Shankar wrote, directed, and starred in this drama. A writer goes to a film producer with a story in the hope of selling the idea for a film. As he is explaining it to the producer, the scenes from his movie come to life as well as passages from his own life. Reality and the surreal are combined throughout the story. When the producer refuses to back his movie, the writer makes a passionate plea for Indian filmmakers to break with tradition and take on new cinematic challenges.
Restored in 2008 by The Film Foundation's World Cinema Project at Cineteca di Bologna /L'Immagine Ritrovata in association with the family of Uday Shankar, the National Film Archive of India and Dungarpur Films. Restoration funding provided by Doha Film Institute.
 
Q&A with Tanusree Shankar.
 
Supported by:
Sampad Arts
Sampad
 
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TOBA TEK SINGH | CLOSING NIGHT | (12A)
Toba Tek Singh
FILM INFO

Hindi / Punjabi with English subtitles | 75 min | India 2016 | Dir. Ketan Mehta | with: Pankaj Kapur, Vinay Pathak.
   
play trailer  

24 JULY | 18:00 | CINEWORLD BROAD STREET
Location Map Booking Info
SYNOPSIS
Acclaimed director Ketan Mehta delivers this unforgettably moving and at times joyous version of Manto's legendary story, produced by the Zeal for Unity project. Award-winning actor Pankaj Kapur gives a career defining performance as Bishen Singh, 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, played by Vinay Pathak, takes delight in Bishen and the other patients' eccentricities. However, with the Partition of India and Pakistan it seems that the world outside is more insane than the folk 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?
 
Q&A with Director Ketan Mehta.
 
Supported by:
Zeal for Unity
Zeal for Unity
 
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