Welcome to LIFF 2024

We’re delighted to be celebrating our 15th year by showcasing Indian and South Asian premieres, classic movies, emerging filmmakers’ shorts, web series, and exciting forays into VR and computer games.

Kicking things off in London and Birmingham is the European premiere of the Indo-American drama Paper Flowers, based on an inspirational true story and starring Karan Soni (Deadpool). Closing the festival in London is a special presentation of Toronto hit, Kill, the latest from producer Karan Johar. This high action ‘Bollywood on Steroids’ thriller will be screening at the BFI IMAX, Britain’s largest cinema screen.

Following critical acclaim at international film festivals, we’re screening the poignant Marathi drama Sthal (A Match), about teenage women confronting tradition. We’re privileged to present the world premiere of a compelling documentary by a British director, Tight: The World of Indian Bodybuilding, offering a unique perspective on this emerging sport from Tamil and Keralan viewpoints, at BFI Southbank and MAC in Birmingham. Acclaimed filmmaker Iram Parveen Bilal returns with Wakhri (One of a Kind), a tale of a Pakistani teacher turned social media star, inspired by true events.

Fresh from IFFK Kerala, comes the original and illuminating sci-fi drama Ennennum (Now and Forever). Karnataka’s contribution includes the award-winning Mithya, narrating an orphan’s struggles. Bengali cinema shines with Suman Ghosh’s insightful documentary on Aparna Sen. And we’re proud to present the Gujarati indie film Shunya (The Abyss), which follows an 11-year-old’s search for her grandmother.

This year we have an exceptional programme of UK Asian and South Asian diaspora movies. A highlight is the premiere of the British Muslim love story Before Nikkah. Don’t miss your chance to support emerging talent with our Brit-Asian Shorts programme. After its success at the London Film Festival, we’re delighted to screen Fawzia Mirza’s The Queen of My Dreams. We’re also previewing the madcap comedy Late Bloomer, starring Punjabi social media sensation Jasmeet Singh Raina (a.k.a. Jus Reign).

Don’t miss the South Asian shorts competing for the Satyajit Ray Short Film Competition’s £1,000 prize, or the TDTQ shorts highlighting queer Asian lives. We’ve also curated never- before-seen UK archive footage, showcasing the Asian immigrant experience.

You can experience the festival’s exciting new XR (VR and immersive reality) strand at Birmingham Open Media (BOM). Gaming enthusiasts can look forward to our South Asian Games Zone launch at FORMAT in Liverpool this September. Don’t forget to explore our new content on BFI Player, released year-round.

To enhance accessibility for Deaf and hearing- impaired audiences, we’re offering an increased number of screenings with BSL-interpreted Q&As. We’re also 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

CEO & Programming Director, London Indian Film Festival