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2011 Programme

DELHI BELLY - WORLD PREMIERE
Delhi Belly
FILM INFO

Language(s) : Hindi with English
Running Time : 145 mins
Director : Abhinay Deo
Actors : Imran Khan, Vijay Raaz, Kunaal Roy Kapur.

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SYNOPSIS / REVIEW

Irreverent, crude and downright rude this fabulous new comedy caper from modern Mumbai cocks its hat at bad-boy cults like Snatch and The Hangover, with perhaps a little peppering of the Beatles.

Led by Tashi (played by the puppy dog-eyed, teen-heart throb Imran Khan), a dopey bundle of mates find themselves in a whole lot of trouble when they accidentally mix up a bag containing a stool sample (one of them ate the wrong Tandoori Chicken), with another bag which Tashi’s trolley-dolly girlfriend has been asked to carry a bag full of smuggled diamonds!

All sh*t breaks out when the smugglers, led by a particularly nasty villain Cow Boy (played by Vijay Raaz Monsoon Wedding), set off after them. It also gives Tashi a chance to consider whether he wants to settle down to a suburban marriage with his nice airhostess and Mummy and Daddy in-laws, or take a bite of the wild side. Expect rickshaw chases, upset stomachs and of course, a riot of mix-ups and chases, with unsuspecting English tourists ducking for cover.

Followed by a Q&A by Director Abhinay Deo in conversation with Asad Shan at Cineworld Haymarket.
 
RANG RASIYA (COLOURS OF PASSION)
Delhi Belly
FILM INFO

Language(s) : Hindi / English
Running Time : 129 mins
Director : Ketan Mehta
Actors : Randeep Hooda, Nandana Sen, Paresh Rawal, Ferena Wazeir.

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SYNOPSIS / REVIEW

Both strikingly beautiful and audacious, Ketan Mehta’s film charts the life of the great Indian artist Raja Ravi Varma (played by Randeep Hooda), from his early days under the patronage of a King of Kerala, moving on to British Bombay in the late 1800s, where he makes his fortune.

Here the genius gives birth to Indian modern art and helps inspire the independence movement and the dawning of Indian cinema with his depictions, which bring to life the Hindu gods and goddesses. He must first find his muse who comes in the lavish form of Sugandha (Nandana Sen).  Varma’s fascination for his model turns into a torrid, paint-smeared, love affair, which is reflected in his art. The religious power brokers see his increasingly eroticised work as dangerous and Varma is dragged to the British courts to be tried for blasphemy.

Mehta’s homage offers not only a spectacular insight into a turning point in Indian history, but also questions the freedom of the artist in contemporary society.  Not to be missed!

Followed by a Q&A with Director Ketan Mehta and actors at V&A and Watermans.


 
KANASEMBA KUDUREYANERI (RIDING THE STALLION OF A DREAM)-UK PREMIERE
KANASEMBA KUDUREYANERI
FILM INFO

Language(s) : Kannada
Running Time : 109 mins
Director : Girish Kasaravalli
Actors : Vyjanath Biradar, Umashri, Sadashiv Brahmavar

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SYNOPSIS / REVIEW

The latest feature from Girish Kasaravalli, one of the founding fathers of India’s parallel cinema movement, is also his most unconventional, employing for the first time in his long and distinguished career a non-linear, fragmented narrative.

This delightful evocation of pastoral life in the southern Indian state of Karnataka follows a couple, Irya and Rudri, who are desperately poor but extremely happy. Irya is the butt of village jokes, as he is a professional gravedigger, and sits around waiting for people to die while the hardworking Rudri barely makes ends meet by working on a farm.

Their lives are thrown into turmoil when Irya dreams of the village headman’s death and the appearance of nomad Siddha, who will ensure the passage of souls direct to heaven if his arrival coincides with the time of death. Kasaravalli masterfully weaves together a jigsaw of a narrative that is deeply satisfying.

The film won India’s National Film Awards for Best Screenplay and Best Film Feature Film in Kannada.

 
THE WHITE ELEPHANT - UK PREMIERE
White Elephant
FILM INFO

Language(s) : Hindi
Running Time : 115 mins
Director : Aijaz Khan
Actors : Prashant Narayanan, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Neena Gupta.

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SYNOPSIS / REVIEW

A delightful and warm-hearted family film, The White Elephant takes us to traditional rural Kerala where elephants are still very much part of religious custom. It is time for the holiest of ceremonial elephants to choose which one of the local villagers will feed and look after him for the coming year.

This is a great honour, but also a heavy financial burden as elephants have big appetites. The local priest is sure he will end up in the care of the local landlord, but the wily Haathi has other plans and with his trunk taps the local drunk on the shoulder. The villagers are shocked, the drunk and his family are beside themselves, but custom and the elephant god must be obeyed.

 
VEETTILEKKULLA VAZHI (THE WAY HOME) - UK PREMIERE
VEETTILEKKULLA VAZHI
FILM INFO

Language(s) : Malayalam
Running Time : 95 mins
Director : Dr. Biju Kumar
Actors : Prtithviraj, Indrajith, Govardhan.

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SYNOPSIS / REVIEW

Malayalam cinema’s young heartthrob Prithviraj plays a Delhi-based prison doctor who accedes to the dying wish of his patient, a member of a terrorist squad. Her wish is that he unites her five-year-old son with his father whom he has never seen. The trouble is that the father is the leader of a dreaded Indian Jihadi terrorist group.

The doctor collects the boy from the southern state of Kerala and begins an arduous pan-Indian journey to track down the elusive terrorist. The doctor’s quest is all the more poignant and noble because his own wife and child were killed in a terrorist attack.

Alongside breathtaking imagery showcasing India’s natural beauty from the lush backwaters of Kerala to the arid zones of Rajasthan and the stunning grandeur of the Himalayas, the film is also a sensitive look at the touchy issue of terrorism and its impact.

Winner of National film award for the best Malayalam Film.

 
THAT GIRL IN YELLOW BOOTS - UK PREMIERE
That Girl in Yellow Boots
FILM INFO

Language(s) : Hindi
Running Time : 107 mins
Director : Anurag Kashyap
Actors : Kalki Koechlin, Naseeruddin Shah, Gulshan Devaiya

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SYNOPSIS / REVIEW

Mumbai’s leading independent filmmaker Anurag Kashyap pushes the envelope in narrating the tale of Ruth, of mixed British/Indian parentage, who comes to Mumbai in search of her absent father.

Ruth is soon caught up in the seamier side of Mumbai, where a potent mix of gangsters, massage parlours providing ‘happy endings’, drug dealers and ashram dwellers collide. Kashyap captures the authentic Mumbai, shooting solely at real locations, eschewing the ersatz sets Bollywood is known for and crafts a cutting edge exploration of Mumbai’s underbelly.

Kalki Koechlin delivers the performance of her life as the bruised, vulnerable, yet mentally strong Ruth and is ably supported by revered veteran Naseeruddin Shah.

Followed by Q&A with Director Anurag Kashyap at BFI Southbank.

 
MEMORIES IN MARCH - UK PREMIERE
Memories in March
FILM INFO

Language(s) : Hindi/English/Bengali
Running Time : 104 mins
Director : Sanjoy Nag
Actors : Deepti Naval, Rituparno Ghosh, Raima Sen

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SYNOPSIS / REVIEW

Intimate and riveting, debutant director Sanjoy Nag presents a delicate tale of unlikely friendship forged through tragedy. Award-winning Actor Deepti Naval plays Arati, a grieving woman who travels to Kolkata on hearing the news of her advertising executive son Siddharth’s fatal car accident.

She is let into his flat by his friend and work colleague Sahana (Raima Sen), who Aarti suspects to be his girlfriend but, sorting through her son’s things and hearing fragments of half spoken conversations, bring Arati to the realisation that she didn’t really know her son at all. The constant presence of her son’s boss Arnob (Rituparno Ghosh) and his reluctance to part with Siddharth’s personal belongings makes Arati wonder.

Soon, she reaches the shocking revelation that Arnob was Siddharth’s lover. Awkwardly the two must, for their own salvation, move forward together. With a wonderfully written script by Ghosh and charged character performances by a great cast this is a must see.

Followed by a Q&A by with Director / Actor Rituparno Ghosh at Watermans.

 
AAREKTI PREMER GOLPO (JUST ANOTHER LOVE STORY) - UK PREMIERE
Just Another Love Story
FILM INFO

Language(s) : Bengali
Running Time : 104 mins
Director : Kaushik Ganguly
Actors : Rituparno Ghosh, Chapal Bhaduri, Indraneil Sengupta, Raima Sen

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SYNOPSIS / REVIEW

Acclaimed Bengali director Rituparno Ghosh switches sides of the camera to act in Kaushik Ganguly’s film, which un-ashamedly shakes the foundations of contemporary Indian sexuality.

Abhiroop (Ghosh) is an openly gay filmmaker from Delhi intrigued by the story of 70 plus Bengali performer Chapal Bhaduri, famous for playing roles as a woman. Abhiroop lures him with money to reveal his tragic true-life story. As film shooting starts, we are taken on an extraordinary journey between past and present, where transgender Bhadhuri’s tortured love for a bisexual man is echoed by Abhiroop’s own affair with his handsome cameraman Basu.

As word gets out about the filmmaker’s disregard for social taboos, the media start to bite with homophobic vengeance, divided loyalties emerge and Basu must also decide between Abhiroop and his suffering wife.

Ganguly deftly plays out a rainbow of emotional nuances, while Ghosh gives a mesmerising and emotionally charged performance.

Followed by a Q&A by Award-winning Director / Actor Rituparno Ghosh in conversation with Sangeeta Datta at Cineworld Haymarket.

 
SHUKNO LANKA (DRY RED CHILLIES) - UK PREMIERE
SHUKNO LANKA (DRY RED CHILLIES)
FILM INFO

Language(s) : Hindi
Running Time : 110 mins
Director : Gaurav Pandey
Actors : Mithun Chakraborty, Sabyasachi Chakraborty

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SYNOPSIS / REVIEW

It may be a surprise to some that actor Mithun Chakraborty, Bollywood’s original Disco Dancer, is also a fine performer with some serious acting chops, having won the coveted Best Actor gong at India’s National Film Awards twice and Best Supporting Actor once. Here, he plays a veteran, bit-part actor Chinu Nandy, in the commercial Bengali film industry (aka Tollywood). 

Nandy has resigned himself to lesser roles in the shadows of younger and less talented heroes, but gets the shock of his life when an award-winning director Joy Sundar Sen (Sabyasachi) decides to cast him as the lead in his next big film. Nandy feels distinctly uncomfortable with his return to the spotlight, but supported by his wife, musters his energy for his greatest performance. 

This well scripted tale manages the triple feats of humorously skewering Tollywood practices, lampooning pretentious art-house filmmakers, but above all celebrating the pleasures of a happy marriage and growing old with your partner. This is a film that will leave you with a tear in your eye and a smile on your lips.

 
LADLI LAILA (VIRGIN GOAT) - UK PREMIERE
LADLI LAILA (VIRGIN GOAT)
FILM INFO

Language(s) : Hindi
Running Time : 87 mins
Director : Murali Nair
Actors : Raghubir Yadav, Shiela Naidu, Saurab Gharipurikar, Purnima Maudgil

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SYNOPSIS / REVIEW

Murali Nair is one of India’s most celebrated young directors, having won the prestigious Camera D’Or at Cannes for his first feature Marana Simhasanam (Throne of Death ), a surreal and hysterically funny commentary on local Indian politics.

His latest feature continues in the same vein. Raghubir Yadav, the doyen of Indian indie actors, plays Kalyan Singh, a farmer who is trying to eke out a living. Singh loves his pet she-goat Laila even more than he does his own family. Singh’s ambition is that his pet will have a kid.

The search is on for a Billy Goat that needs to be found whilst Laila is still in heat. The announcement that a local bigwig is to visit town throws a spoke into Singh’s mating plans for his beloved goat. Nair’s satire takes numerous snipes at corruption in its myriad forms but in a hilarious and warm-hearted manner.

 
AUTOGRAPH
AUTOGRAPH
FILM INFO

Language(s) : Bengali
Running Time : 132 mins
Director : Srijit Mukherji
Actors : Prasenjit Chatterjee, Nandana Sen, Indraneil Sengupta.

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SYNOPSIS / REVIEW

A hit film in Bengal, this is a tale of ambition and the corruptive nature of fame in the film industry. Shubhobroto (Sengupta) is a young writer/director with a vision to re-make the master filmmaker Satyajit Ray’s classic film Nayak. He approaches the reigning superstar Arun Chatterjee (played by real-life super-hero Prasenjit Chatterjee) with the proposal.

Much to his surprise the movie-god agrees to fund the film and be its lead.  Shubhobroto celebrates with his live-in girlfriend and budding actress Srinandita (Sen) and he drafts her in to play the film’s female lead. As the production develops, the promise of fame makes Shubho increasingly arrogant as he slips into his own world.

Meanwhile Arun focuses his affections, on and off screen, on Srinandita and confides in her about his troubled past. The trio find themselves spiralling into a strange and yet poignant love triangle.  With a talented ensemble cast and a compelling narrative, the film provides an insightful view into contemporary Kolkata society and a window into the inner workings of the Bengali film industry.

The evening includes the Satyajit Ray Foundation Film Award and a special live performance by singer Raghu Dixit.


 
SATYAJIT RAY SHORT FILM COMPETITON SHORT LIST SCREENING
SATYAJIT RATY SHORT FILM COMPETITON SHORT LIST SCREENING
FILM INFO

Language(s) : Various
Running Time :
95 Mins
Director : Various
Actors : Various


 
SYNOPSIS / REVIEW

LIFF has once again teamed up with the Satyajit Ray Foundation to present its prestigious Satyajit Ray Foundation Competition. The final short-list has been selected and will previewed at a free screening at the Nehru Centre on 4 July at 18.30pm.

The short-listed films are:

AMAR - Dir ANDREW HINTON (UK) All great achievements require time. Amar is 14 and top of his class. Someday he’d like to be a professional cricketer but for now he’s the family’s main breadwinner. An observational documentary which leads us through Amar’s daily routine.

THE TALKING WALLS OF LAHORE - Dir NUMRA SIDDIQUI (UK) Graffiti is everywhere in Pakistan’s cultural heartland. Words consume the city’s visible spaces, from herbal practitioners advertising impotency cures to political and religious slogans. In a country battling economic and political instability, these ‘wall chalkings’ form a rich amalgamation of contradictory messages. The act of writing becomes emancipation, defying forces that attempt to bind individual expression.

MY LAD – Dir SAMI KHAN (UK) Abdul has been hiding out in his launderette for days, unable to deal with the world outside. Despite pleas from his brother, Abdul is determined to run from the one thing he has to accept. Fate.

BOXING LADIES, THE – Dir ANUSHA NANDAKUMAR (INDIA) Zainab, Bushra and Sughra are three spirited, teenage sisters living in a small slum in Kolkata. They are also national level boxers. As the girls dream of rising above their living conditions, the film challenges the stereotype of young Muslim women.

ZAROORAT (DESPERATION)
– Dir GEORGE MANGALATH THOMAS (INDIA) Asif, a street hawker, is confronted by a simple need - he must earn some money; just enough to buy some food. Which has it’s own complications – particularly when confronted with a corrupt local policeman and the corporation bulldozers poised to demolish his home…

VITTHAL – Dir VINOO CHOLIPARAMBIL (INDIA) Vitthal is angry, very angry. Following the death of his grandfather, according to Hindu death rituals, his parents have shaved off his hair. For 12 year old Vitthal, his world is shattered.

HOME - Dir KRISH SHRIKUMAR (UK) The man’s memories of home have become more vivid with time. This is the story of his journey back to a place only he knows he can return to… A short meditation on ‘Home’ as a place far beyond the imagination.
 
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE
 
EVENT DETAILS

What’s New? The Changing Face of Indian Cinema: Contemporary and Historical Contexts


The University of Westminster’s India Media Centre, in association with LIFF, will be hosting a special conference on the challenges that the burgeoning new Indian cinema poses to mainstream filmmaking. Filmmakers that toy with, or eschew, the conventions of the familiar multi-genre, song and dance extravaganzas are appearing across Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and beyond. What do their films mean for the future of Indian cinema and the global aspirations of India’s urban ‘multiplex’ generation? Conference includes interna- tional keynote speakers, over forty papers from scholars around the world, and masterclasses with Rituparno Ghosh and Anurag Kashyap.
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