The Blue Orchid Hotels’ London Indian Film Festival 2022 is all set to open with the World Premiere of Anurag Kashyap’s Dobaaraa, headlined by Taapsee Pannu. Kicks off on June 23, 2022. The supernatural thriller is backed by Ekta and Shobha Kapoor’s Cult Movies (vertical under new film division at ‘Balaji Telefilms’). Sunir Khetrapal and Gaurav Bose’s Athena are also producers. This is the first picture to emerge from Cult Movies.
Cary Rajinder Sawhney, Festival Director says: “We have the UK premiered a number of Anurag’s films over the last 12 years. Including That Girl In Yellow Boots and Gangs Of Wasseypur. Anurag delivers yet another fresh directorial approach and a compelling twisted story. Actor Taapsee Pannu steals the show as a young woman trapped between two lives in different decades.”
The lineup includes The Rapist, which celebrates its European Premiere at the fest. Filmmaker Aparna Sen is expected to be present for the Q&A. Lead actor Konkona Sen Sharma might also attend. Among the other UK, premieres are Pan Nalin’s uplifting homage to the celluloid, Chello Show in Gujarati. Rebana Liz John’s documentary Ladies Only explores feminist themes through observing the female-only compartments of Mumbai’s hectic trains.
Anik Dutta’s Aparajito– a tribute to legendary director Satyajit Ray’s journey of making his first film, the cult classic ‘Pather Panchali’. An intimate look at modern-day Calcutta, Once Upon A Time In Calcutta by Aditya Vikram Sengupta also features in the festival line-up. Set against a score by Academy Award-winning AR Rahman, also Executive Producer of No Land’s Man. It stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui as a man dealing with the complexities of identity. Q&A by the film’s director Mostofa Sarwar Farooki follows the film’s premiere.
Under the festival’s ‘Save the Planet’ strand, ecological and climate themes are explored in The Road To Kuthriyar, No Ground Beneath My Feet, and Hatibondhu. Among the films in the ‘Extraordinary lives’ strand are Dug Dug and Paka: The River Of Blood. The ‘Young Rebels’ strand includes Girls For Future and The Very Fishy Trip Cultures collide in selections from the diaspora including British Indian comedy Little English. The Pakistani American film Americanish from the US. Archival screenings include the classic 1990s music documentary Asian Vibes London & Mumbai, plus a special screening of Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi celebrating the 40th anniversary of this multi-Oscar winner.
Additional shorts categories include hit LGBTQIA+ program Too Desi Too Queer, the films of Mumbai queer pioneer filmmaker Riyad Vinci Wadia. New British Asian emerging filmmakers and shorts competing in the festival’s annual Satyajit Ray Short Film Competition. Canadian Indian documentary Superfan: The Nav Bhatia Story, an uplifting tale of the basketball team the Toronto Raptors’ greatest fan, closes the festival on July 3, 2022.
LIFF spans 11 days. Screens in various cinemas across London as well as regionally in Manchester, Birmingham, and Leeds. BFI Player will host a selection of short films.