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Raima Sen: 'I'm excited to be part of the London Indian Film Festival'

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Anurag Kashyap & Anushka Sharma during the London India Film Festival 2012
The 3rd London Indian Film Festival came to a close on Tuesday (3rd June) with Bollywood star Raima Sen in attendance.

The two-week event featured screenings of regional and independent films from South Asia and the UK.

Speaking to Digital Spy , Sen, whose films Abosheshey and Baishey Srabon were screened as part of the festival programme, said that she was "excited" to be part of proceedings.

"The film festival is important for awareness and recognition. Especially for Bengali cinema. Bollywood has that recognition but Bengali cinema doesn't," she remarked.

"It's my first time so I'm very excited to be here. I have two films at the festival and it's an honour to be at the London Indian Film Festival. It's a great platform."

The festival opened with the sold-out UK premiere of Gangs of Wasseypur, which was attended by the film's director Anurag Kashyap.



The event closed with the screening of the multiple award-winning Bengali film Baishey Srabon. Sen, the film's lead actress, walked the red carpet and participated in a post-screening Q&A with Life Goes On director Sangeeta Datta.

The Satyajit Ray Foundation Short Film Award was awarded to Neeraj Ghaywan for his short film Shor.

Receiving the prestigious award, Ghaywan said: "I'm delighted to accept this award from the Satyajit Ray Foundation and the London Indian Film Festival. More so because the name Ray is attached to it - such a legendary filmmaker that we all grew up on.

"I also want to thank Anurag Kashyap. He's my mentor and I'm here because of him in this world of filmmaking. I've learnt everything from him."

Speaking about the two-week long event, festival programmer Naman Ramachandran told Digital Spy: "It's been a great success. We never anticipated that we would become this popular this quickly. In just three years we've grown beyond our wildest imaginations.

"In the first year we were chasing filmmakers. In our third year we're in the happy position where filmmakers are chasing us to get their films screened in London because they have seen the amount of exposure the films are getting.

"It's not just about sold-out screenings. It's also about the exposure that we are giving the films to distributors. Anurag [Kashyap] calls us his lucky mascot because every film he's brought to the festival has enjoyed success and Wasseypur being the biggest.

"We hope that the south Asian filmmaking community makes even better films next year."

The festival attracted a host of actors and filmmakers including Kashyap, Anushka Sharma, Riz Ahmed and Asif Kapadia.

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