Welcome to LIFF 2023

We are delighted to present our new programme launching in October for the first time, with a spectacular showcase of Indian and South Asian premieres and classic movies – and even our first web series preview.

Kicking this all off in London is the European premiere of the fast-paced whodunnit espionage drama Berlin, starring Aparshakti Khurana, Ishwak Singh, and many other much-loved faces. Our closing night film will be the highly-anticipated biopic, Padatik, celebrating seminal Bengali director Mrinal Sen, lovingly directed by Srijit Mukherjee – if you’re a fan of Bengali cinema, I dare you not to well up watching this one!

The themed strands at the festival this year include our wild new action strand, ‘Death By Any Means’, helmed by the UK premiere of Kashyap’s must-see serial killer thriller Kennedy and followed by classic films, many of which will be shown on UK screens for the first time. Bring a toothbrush for the full five-hour gangster epic Gangs of Wasseypur at Rich Mix, or watch Oscar winner S.S. Rajamouli’s (RRR) early film Eega (The Fly) – a brilliantly creepy reincarnation vengeance flick. Horror fans won’t want to miss the classic Indian horror Go Goa Gone this Halloween, as we celebrate its tenth anniversary.

This year, the ‘Extra-Ordinary Lives’ strand has a range of premieres from the stunning noir film Privacy, which tells the story of a big city surveillance cop who goes off the rails (Rajshri Deshpande), to the moving character drama, Joram, about a father on the run, starring LIFF alums Manoj Bajpayee and Tannishtha Chatterjee. LIFF will also present the UK premiere of Pokhar Ke Dunu Paar (On Either Sides of the Pond), a tender and heartbreaking drama about a couple drifting apart.

Our Young Rebels strand is back, with the premiere of Sahela, an Australian love story with a twist starring the British rising star Antonio Aakeel. Catch the wildly camp South African road trip movie Runs In The Family – think The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, with TV star Ace Bhatti. The British Bangladeshi rite-of-passage tale Barir Naam Shahana (A House Named Shahana) follows a fierce and forthright divorcee in rural Bangladesh, who defies social stigma to live life on her own terms. We are also delighted to present Rajiv Menon’s Jane Austen-inspired classic Kandukondain Kandukondain, starring the evergreen heroines Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Tabu.

For emerging filmmakers and Q&As, check out our ground-breaking Brit-Asian Shorts and Satyajit Ray Short Film Competition.

If you love gaming, jump on a train to experience the festival’s exciting new Indian computer gaming premieres at FORMAT festival in Manchester. For the tech aficionados, we have VR debates in Birmingham, and you can check out our new content on BFI Player.

To make cinema more accessible to audiences who are deaf and hearing-impaired, the festival will be offering an increased number of screenings with BSL-interpreted Q&As.

We are delighted to welcome back our Major Funders Bagri Foundation and BFI Audience Projects Fund, Film Hub Midlands, Film Hub North, Birmingham City University, Manchester Metropolitan University, and many others.

Cary Rajinder Sawhney MBE

Executive & Programming Director of LIFF