“Delighted to have won the LIFF Audience Award. So happy that the film actually connected with Indians abroad and with non Indians alike, who are not facing this version of inequality on a daily basis”.
director of “Article 15”
winner of the (LIFF audience award)
The 10th anniversary of the UK and Europe’s largest South Asian film festival, supported by the Bagri Foundation and the British Film Institute (BFI) opened with Anubhav Sinha walking the red carpet, for his heard hitting thriller “Article 15” (out now on general release, distributed worldwide, by Zee Studios International), and closed in London, with an array of high profile awards and a sold out screening of “Photograph” at BFI Southbank, London, with director Ritesh Batra in attendance for a Q&A. The festival featured the biggest line-up to date, celebrating a decade, with 100 events across 5 cities in the UK which will continue to run until July 8th.
The festival showcased a number of high profile and emerging women film-makers films, while the overall festival included community screenings, including encouraging Asian women (some of who had never been to a cinema before) to attend screenings in London and Yorkshire, working with community partners.
LIFF continues its commitment to impaired hearing communities with a BSL (British Sign Language) signed debate around the film “Bulbul Can Sing” by Rima Das, with her 2nd film in succession, at the festival after “Village Rockstars” in 2018. The festival this year has offered 55 percent of women film making talent, and LGBTQ+ helmed films, including shorts.
The festival’s new partner is the mental health awareness organisation – Thrive LDN. Anurag Kashyap opened up on stage at the BFI, to Girl with a pearl earring director Peter Webber, bravely speaking about his periods of depression, coming to terms with it, and how daily swimming has helped him manage this. Kashyap and other male celebrities from the subcontinent are important role models for men who are at higher risk of depression and suicide because of cultural hang ups, stigma, and pressure to not talk about feelings and personal problems. Radhika Apte (Netflix Sacred Games, Lust Stories, Ghoul, Andhadhun, Pad Man) candidly spoke about her battle with anxiety, giving the audience in depth glimpses into her life and work, and how she has straddled her international success.
The festival included many film industry events, with a detailed master class about OTT platforms like Netflix, and India related content, at the BAFTA guru lounge, with Sacred Games director Anurag Kashyap (Gangs Of Wasseypur) and Delhi Crime director Ritchie Mehta (India In A Day).
The ICON awards went to Anurag Kashyap, Gurinder Chadha and Buddhadeb Dasgupta.