London Indian Film Festival 2019 (LIFF), supported by the Bagri Foundation and BFI, kicked off with the Opening Night Gala on Thursday 17th June at Picture House Central in London.
Marking the 10th year of the festival, the star-studded night, kicked off with the world-premiere of Ayushmann Khurrana-starrer Article 15, following a Q&A with the film’s director, Anubhav Sinha.
Reflecting on this year’s programme, Cary Rajinder Sawhney, Executive & Programming Director of the festival says:
“From the perspective of our 10th Birthday, the festival has dynamically opened the UK mainstream media and audiences to Indian and South Asian independent cinema in all its linguistic diversity.
That’s something we are extremely proud of.
Punching above our weight as always, this year is probably our strongest programme ever with exciting world premieres, rarely seen archival masterpieces and some seriously cutting-edge dramas and documentaries, in 23 venues across 5 UK cities and towns.
We invite you to immerse yourself into the cinema of a billion lives.”
As such, an array of talented artists graced their presence on the red carpet for the splendorous evening.
Some of the names, in addition to Anubhav Sinha, consist of:
- Indian/Bollywood Actress of Sacred Games fame, Radhika Apte.
- Bollywood Actor, Harshvardhan Kapoor.
- British-Asian Director, Gurinder Chadha.
- Actor, Anand Desai-Barochia.
- Bigg Boss Participant and Actress, Srishty Rode.
- Actor and this year’s LIFF Ambassador, Antonio Aakeel.
- Television personality, nutritionist and writer, Gillian McKeith.
- Model/Actress, Lisa Haydon.
At the opening night, Filme Shilmy managed to have a tête-à-tête with some of the celebrities themselves.
Radhika Apte, who makes her LIFF debut and will be a part of a discussion this year, wished the festival:
“I just want to say a massive congratulations as it is London Indian Film Fes 10th birthday.
I think it’s important to showcase work from different countries. It’s a great opportunity for filmmakers, as well as the audiences.
I’m grateful to be a part of it and honoured to have won the ‘Outstanding Achievement’ Award.”
Harshvardhan Kapoor, son of veteran actor Anil Kapoor has featured in Mirzya and Bhavesh Joshi.
He also made his LIFF debut this year and won the trophy for ‘Rising Star’. He also expressed his gratitude and best wishes for the festival:
“I just want to wish LIFF a very happy 10th birthday. I look forward to being here as often as I can as often they want to have me.
I hope that I can bring my films in the future and do that.”
After glitzy red-carpet entrances, the screening of Article 15 kicked off with a special song performance by Amrit Kaur Lohia, who performed a soul-stirring track, ahead of the hard-hitting film.
Overall, the London Indian Film Festival 2019’s Opening Night Gala was a success.
With an excellent line-up of films and talks this year, one is certain that this 10th edition of the festival will pay a magnificent tribute to cutting-edge dramas and South-Asian independent cinema.
The Bagri Foundation London Film Festival celebrates a decade of bringing the best new South Asian films to the UK, with 5 cities, 25 venues and 25 specially curated films.
It continues until 8th July 2019, at cinemas across the UK.
For more on the festival, please visit: http://londonindianfilmfestival.co.uk/
Watch the festival trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNdLixFRPf0