With UKAFF 2023’s lineup announced, celebrated actors Rajkummar Rao (Bheed) and Poonam Dhillon (Noorie) are confirmed guests who will be attending the Closing Night Gala on 14th May 2023 held at London’s BFI Southbank. The event includes the screening of documentary A Meeting Of Cultures, followed by a segment of the annual awards.
The festival opens with Sudhanshu Saria’s Sanaa, which will have the filmmaker himself and lead actress Radhika Madan in attendance. The launch kicks off at BFI Southbank on 4th May.
Other highlights include Nathalia Syam’s Footprints On Water which also has its UK Premiere at the festival. Syam will be present alongside writer Neetha Syam Aanand, producer Mohaan Nadaar and actors Adil Hussain and Antonio Aakeel. The Q&A will be hosted by Anuj Radia on 13th May at Kiln Theatre.
Additionally, Chalti Rahe Zindagi, which premieres on 6th May, will have director Aarti S. Bagdi alongside other cast/crew members attending. Radia hosts on 6th May at Picturehouse Stratford, East London.
Talking Life on Friday 12th May, The British Library will present Padma Bhushan recipient, screenwriter, lyricist and poet, Javed Akhtar. And television producer and writer, Nasreen Munni Kabir, brings their conversational book to life in a freewheeling discussion that will provide insights into the life and mind of a creative genius whose work continues to touch millions and the memories and anecdotes he has gathered along the way. They will be joined by Akhtar’s wife, award-winning actor Shabana Azmi.
The 25th Anniversary Celebration of Goodness Gracious Me will take place on Monday 8th May, at Beck Theatre, Hayes. The iconic series distinctively integrated Indian and British cultures through sketch comedy, satires, musicals and skits playing a pivotal role in representing South Asian stories globally. The special episode Going For An English, will be followed by a Q&A discussion with the director, Meera Syal; actors, Nina Wadia and Kulvinder Ghir; and writer, Sanjeev Kohli.
Over the last 25 years, UK Asian Film Festival has been a force to champion South Asian female-centric cinema and celebrate women in film – both behind and in front of the camera.
A festival helmed by women and feminist allies, its programmes have annually sought to disrupt the patriarchal status quo and initiate challenging conversations in its mission to advocate and promote gender equality in cinema.
The ‘Celebrating Our Stories’ theme of the festival’s silver jubilee year will present a curation of film stories centring on the British Asian experience – redefining and reimagining one’s roots and dreams in a foreign land – and will celebrate the individuality and uniqueness of trans generational, South Asian migrant stories.