London Asian Film Festival 2017

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London Asian Film Festival 2017  (LAFF) celebrates 70 years of India’s independence and the birth of Pakistan with a series of  events and special screenings ….. reports Richa Grover

 by . Tongues on Fire (TOF) have revealed their exciting programme for this year’s edition of the London Asian Film Festival (LAFF), introducing its all-important theme‘Memories Beyond Borders’. This year welcomes 70 years of India’s independence, a notable date in India’s history, along with marking the birth of Pakistan. Taking place on the 9th March to 19th March 2017, across a variety of London venues, the Festival comprises a variety of thought provoking stories with a South Asian connection from across the globe. 

 Tongues on Fire,  the producer of the London Asian Film Festival, aims to entertain, inform, educate and affect change in mood, emotion or thought. This annual film festival has been going strong for over 18 years and champions both arts and cinema intertwining political and social messages with entertainment.

The London Asian Film Festival is an eclectic mix of films, stimulating interviews, outstanding lectures series, workshops, live performances, visual arts exhibitions, master classes and the annual short film competition. The Festival pushes boundaries and overlaps with global cultures through films and all other art forms with a broad crossover appeal.

 by .  The opening premiere Mango Dreams will kick start events, with its historic partition themed taleMantostaan, derived from renowned Saadat Hassan Manto’s controversial short stories and Pakistani filmRahm brings audiences a Shakespearean adaptation. Reinforcing the notion of borders, Afghanistani feature Utopia journeys across the UK, Pakistan and India, while musical Bazodee, set in Trinidad and Tobago, adds a Caribbean twist. Go back in time with LAFF’s special event, a classical gathering of poets in Mushaira – A Musical Mehfil, an evening harking back to poetry slams of a gone-by era, celebrating traditional Urdu poetry and its evolution through Asian films. 

 Konkona Sen Sharma’s directorial debut A Death in the Gunj continues LAFF’s tradition of celebrating female filmmakers, as well as providing a platform for emerging talent. Female storytelling continues with works from distinguished director Deepa Mehta, Bollywood and independent Indian actress and writer Kalki Koechlin, upcoming singer Rekha Sawney, and Chalk n Duster featuring an all-female cast, starring Juhi Chawla and Shabana Azmi. Lipstick Under My Burkhawinner ofthe Oxfam Award for Best Film on Gender Equality at the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival has rightly earned its place as the festival’s closing film and will follow with a panel discussion.

  by . Acclaimed Pakistani filmmaker Sabiha Sumar and Bollywood actress Kalki Koechlin will discuss the theme of their independent documentary: Azmaish: Trials of Life, exploring the rising religious extremism in India and Pakistan. LAFF will have exclusive access to a preview of the forthcoming documentary on the closing night and will conclude with a sprinkle of glamour at LAFF’s Awards Ceremony and gala dinner.

 TOF is proud to announce its UK wide expansion this year with sister festivals Leicester Asian Film Festival (LeAFF) and Edinburgh Asian Film Festival (EAFF)following the Festival’s national success for the past 18 years. Films featured will be exclusive to these city programmes, along with a number of standout films from LAFF’s 2017 programme.  

 Tongues on Fire is a not-for-profit organisation with a goal to provide a platform for independent films and arts with a link to South Asia. Their ethos and idea is to celebrate South Asian culture, its vibrancy and its many dimensions through story telling, live events, master classes and films.