BY ANUJ RADIA

Europe’s largest South Asian annual film festival, covering 15 top cinemas in 3 cities (London, Birmingham and Manchester) – London Indian Film Festival (LIFF) is back for a 9th edition. It is one of the most diverse film offerings in the UK film calendar, supported by the BFI.

LIFF commences on 21st June at the famous Empire (Cineworld) Leicester Square, with the world premiere of Love Sonia from the Oscar-nominated producer of Life of Pi, David Womark, starring Demi Moore (Ghost), Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire), Mark Duplass (The Mindy Project), and an all-star Bollywood cast including Manoj Bajpayee, Rajkummar Rao, Richa Chadda, and Mrunal Thakur as courageous Sonia. Shot in 3 continents, it is based on the gritty world of global human trafficking.

Highlights include British comedy Eaten By Lions, TIFF hit Hva vil folk si (What Will People Say), The Song of Scorpions and No Bed of Roses, starring Irrfan Khan (Jurassic World, The Lunchbox), with an emphasis on the female directorial eye, fathers and sons, and extraordinary lives from the Indian subcontinent, with many international names starring in a carefully curated selection of films.

Festival director Cary Rajinder Sawhney says:

“One great thing about being in the UK and especially London is that we are culturally intertwined to India and South Asia, not just through our shared history but our living, everyday experience where South Asian communities add so much to UK cultural life, of which cinema is an important aspect.

This cutting-edge festival showcases indie cinema that entertains but shows the more realistic and sometimes the raw side of South Asian culture but, at the same time, there are always stories of comedy, hope and the inexhaustible energy of over 1.3 Billion South Asian lives from the Indian subcontinent.”

In addition to a fantastic line-up of films, The film festival will also hold the annual Satyajit Ray Competition, presented in association with the Bagri Foundation, with its £1,000 prize offers a platform for emerging filmmakers and six, shortlisted entries will be screened.

LIFF will present its Pure Heaven Icon Award and its Outstanding Achievement Award, supported by Sun Mark Ltd.

For more information, you can check out the full programme at the London Indian Film Festival website here.