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London Asian Film Festival: 'We support exciting, independent work'

By
Sanjay Leela Bhansali

© PA Images

The 14th London Asian Film Festival press launch took place yesterday (March 12) at SOAS.

Sarah McKenzie, managing director of Creative Screen Associates, outlined the key highlights of the festival ahead of its official opening later this week.

"The festival includes Asian-themed films made by directors from anywhere in the world, represented this year by Trishna, a reworking of Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles directed by Michael Winterbottom and starring Frieda Pinto and Riz Ahmed," McKenzie said.

"We have work from Asian filmmakers working all over the world, from Britain's Asif Kapadia who has made the BAFTA award-winning documentary Senna."

McKenzie added that the annual Nargis Dutt lecture will be given by Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

She said that the festival will feature "a showcase of his films that showcase different aspects of disability, from the sensitive and subtle Black to the beautiful period film Guzaarish."

McKenzie also said that the festival will incorporates discussions and seminars around the business of filmmaking alongside the usual screenings.

"The festival supports exciting independent work alongside the best of commercial cinema, and also provides opportunities for talent development through the short film competition and this year's business of film seminar, which explores opportunities for the exhibition and distribution of Asian films in the UK," she added.

Abhishek Bachchan
Festival founder and director Pushpinder Chowdhry commented on the involvement of patron Abhishek Bachchan.

"This year Abhishek is going to come for the festival, but he has also offered to do a workshop. It will be a chance to speak with him in an informal in conversation setting," she said.

"We hope this has given you a taste of what the festival will bring. It's an exciting time for London and we hope the stories will move, excite and inspire you."

Bachchan will also open the festival on March 16 at BFI Southbank, along with his fellow London Asian Film Festival patron Meera Syal.

The 14th London Asian Film Festival takes place at various venues across London from Friday, March 16 to Saturday, March 24.

Watch a clip from Asif Kapadia's interview with Digital Spy below:

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