THE annual BFI London Film Festival celebrates cinema from around the world and like every year there is strong south Asian representation, from diverse backgrounds.
Eastern Eye decided to get you ready for the marvellous movie feast, which runs from next Wednesday (4) until October15, with a preview of south Asian flavoured gems.
I am Sirat: Perhaps the most unique offering at the 2023 festival is this New Delhi set documentary-drama, which is in official competition. The immersive collaboration between acclaimed filmmaker Deepa Mehta and Sirat Taneja is about a trans-woman who lives half her day as a dutiful son to a widowed mother and the other as herself. It recently had a world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival to great acclaim.
Dear Jassi: Another film that is in official competition and had a world premiere at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival is the latest offering from acclaimed director Tarsem Singh Dhandwar. The Romeo and Juliet inspired romance based on real life events revolves around a Canadian-Punjabi girl, who falls in love with a man during her trip to India. It paints a powerful portrait of Punjabi society and family honour.
The Taste of Mango: Director Chloe Abrahams unpeels the layers of family history to reveal the fibres that bond mothers and daughters in her feature documentary debut, which has been delighting audiences at various international film festivals. Stories spanning three generations, from London to Sri Lanka are woven into a poetic meditative film that attempts to untangle knots of past family bonds.
The Buckingham Murders: Popular Bollywood actress Kareena Kapoor Khan produces and plays the lead role in this English language movie, which has its world premiere at the festival. She portrays a troubled cop, battling a painful past, who is plunged into a criminal case that brings back harrowing memories. Hansal Mehta directs the UK-set gritty thriller exploring trauma, closure and the immigrant experience.
The Queen of My Dreams: Writer/director Fawzia Mirza presents a coming of age comedy drama that seamlessly moves between two generations, after a tragic event. Amrit Kaur and Nimra Bucha play the lead roles in the story of a queer Canadian-Pakistani girl and her mother experiencing their coming of age across two eras. The movie set to the backdrop of grief, obsession and identity, has won acclaim at various film festivals.
In Camera: The debut film from writer-director Naqqash Khalid mixes up realism, performance and fantasy. It follows a struggling Asian actor played by Nabhaan Rizwan through various auditions and bizarre experiences as he attempts to battle against prejudice and build a career for himself in an unforgiving industry, often driven by hypocrisy.
The BFI London Film Festival runs from next Wednessay (4) until October 15. Visit whatson.bfi.org.uk