The annual BFI Film Festival is coming up between 5th-16th October and is a must for British Film lovers everywhere. This year’s line up looks to be an exciting blend of stories from all sects, men, women, white, asian, and more. Mark your calendars as we’ve got a full list of all the Asian related films on display.
Dir Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra
With Harshvardhan Kapoor, Saiyami Kher, Anuj Choudhry, Art Malik, Om Puri, Anjali Patil
Unfolding amongst magnificent palaces and against the vast desert backdrop of Rajasthan, Bollywood director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s (Rang De Basanti, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag) glorious epic is a richly-colourful drama evocative of the swooning romance of Romeo and Juliet.
Penned by acclaimed poet, lyricist, screenwriter and director Gulzar, the film moves seamlessly between the story of mythical couple Mirza and Sahiban, and the modern world where two real-life lovers grapple with similar forces that seek to keep them apart. Classmates Adil and Soochi are inseparable sweethearts. When Soochi is beaten by a teacher, Adil is unable to control himself and seeks a deadly retribution. As a result he is forced to flee, leaving Soochi heartbroken. Many years pass and Soochi, now stunningly beautiful, is being pressured by her police chief father to marry a dashing local Rajput prince, seemingly her perfect match. However, his insistence that she takes riding lessons leads to an encounter that will have devastating consequences on all their lives. With its accent on unbridled passions, belief in the notion of true love and a fantastic cast that includes Om Puri, Art Malik and newcomers Harshvardhan Kapoor and Saiyami Kher, Mirzya is breathtaking, sensual and a feast for all senses.
Thursday 06 October 2016 17:30
Embankment Garden Cinema
Friday 07 October 2016 12:00
Embankment Garden Cinema
Dir. Garth Davis
With Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, David Wenham, Nicole Kidman, Sunny Pawar
More intricate in its texture and more astounding in its narrative twists than most works of fiction, Saroo Brierley’s engrossing memoir A Long Way Home receives a sweeping adaptation with this highly-anticipated feature debut from Garth Davis (co-director with Jane Campion of the acclaimed Top of the Lake series). As a boy, Saroo was cheeky and adventurous, living with his beloved, hard-working mother and siblings in an impoverished rural township in India. One night, when out with his older brother, he falls asleep in a stationary train carriage only to be trapped on board when it departs. Days later, he arrives in Kolkata, hundreds of miles from home and entirely alone. Left to fend for himself on the overcrowded streets, Saroo eventually lands in an orphanage and is adopted by an Australian couple (Nicole Kidman, David Wenham). Lively and inquisitive, he soon adjusts to his new life. 25 years later, the adult Saroo (Dev Patel) is haunted by lucid, recurring memories of his past. When he discovers a new technology – Google Earth – he begins an obsessive search for his original family, progressively withdrawing from his adoptive parents and girlfriend (Rooney Mara).
Luke Davies’ layered screenplay traces the complexities and tensions of the adoption experience – compounded by the arrival of another child who struggles to adjust – with great depth and dimension. Lion is a rousing tribute to the tenacity of the human spirit, the extraordinary courage of Saroo, and the resilience and unswerving love of both his mothers. Davis draws out mesmerising performances from Patel, Kidman and young discovery Sunny Pawar. He also proves himself a director of breadth and vision, making full use of Greig Fraser’s (Zero Dark Thirty, Bright Star) stunning cinematography to intensify the emotional impact, as well as ground this universally resonant story in the beauty of the Indian and Australian landscapes it traverses.
-Wednesday 12 October 2016 19:15
Odeon Leicester Square
-Thursday 13 October 2016 11:15
Odeon Leicester Square
– Saturday 15 October 2016 14:45
Hackney Picturehouse, Screen 1
Dir-Scr Buddhadeb Dasgupta
With Sudipto Chaterjee, Kajal Kumari, Paoli Dam
Globally acclaimed and award-winning master Indian filmmaker Buddhadeb Dasgupta (Bagh Bahadur, Uttara) is known for his magical realist style and employment of the rural landscape of Bengal as a backdrop to a series of fantastic fables featuring incredible characters. He returns to the Festival with The Bait, one of his finest works to date. Here, he introduces us to three unique characters: there’s a cranky postman who has renounced his life to live up a tree with a troupe of monkeys; a young circus tightrope walker who tours the countryside with her parents, dreaming of marriage; and an eccentric local Rajah who lives off past glories and is desperate to prove himself by killing a tiger. Their paths ultimately cross as the Rajah, in a spine-chilling act, finds the ultimate bait to tempt the tiger and restore his power. Beneath the veneer of this beautifully crafted film is a wider exploration of the human experience.
-Wednesday 12 October 2016 21:15
Vue West End Cinema, Screen 5
-Friday 14 October 2016 15:30
BFI Southbank, NFT2
Sunday 16 October 2016 15:30
Curzon Soho Cinema, Screen 1
Dir Shyam Benegal
With Shashi Kapoor, Jennifer Kendal, Naseeruddin Shah, Shabana Azmi
Junoon is one of cinema’s most intelligent and engaging explorations of the Indian Rebellion of 1857. After witnessing the bloody murder of her father, Anglo-Indian Ruth Labadoor is abducted by Pathan chieftain Javed Khan. Held in the suffocating confines of his home – part-prison, part-sanctuary – Ruth has to negotiate Javed’s increasing obsession with her and the resentment it instils in his wife (Azmi). Based on Ruskin Bond’s novella A Flight of Pigeons, it’s the relationships between women that lie at the heart of the story as unexpected allegiances develop and sympathies shift. Azmi, in particular, is tremendous, prowling the house at night like a jilted tiger ready to pounce. Shyam Benegal and cinematographer Govind Nihalani brilliantly mix the claustrophobic with the epic, gentle moments of domesticity with fear and horror. This is an under-seen Indian classic and this restoration by Kunal Kapoor will hopefully ensure it reaches a new audience.
-Sunday 09 October 2016 15:15
BFI Southbank, NFT2
-Monday 10 October 2016 18:30
Dir-Scr Milind Dhaimade
With Barun Sobti, Shahana Goswami, Avinash Tiwary
Set in densely populated Mumbai, this buddy movie about a group of amateur footballers is a real treat. Milind Dhaimade’s feature debut finds a group of five men struggling to balance their busy work and home relationships with their desire to escape every Sunday to Juhu Beach – the one place with enough space to relax and play their beloved game. It’s paradise. But then, during one match a senile old man joins in and kicks the ball into a nearby political rally. The punishment for the unintended misdemeanour is harsh and the friends’ despondency at not being able to play becomes a reflection of each individual’s own pressure-cooker life, threatening to boil over and severely test their bond of friendship. Dhaimade’s depiction of straight men sharing emotions and love for each other as they struggle to win the day is both a rare and welcome sight.
-Saturday 15 October 2016 18:00
Vue West End Cinema, Screen 7
-Sunday 16 October 2016 12:15
Haymarket Cinema, Screen 1