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2012 Programme

OPENING NIGHT | GANGS OF WASSEYPUR | UK PREMIERE
Gangs of Wasseypur
FILM INFO

Language(s) : Hindi with English subtitles
Running Time: 160 mins | India
Director : Anurag Kashyap
Actors : Manoj Bajpai, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Reema Sen

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SYNOPSIS / REVIEW

Anurag Kashyap, the Godfather of contemporary Indian independent cinema, takes on the epic gangster genre, and produces a masterpiece that can rightfully rub shoulders with the classics of Coppola and Scorsese. Kashyap deftly delivers a firecracker of a movie set around warring mafia clans clashing for power and passion in the coal mining towns of Northern India. A weapon-loaded cast is led by Manoj Bajpai and delivers high energy performances in this sprawling tale of generations locked in violence and its ultimate impact on family and loved ones. The film is shot through with an earthy Indian sensibility where you can almost smell the fragrance of the soil, yet the filmmaking is on par with the best of the West. Bajpai, whose breakthrough performance was in Satya, written by Kashyap, dominates proceedings as an ambitious gangster with a rampant libido and a permanently cocked gun. Expect spectacular gunfights!

Special guests expected.


 
 
CLOSING NIGHT | BAISHEY SRABON (SEVENTH AUGUST) | UK PREMIERE
Baishey Srabon
FILM INFO

Language(s) : Bengali with English subtitles
Running Time | 120 mins | India
Director : Srijit Mukherji
Actors : Prasenjit Chatterjee, Raima Sen, Paramabrata Chatterjee, Goutam Ghose

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SYNOPSIS / REVIEW

The teeming city of Kolkata, known for its food, music, poetry and cinema, is reeling from an unusual sensation – fear. A serial killer is on the loose, killing people in the dead of night seemingly randomly. But it's clear that the killer is Bengali, because he or she leaves clues at the murder site in verse. The police are baffled and have no choice but to bring back their serial killer specialist (Prasenjit), a mealy-mouthed scotch-swilling, cheroot-chomping hedonist who was dismissed from the department years ago under a cloud. Making a stupendous comeback as an actor is the award-winning director Goutam Ghose who matches the film's all-star cast note for note. The film's frank use of Bengali swear words shocked a few, but delighted many when released in Bengal and it went on to become one of the biggest hits in history. It was also a critical darling and won some 25 Indian awards.

Followed by Q&A with Raima Sen interviewed by Sangeeta Datta.


 
 
AARANYA KAANDAM (ANIMA AND PERSONA) | UK PREMIERE
Aaranya Kaandam
FILM INFO

Language(s) : Tamil with English subtitles
Running Time | 153 mins | India
Director : Thiagarajan Kumararaja
Actors : Jackie Schroff, Sampath Raj, Ravi Krishna, Yasmin Ponnappa

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SYNOPSIS / REVIEW

Bollywood Hero Jackie Shroff makes his Tamil debut in this pulsating neo-noir that abounds with characters and a potent mix of blood, sex and drugs that would do Quentin Tarantino proud. Shroff plays an ageing don with performance issues who has to deal with an internal challenge to his throne and a smarter-than-he-looks subordinate who cuckolds him with his sultry moll. Throw in a cocaine shipment worth millions and a rooster fight competition and we get a crackling thriller that shows how Tamil cinema is leading the way in India's independent film movement. Razor sharp dialogue, a hip soundtrack and moody cinematography ably complement the bravura action sequences. And, incredibly, all the happenings unfold in a single day. The film won India's National Awards for Best First Film and Editing.


 
 
ABOSHESHEY (AT THE END OF IT ALL) | UK PREMIERE
Aboshey
FILM INFO

Language(s) : Bengali with English subtitles
Running Time | 118 mins | India
Director : Aditi Roy
Actors : Roopa Ganguly, Ankur Khanna, Raima Sen

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SYNOPSIS / REVIEW

Aditi Roy's stunning debut feature is a gripping journey of a young man in search of his identity. Soumyo (Khanna), returns from San Francisco to Kolkata, the city of his birth at the behest of his estranged mother, the enigmatic and vivacious Suchismita (Ganguly). What should have been a quick journey turns into a voyage of self-discovery and an exploration of the great metropolis that is Kolkata, a living, breathing character in the film. In the ravishing Nandini (Sen), Suchismita's protégé, Soumyo finds answers to his past and perhaps the future. The film is the Bengali debut of Khanna, one of India's rising actors, who is an alumnus of acting legend Naseeruddin Shah's theatre troupe. The film has won the NETPAC award for Best Asian Film. And Ganguly revealed a new string to her bow, singing Tagore standards, for which she won India's National Award for Best Female Playback Singer.

 
 
ARJUN & ALISON | WORLD PREMIERE
Arjun & Alison
FILM INFO

Language(s) : English
Running Time | 95 mins | UK/India
Director : Sidharth Sharma
Actors : Monique Squeri, Shiv Jhala, Oliver Squires, Kulvinder Ghir

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SYNOPSIS / REVIEW

Set between Birmingham and London, Sidharth Sharma's outstanding directorial debut is an unflinching look at a racially motivated murder and its aftermath. Arjun (Jhala), from India, and Alison (Squeri), from the United States, are students at a university in Birmingham whose lives are transformed forever when their black friend dies after a racist attack. The prime suspect is Gordon (Squires), the leader of the university's controversial 'English Society'. Besides dealing with the trauma of their friend's death, Arjun and Alison also have to confront the ghosts of their own pasts. The film successfully pulls off the feats of taking a balanced look at race relations in contemporary Britain, the dorm lives of overseas students and the country's thriving drug and gun subculture. Featuring an all-British cast and crew and an Indo-British director and finance, the film is a shining example of co-production between two countries linked forever by history and culture.


 
 
GATTU | LONDON PREMIERE
Gattu
FILM INFO

Language(s) : Hindi with English subtitles
Running Time | 90 mins | India
Director : Rajan Khosa
Actors : Mohd Samad, Naresh Kumar, Jayanta Das

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SYNOPSIS / REVIEW

Set in the picturesque town of Roorkee in the Himalayan foothills, Gattu is a story of childhood passion. Gattu (Samad) lives and works at a scrap yard belonging to a man that bought him from his sick father. Gattu is however adept at slipping out of hard chores so he can indulge his passion for kite flying. He secretly enters the town's next kite flying competition. Though illiterate, Gattu realises that his best hope of winning the competition is to fly his kite from Roorkee's tallest building, the school. Gattu steals a uniform and brazens his way into school. A dramatic battle of the skies ensues as young Gattu uses every trick in the book to claim the lead. The film marks a triumphant return for director Rajan Khosa whose debut Dance of the Wind was much acclaimed. The film is the toast of the festival circuit worldwide and won a special mention at the Berlin International Film Festival.

Followed by Q&A with Rajan Khosa.

 
 
DEKH INDIAN CIRCUS (WATCH INDIAN CIRCUS) (12A) | UK PREMIERE
Dekh Indian
FILM INFO

Language(s) : Hindi with English subtitles
Running Time | 101 mins | India
Director : Mangesh Hadawale
Actors :
Tannishtha Chatterjee, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Virendrapratap Rathore

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SYNOPSIS / REVIEW

Kajro (Chatterjee of Brick Lane) and her mute husband Jethu (Siddiqui) eke out a tough existence in rural Rajasthan. Against the backdrop of state elections a circus comes to a nearby town, their children Panni and Ghumroo nag their parents to go. Kajro finally relents and unable to pay for transport sets off with her kids on foot across the desert to fulfil this small dream for them, but the journey will require sacrifices as the parents become puppets in the circus of local politics. Stunning cinematography captures the severe beauty of the Rajasthan countryside while the cast led by Chatterjee and Siddiqui (also see in Gangs of Wasseypur), deliver powerfully underplayed performances in this small film with a big heart. The film won the Audience Choice Award at the Busan Film Festival.

Followed by Q&A with Tannishtha Chatterjee.

 
 
QUEENS! DESTINY OF DANCE (15 TBC) | UK PREMIERE
Queens!
FILM INFO

Language(s) : Hindi with English subtitles
Running Time | 112mins | India
Director : David Atkins
Actors :Seema Biswas, Vineeth, Laxmi Narayan Tripathi

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SYNOPSIS / REVIEW

Glamour, treachery, dancing and fab outfits; Queens! Destiny of Dance is set in a palace owned by head transvestite Ammu, played by Seema Biswas (of Bandit Queen fame). Ammu is a mother figure to a gaggle of gorgeous transvestites. The pecking order in the palace is nicely settled, led by Ammu's favourite Mukta that is until new 'girl' Nandini arrives. She is not only more beautiful and younger than Mukta, but also a better dancer. Ammu immediately switches her affections to Nandini and ageing Mukta is out in the cold. When Nandini suddenly disappears all hell breaks out and Mukta stands accused.

Audience invited to cross-dress at BFI screening with a prize for the best outfit!!! Followed at BFI Southbank by free DJ set by Deejay Ritu in benugo bar.

 
 
GANDU (18) & GANDU CIRCUS (BFI)
Gandu
FILM INFO

Language(s) : Bengali with English subtitles
Running Time | 89 mins | India
Director : Q
Actors :Anurbata Basu, Joyraj Bhattacharya, Rituparna Sen

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* Trailers contain adult themes  
 
SYNOPSIS / REVIEW

India's most radical director Q delivers a tour de force, which has excited festivals around the world. Twenty-year-old Gandu lives with his single mum in a dingy Kolkata flat. She has turned to sex work to make ends meet. His life revolves around the local internet café where he overdoses on videogames and porn until one day he bumps into Rickshaw, who introduces him to hard drugs and together they slide into a dark fantasy world where angry rap lyrics melt into visitations by the goddess Kali and an alien sex-kitten. Listen out for a stunning music track inspired by the UK's Asian Dub Foundation. The film contains some sexually explicit imagery so don't bring your mum!

SUSHEELA SUSHEELA

GANDU CIRCUS with SUSHEELA RAMAN AT BFI


The London Indian Film Festival is delighted to announce that Mercury nominated musician Susheela Raman will perform alongside acclaimed filmmaker and rapper Q, in a unique first of its kind event that marries the heady vibe of the controversial film Gandu with a pulsating interactive concert. June 21 will see BFI Southbank reverberate to the strains of Raman and Q's band Gandu Circus along with special guest Steve Chandra Savale from the Asian Dub Foundation, following a screening of Gandu. The Arts Council of England supports the event.

View the Gandu Circus Promo here (contains adult themes) >
 
 
 
RUNWAY (12A) | UK PREMIERE
Runway
FILM INFO

Language(s) : Bangla with English subtitles
Running Time | 90 mins | Bangladesh
Director : Tareque Masud
Actors : Fazlul Haque, Rabeya Akter Moni, Ali Ahsan

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SYNOPSIS / REVIEW

Winner of a Cannes prize for his triumph The Clay Bird, this is the last offering from Tareque Masud who tragically died in an accident last year. Teenage Ruhul lives with his family in a small hut next to the runway of Dhaka international airport. His family struggle to make a living while he spends his days wandering under the shadow of the planes, aimless and frustrated in his futile efforts to find work. One day at a cyber-cafe he meets computer geek Arif (Ahsan) who introduces him to a group of other young men and what seems an inspiring new religious sect, but all is not what it seems and he quickly gets pulled into a world of violent revolutionary politics.

 
 
NECKLACE (12A) | UK PREMIERE
Necklace
FILM INFO

Language(s) : Bengali with English subtitles
Running Time | 110 mins | India
Director : Shekhar Das
Actors : Rituparna Sengupta, Locket Chatterjee, Dipankar Dey

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SYNOPSIS / REVIEW

A deftly delivered, charming comedy of errors set in contemporary suburban Kolkata. A corporate executive and his wife Shikha (Sengupta) face a bewildering situation when they confront a hapless burglar who has broken into their house at night. Trying to escape, the burglar leaps from their balcony and injures himself. The burglar makes out he is dying and the hapless exec and spouse now fear being sued and rush him to hospital, but then the burglar's crazy wife arrives claiming compensation. The couple panic and invite her in to console her, all seems to be put to rights until Shikha discovers the burglar's wife has now nicked her favourite necklace.

 
 
A DECENT ARRANGEMENT (PG) | UK PREMIERE
A Decent Arrangement
FILM INFO

Language(s) : English
Running Time | 96 mins | USA/India
Director : Sarovar Banka
Actors : Shabana Azmi, Adam Laupus, Diksha Basu.

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SYNOPSIS / REVIEW

In this cross-cultural romance we meet American born copywriter Ashok Khosla, who unable to find love Stateside, travels to Chandigarh to seek his perfect Indian bride. Guided by his well intentioned but overbearing cousin Preeti (a scene stealing Shabana Azmi) he meets the prospective brides and their families but the young women he meets are more than he bargained for. A good match is however found with Amita, a feisty young woman struggling with traditional values, but at the same time Ashok bumps into Lori an adventurous American woman who is travelling through India. As Preeti moves to cement the deal with Amita's family, Ashok secretly struggles to make up his mind.

Director Sarovar Banka will be attending both screenings of his film to do a Q&A


 
 
DELHI IN A DAY (12A) | UK PREMIERE
Delhi in a Day
FILM INFO

Language: English
Running Time | 88 mins | India
Director : Prashant Nair
Actors : Victor Banerjee, Lillete Dubey, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Lee Williams, Anjali Patil.

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SYNOPSIS / REVIEW

Like Monsoon Wedding, this dark comedy explores the life of Delhi's upper class society and the huge class differences between the nouveau riche and their have-not servants. A naïve young English man Jasper (Williams) making his first trip to India comes to stay at the mansion of the eccentric Gambhir family who, as he is the son of a powerful business associate, make a fuss of him. Mukund (Kharbanda), the jovial patriarch of the family, struggles to meet the demands of his sharp-tongued wife Kalpana (Dubey), who runs their team of servants, with a rod of iron. Idealistic Jasper is however immediately attracted by one of the servant girls Rohini (Patil), a pretty nineteen year old who dreams of being s Bollywood star, but when Jasper's money disappears the status quo of the house is rocked.


 
 
TOOTING BROADWAY | WORLD PREMIERE
Tooting Broadway
FILM INFO

Language(s) : English
Running Time | 95 mins | UK
Director : Devanand Shanmugam
Actors :Elizabeth Henstridge, Nav Sidhu, Oliver Cotton, Kabelan Verlkumar.

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SYNOPSIS / REVIEW

A racy urban crime drama set in 2009 whose South London location lends a gritty feel to a fast paced story. 24 hours before the Tamil protests outside the Houses of Parliament, Arun (Sidhu) returns home to stop his younger brother Ruthi (Verlkumar) from participating in a criminal act that could ruin his life. Arun is granted a day by his mysterious employer, Marcus (Cotton) to talk Ruthi round. Once back he meets an old flame, Kate (Henstridge) who is struggling with a big decision herself while Arun's friendship with a gang leader threatens to suck him back into a world he left behind. The political tension provides the backdrop for Arun's need to forge a life away from his past versus his obligation to his family, friends and his Tamil roots. Tooting Broadway portrays a community and a rarely seen subculture - Sri Lankan Tamil gangs - and brilliantly deploys the themes of family, loyalty and honour.

Followed by Q&A with Director Devanand Shanmugam, Producer Joshua Clement and cast members.


 
 
EXPERIMENTA INDIA - LIFF @ THE TATE MODERN
Alongside the commercial cinema of narrative and spectacle in India, there has always been another practice call it avant-garde, experimental, or artists' film and video. Since its inception in 2003, Experimenta, the independent international festival for experimental cinema in India, has become a significant forum in South Asia for the exhibition, discussion, and dissemination of ideas about new genres of film. Shai Heredia, Experimenta's Festival Director, has curated this programme featuring two screenings of recent innovations in moving image art from India.


Residue
EXPERIMENTA INDIA 1

Duration | 57 mins
Tate Modern | Starr Auditorium
£5 | £4 concessions


PRESENCE

Ekta Mittal and Yashaswini Raghunandan | India 2012 | Colour | Sound | HD | 18 mins


Presence is the second film from the Behind the Tin Sheets Archive. Landscapes shift, people move from place to place – time passes and spaces evolve. Through this metamorphosis, new things try to replace the old. Some remain and linger and some go missing and disappear. We remember and we also forget. Between this, we encounter the invisible. This film reflects the subconscious of migrant workers against an urban landscape in metamorphosis. As they carry their stories in and out of many cities, the cities bear witness to these fragments. A point of impermanence and permanence collide, in close proximity with the filmmakers' haunt within the city. Suspended from time and space, the familiar begins to render the unfamiliar.

RESIDUE

Sonal Jain and Mriganka Madhukaillya | India 2011 | Colour | Sound | 35mm | 39 mins


This film was shot in a redundant Thermal power plant in the outskirts of the city of Guwahati. It forms a response to the artists' interest in constructed signs that can never be replicated or remembered and in the relationship between matter and memory. There is an endless circularity and an unbearable silence — the pause A point of impermanence and permanence collide, in close proximity with the filmmakers' haunt within the city. Suspended from time and space, the familiar begins to render the unfamiliar.


City Beyond
EXPERIMENTA INDIA 2


Duration | 59 mins
Tate Modern | Starr Auditorium
£5 | £4 concessions



JAN VILLA

Natasha Mendonca | India 2012 | Colour + B&W | Sound | 16mm transferred to HD | 20 mins


After the monsoon floods in 2005 that submerged Bombay, the filmmaker returns to her native city to examine the personal impact of this devastating event. The result is Jan Villa, a tapestry of images that studies the space of a post-colonial metropolis but in a way that deeply implicates the personal. The destruction wreaked by the floods becomes a telling and a dismantling of other devastations and the sanctuaries of family and home. In its structure, Jan Villa is a vortex, drawing to its center all that surrounds it.

CITY BEYOND

Shreyasi Kar | India 2011 | Colour | Sound | 35mm | 10 mins


City Beyond is a film that speculates about the lives led by inhabitants of a submerged civilisation. The superstructure has been recently discovered in the crevices of the ocean floor. The film moves through the submerged landscape, gathering glimpses of life, times and the end of a lost society.

THERE IS SOMETHING IN THE AIR

Iram Ghufran | India 2011 | Colour | Sound | 35mm | 29 mins


There is Something in the Air is a call from the periphery of sanity. A series of dream narratives and accounts of spiritual possession as experienced by women 'petitioners' at the shrine of a Sufi saint in northern India. Drama unfolds via dreams, appearances of djinns and disappearances of women. The shrine becomes a space for expressions of longing and transgression. The film invites the viewer to a fantastical world, where fear and desire is experienced through dreams and 'afflictions of air'. The shrine is a space where performance becomes the only rule of engagement, and one can begin to think about the possibilities that 'insanity' produces.
 
 
SATYAJIT RAY FOUNDATION'S SHORT FILM COMPETITON
Amar
FILM INFO

Language(s) : Various, with subtitles
Running Time :
101 Mins
Director : Various
Actors : Various


SCREENINGS
The 2012 Shortlisted films will screen in a special free programme at the Nehru Centre on 27 June at 18:30- please call for information. The winning film will be announced at the closing night ceremony on 3 July, at the Cineworld Haymarket - tickets for this can be purchased directly from the cinema.

The 2012 short-listed films are:-
AYESHA
AYESHA - Dir FARZANA TIPURITA (UK)
The story of a British Pakistani woman at a crossroads, forced to choose between her family and her own desires.
RAJU
RAJU - Dir MAX ZARHLE (Germany)
A German couple adopts an Indian orphan in Kolkata. When the child suddenly disappears they realise that they are part of the problem
DIRTY DOVES
KHALEEL KHAN KE FAAKHTEY (DIRTY DOVES) – Dir RIZWAN SIDDIQUI (India)
The old man had claimed the past as his own. The beauty of memories savoured and retold a million times to anyone who cared to listen, was all that mattered. Now, refusing to be deterred from his journey, it was time to confront that past...
MAYA
MAYA - Dir NAINA PANEMANGLOR (UK)
In a tiny first class train cabin, self assured Mohan Bhatt encounters his first love, Maya Rao. Maya, now married, is travelling with her husband and son. Pretending to be strangers at first, Mohan and Maya slowly come to terms with a past they thought they had left behind.
SHOR
SHOR (NOISE) – Dir NEERAJ GHAYWAN (India)
Barely surviving in the seedy ghettos of Mumbai, Lallam and Meena find each other while embracing death, divorce, and redemption.
UNRAVEL
UNRAVEL - Dir MEGHNA GUPTA (UK)
When the Western world no longer wants it clothes, they are sent to a textile recycling factory in the sleepy town of Panipat, Northern India. Bright and inquisitive factory worker Reshma and her co-workers, reflect on these clothes. Despite limited exposure to western culture, they construct a picture of how the West is, using both their imagination and rumours that travel with the cast off garments.
2012 Jury: Eran Creevy (dir SHIFTY, WELCOME TO THE PUNCH) Suri Krishnamma (dir BAD KARMA) Andrew Hinton (dir Amar, 2011 short film winner) Satwant Gill (London Indian Film festival.)
 
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