Welcome to LIFF 2021

Welcome back to the festival, which this year has evolved into a hybrid festival. You can watch in cinemas in London, Birmingham, and Manchester, or on your own sofa at home, via our digital site www.LoveLIFFatHome.com, that is accessible anywhere in the United Kingdom. Our talks and certain events are also accessible worldwide.

A big personal thanks to all our audiences who stayed with the festival last year and helped make it one of the few success stories in the film industry. This year’s festival is dedicated to you with love.

Highlights of this year’s festival include our inspiring opening night Gala WOMB about one woman gender activist who incredibly walks the entire length of India to explore the experiences of other women in its billion plus population. See it at BFI Southbank and Ciné Lumière.

Our themed strands include online and cinema-based movie premieres and events. They start with our Young Rebel strand (which literally challenges all the stereotypes!) with UK premieres of a host of talented emerging filmmakers, showing young people’s real-life challenges and experiences.

Our special strand this year is on Great British Asian filmmakers, and we are delighted to honour film people such as Asif Kapadia ( The Warrior, Amy, Senna), and writer Hanif Kureishi ( My Beautiful Laundrette, The Buddha of Suburbia). At the Barbican, we co-host a special retrospective of the films of activist filmmaker Pratibha Parmar. We will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of feel-good hit Bend It Like Beckham, with an intro by director Gurinder Chadha, at Roof East Stratford. UK director Sarah Gavron (Rocks), will talk about her film Brick Lane. Alongside this will be a whole host of rarely seen classic British Asian movies and talks including the rarely seen British Asian all-star film Flight – expect special guests for that one! Of course, we are also showcasing new British Asian talent in some amazing shorts packages. So it’s your chance to find out more about ‘our’ rich story and contribution to the UK

Dive deep into our Extra-Ordinary Lives strand with amazing dramas and documentaries from across South Asia. Including the must-see Ahimsa: Gandhi, The Power of The Powerless, a documentary on the incredible global impact of Gandhi’s non-violence ideas; Abhijaan, an inspiring biopic exploring the life of the late and great Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee; Black comedy Ashes On a Road Trip; and Tiger Award winner at Rotterdam Pebbles. Look out for selected online premieres too.

We also introduce a new strand dedicated to ecology-related films, called Save The Planet, with some stirring features about lives affected by deforestation and rising sea levels, and how people are meeting the challenge.

We are expecting a host of special guests as usual and do check out our brilliant online ‘In Conversations’ with Indian talent in June – where will be joined by Bollywood director Karan Johar, and rapidly rising talented actors Shriuti Hassan and Jhanvi Kapoor, as well as featuring some very informative online Q&As on all our films.

We are delighted to welcome back our many regular partners, including Title Sponsor (London) Bagri Foundation who will be supporting us for the 7th year. A big thanks to BFI Audience Fund, Birmingham City University, and to our many friends and supporters.

To support the ongoing Covid pandemic in India and other South Asian countries, we are asking our audiences to kindly visit our donations page at LoveLIFFatHome.com and kindly help out if you can. It’s never too late to support people in genuine need.

For cinemas, you can buy tickets via booking links on our website, or directly at partner cinemas. For online viewings, please follow the booking guidance on www.LoveLIFFatHome.com

Please remember that Covid safety regulations are strictly administered by all of our venue partners and you will be required to wear a mask throughout all cinema screenings.

We look forward to seeing you in cinemas and online!

The Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival (LIFF) and Birmingham Indian Film Festival (BIFF), together make up Europe’s largest Indian film festival. Over the last 10 years we have garnered a reputation as the ‘Punk Rock of Indian Film festivals’, presenting a cutting-edge selection of the very best new independent cinema from the Indian subcontinent and its worldwide diaspora. This offering includes dramatic features, documentaries, short films and Screen Talks by South Asia’s greatest film-making talent.

In reaction to the current challenging times, we are keen to find new ways to stay connected with you and are excited to deliver an online version of our festival that you can enjoy in the safety of your homes. We are the first Indian film festival to make this digital leap! We will continue to push the boundaries by showing high quality movies in a diversity of South Asian languages with ‘London Indian Film Festival at Home’. Kicking us off is an inspiring first-view showcase of all the films that have won our coveted ‘Satyajit Ray Short Film Competition’; a rare chance to see the works of talented, emerging filmmakers, who are exploring themes of the South Asian experience akin to the humanist values of the legendary Indian director Satyajit Ray.

Stay with us as we grow our collection of exciting independent South Asian films online, plus panel discussions and talent Q&As, unique Screen Talks. Please be sure to tell your friends and family!

Free Movies

In this difficult time we, our funders and our wonderful filmmakers, have come together to offer real value to our audiences, covering the costs to make our films FREE for a limited time. We are mindful of the impact of production shutting down in India due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are working with the Producers Guild of India to support their Relief Fund initiative for daily wage workers. Please help us to help them by pressing the Donate button and give a sum at your discretion, no matter how small, to help us to raise funds for India’s lowest paid film workers.

We want to thank you for supporting us in our first 10 years and very much appreciate you being part of the LIFF Cinema family. We hope you enjoy our special online selection. Please stay home and safe.

Warmest wishes

Cary Rajinder Sawhney MBE, Executive & Programming Director of LIFF