• Jul 18,2012
  • In Review
  • By Abundant Art

London Indian Film Festival – 2012

Londoners got a great fill of new Indian cinema at the third edition of London Indian Film Festival (LIFF). The new wave of Indian cinema is producing a large range of films- completely against the grain of formulaic Bollywood fare. These are regional and indie films made in Bombay. LIFF this year was more ambitious in its programming and besides its main venue at Cineworld Haymarket, had a number of other local venues showcasing their films.

The Festival kicked off with new cinema icon Anurag Kashyap presenting his much awaited Gangs of Wasseypur. An epic film about the coal mafia in Bihar, it is fast paced, gripping, often violent but deeply resonant with formidable performance by Manoj Bajpei. Speaking after the film, Anuraag talked about the autobiographical elements in the film and the challenges of making a five hour film over the last three years.

Kaushik or Q’s hardhitting underground film Gandu met with mixed responses at the NFT but the Gandu Circus band later rocked the auditorium and it was a sight watching the audience dance away to the rhythms of Bengali rap by Q himself.

Actress Tannishtha Chatterjee presented her new film Dekh Indian Circus and director Rajen Khosa presented his much loved children’s film Gattu. Aditi Roy’s debut film Abosheshey ( At Long Last) and the concluding film, Srijit Mukherjee’s  Baishey Srabon represented Bengal cinema and Raima Sen closed the festival with an interview. The golden age of 60’s was ruled by Suchitra Sen and the new golden age is definitely ruled by her granddaughter Raima Sen.

Besides screenings, there were industry meetings, workshops with directors and events spread across BAFTA, ICA, NFT, Watermans and Cineworld theatres. The Fest brought the best of Indian cinema and premiered new British-Asian films such as Tooting Broadway. The Satyajit Ray Foundation awarded the best short film and Kumararaja’s tamil neo- noir Aranyakandam won the audience award. Ten days of films to savour for a long time this summer!

Sangeeta Datta is Director of Baithak, UK, Filmmaker( LIfe Goes On) and Cultural Commentator

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