The 10th anniversary of Bagri Foundation’s London Indian Film Festival (LIFF) opened with the hard-hitting thriller Article 15, which is now out on global general release.
It concluded with an array of high profile awards and a sold-out screening of Photograph at BFI Southbank with director Ritesh Batra in attendance for a Q&A.
As such, Ayushmann Khurrana starrer Article 15 won the ‘LIFF Audience Award’. Sharing a few words on this achievement, director Anubhav Sinha says:
“I am delighted to have won the LIFF Audience Award. I feel 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.”
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.
LIFF 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.
The festival 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.
This year, the festival has offered 55% 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 (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 Dev D director Anurag Kashyap and Delhi Crime director Ritchie Mehta.
Other winners include:
Icon Awards – Anurag Kashyap, Gurinder Chadha, Buddhadeb Dasgupta
Outstanding Achievement Awards – Radhika Apte, Richie Mehta
Rising Star Award – Harshvardhan Kapoor
Satyajit Ray Short Film Award – Rohan Parashuram Kanawade, U Ushacha