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#BFI: South Asian Cinema at the London Film Festival 2014

With nearly 250 films screening, his year's 58th BFI London Film Festival is set to be the biggest yet.  And it's a bumper year for South Asian cinema with films from India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka joining features from the UK.

Here are the main highlights.  (Click on film titles for venues and timings).

Margarita, with a Straw

Based on a true-story, this compelling drama explores disability in India through the story of a young Punjabi girl suffering from cerebral palsy.  The gifted Kalki Koechlin plays the central role of Laila, a university student, writer, lyricist and musician who is confined to a wheelchair.  After winning a scholarship to New York University, Laila moves to Manhattan with her mother (played by the veteran south Indian actress and activist Revathi).  In the city that never sleeps, Laila falls in love with Sayani Gupta's fiery young activist Khanum: a love that threatens chaos for Laila and her family.  Writer, producer and director Shonali Bose is no stranger to tackling difficult subjects.  Her 2005 feature debut 'Amu' - based on her novel of the same name - was a skilfully crafted exploration of the 1984 anti-Sikh massacres in Delhi through the eyes of a young Indian American girl.  'Margarita, with a Straw' had its world premier at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this month and received an extended standing ovation with some critics drawing parallels between Koechlin's performance and Daniel Day Lewis' Oscar-winning turn as cerebral palsy sufferer Christy Brown in 'My Left Foot'.

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BFI celebrates Bollywood Legend Raj Kapoor

The British Film Institute has announced details of a new festival of film celebrating the life and work of Bollywood legend Raj Kapoor.  A series of 8 recently restored films of the oft-venerated actor and director will be screened at the BFI Southbank Centre as part of the festival which …

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THE BFI LONDON FILM FESTIVAL – 2011

 Festival Artistic Director Sandra Hebron announced that the 55th BFI London Film Festival will take place from Wednesday 12 October until Thursday 27 October 2011.              The highly regarded BFI London Film Festival champions creativity, originality, vision and imagination by annually showcasing feature films, documentaries, shorts, animation and artists’ film and …

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