Marking 70 years of India’s independence and the birth of Pakistan, Mango Dreams leads the way for the 19th London Asian Film Festival 2017. The film, by first-time American director John Upchurch charts the journey of an elderly Hindu man heading back to his pre-partition home in India with the aid of a Muslim rickshaw driver, both haunted by a shared tragic past.
Tongues on Fire (TOF) recently revealed their programme for this year’s edition of the London Asian Film Festival (LAFF), introducing the 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 from 9th – 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.
The opening premiere Mango Dreams will kick start events, with its historic partition themed tale. Mantostaan, derived from renowned Saadat Hassan Manto’s controversial short stories and Pakistani film Rahm 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 Burkha, winner of the 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. 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.
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.
The London Asian Film Festival is presented by Tongues on Fire www.tonguesonfire.com.
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