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London Indian Film Festival unveils amazing 2013 line-up

Two Indian favourites at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and an acclaimed Pakistani film are set to be the focus of the 2013 London Indian Film Festival (LIFF) which gets underway on Thursday, July 18.

Amit Kumar’s critically acclaimed film noir thriller ‘Monsoon Shootout’ and ‘Bombay Talkies’, the four-film tribute to Bollywood by Karan Johar, Dibarkar Bannerjee, Zoya Akhta and Anurag Kashyap will have their UK premiers and bookend the fourth edition of Europe’s largest Indian film festival.

Nearly a decade in the making and backed by the likes of Asif Kapadia and Anurag Kashyap, ‘Monsoon Shootout’ received widespread praise when it premiered at Cannes in May, whilst ‘Bombay Talkes’ has been widely described as a convergence of directing talent unprecedented in Bollywood. 

Apart from its’ four celebrated directors, ‘…Talkies’ features the talents of Amtiabh Bachchan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Rani Mukerji.

Among the other highlights at LIFF 2013 will be ‘Josh’, a hard-hitting Pakistani film directed by Iram Parveen Bilal which explores feudalism and women’s rights in the country, and ‘The Good Road’, first-time director Gyan Correa’s homage to Kutch, the district in Western Gujarat that is a microcosm of India.

As well as films from right across India in a multitude of languages, LIFF 2013 will also feature an audience with award-winning ‘Life of Pi’ star Irrfan Khan, a film making masterclass with South Indian Director Adoor Gopalas9knan and the Satyajit Ray Short Film Competition.

Here’s the full roster of films that will be screened at LIFF 2013.

B.A. Pass (Director: Ajay Bahl)
A young student is seduced by a beautiful older woman, leaving him entranced, until he is forced to entertain her lady friends with dangerous consequences.  
 
Bombay Talkies (Directors: Karan Johar, Zoya Akhtar, Dibakar Bannerjee, Anurag Kashyap)
A lovingly put-together homage to Bollywood on the anniversary of the industry’s centenary; a compilation of short films by four of Bollywood’s leading directors, exploring what  Indian cinema represents to them.  
 
The Bright Day | Dir. Mohit Takalkar | Hindi, Marathi, English with English subtitles.
An unfocused young man cannot get to grips with his humdrum middle class life, leaves behind his family and girlfriend and goes on a trip across India to find himself and what follows is a visual extravaganza taking in temples, rivers, palaces and deserts with a supporting cast of European backpackers and holy men.  
 
Elippathayam (Director: Adoor Gopalas9knan)
The tale of a man and his three sisters struggling to understand the sweeping changes resulting from the end of feudalism in Kerala.  The film won the Sutherland Award at the London Film Festival in 1982, the only Indian film to have won the coveted award after Satyajit Ray’s win in 1959 for The World of Apu.
 
The Good Road (Director: Gyan Correa)
Set in against the stark backdrop of Kutch in Gujarat, the film revolves around a young boy from Mumbai who befriends a truck driver and his grumpy assistant who are on a smuggling trip and a young girl about to be forced into prostitution.  
 
Josh (Director: Iram Parveen Bilal)
LIFF’s first ever selection from Pakistan explores multiple themes the country continues to grapple with, including feudalism, poverty and women’s rights.
 
Life is Good (Director: Ananth Mahadevan)
A warm-hearted tale of the unlikely friendship between a lonely and depressed post office worker (Bollywood star Jackie Shroff) and a 6-year-old schoolgirl.
 
Lucia (Director: Pawan Kumar)
The first crowd-funded film in Kannada cinema tells the story about an insomniac usher at a decrepit cinema in Bangalore whose life is transformed when he starts having weird and wonderful dreams…but with a caveat.

Mapa (Director: Elias Leon Simiani)
LIFF’s first Spanish selection follows a young filmmaker who travels from Spain to India to retrace a journey taken by his ex-girlfriend.  It won Best Documentary at the Seville Film Festival and was nominated in the same category at Spain’s equivalent of the Oscar’s.
 
Monsoon Shootout (Director: Amit Kumar)
Produced by Asif Kapadia and Anurag Kashyap, Kumar’s noirish thriller follows a rookie cop in monsoon-lashed Mumbai who faces a life altering decision, whether to shoot, or not to shoot an escaping suspect.
 
Oonga (Director: Devashish Makhija)
A story inspired by real life events, ‘Oonga’ tells the story of a young tribal boy from Orissa and his obsession with becoming Lord Rama, set against the backdrop of corrupt mining activities that threaten his ancient lands.  
 
Pune 52 (Director: Nikhil Mahajan)
The life of a private detective undergoes a dramatic change when he takes up a complex new case amidst the consumer frenzy that followed India’s economic liberalization in the early 1990’s.
 
Shahid (Director – Hansal Mehta)
The true story of a former Muslim radical who becomes a lawyer and takes on his greatest and most controversial case, defending one of the men accused of the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks.
 
Tasher Desh (Director: Kaushik Mukherjee A.K.A. Q)
Gandu director Q’s psychedelic re-imagining of Tagore’s famous play where a prince and his friend are shipwrecked on a militant paradise island where soldiers style themselves after a deck of cards; with an outstanding soundtrack featuring Asian Dub Foundation, Susheela Raman and Sam Mills, among others.Satyajit Ray Foundation Short Film Competition
 
Calcutta Taxi (Director – Vikram Dasgupta)
A young Art College student finds his backpack stolen on the day of a political strike. Set in the grimy backdrop of a city going through a political crisis, Calcutta Taxi unravels the story of three lives that coincide and affect each other. Each one having lost and found some things in this chance encounter of life.
 
I Am Micro (Director – Shumona Goel and Shai Heredia)
Shot in the passages of an abandoned optics factory and centered on the activities of a low-budget film crew, I Am Micro is an experimental essay about filmmaking, the medium of film, and the spirit of making independent cinema.
 
False Start (Director Shekhar Bassi)
Fahim and Haashid, friends through necessity and neither speaking the others’ language, sit on a secluded French beachhead. Ill prepared and uninformed, the men plan for their journey to England in search of a better life.
 
Sikh Formaggio (Directors: Katie Wise, Devyn Bisson, Dan Duran)
After emigrating from India to Italy in search of jobs familiar to their agricultural roots, a Sikh community finds work within the struggling Italian Parmesan industry. As the Sikhs attempt to keep their culture and traditions strong in their new home, they are also helping to preserve a piece of Italy’s culture – the art of making parmigiano reggiano cheese.
 
On Migration (Director: Asheq Akhtar)
A short film about the early experiences of migrants from Bangladesh and India, using verbatim accounts from the director’s parents as they recount their personal journeys arriving in 1970’s England.
 
Kaun Kamleshwar? (Director: Anurag Goswami)
Brothers Madhav and Raghu travel back to their village with a clear mission – to find Kamleshwar and put an end to their troubles. Fate, however, takes an unexpected turn…

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