The 10th anniversary of London Indian Film Festival, the UK and Europe’s largest South Asian film festival, supported by the Bagri Foundation and the BFI, has launched with the opening gala world premiere of Anubhav Sinha’s much-anticipated, social issue drama ‘Article 15’.
Amongst the special guests that graced the red carpet event were director Anubhav Sinha, who has directed ‘Article 15’. Actress Radhika Apte, actor and Harshvarrdhan Kapoor were also present along with Sampha, Antonia Aakeel, Lisa Haydon, Srishty Rode, Gurinder Chadha and Yazmin Oukhellou.FabUK Editor Sheena Sedani caught up with some of the guests from the opening night.
Making her LIFF debut, Radhika Apte, shared her sentiments. “I’m grateful to be a part of it and honoured to have won the ‘Outstanding Achievement’ Award. I think it’s important to showcase work from different countries. It’s a great opportunity for filmmakers, as well as the audiences.”
Also making his LIFF debut, son of veteran actor Anil Kapoor and brother of Sonam Kapoor, Harshvardhan Kapoor, told us he looks forward “to being here as often as I can as often they want to have me. I hope that I can bring my films in the future and do that. I think my love for films overpowers anything else; I am not looking for instant gratification.”
We also caught up with Model-turned actress Lisa Haydon, who was beautifully beaming and could not hide nor hold back her excitement of being at the LIFF Opening Night. “I get very excited whenever I see the Indian film industry coming to London, since I’ve moved here and I am also looking forward to the film.”Haydon shared her memories of those yesteryears when she had previously worked with Ayushmann prior to their Bollywood careers. “Before he made his debut into films, he was an MTV VJ. Together, we hosted a programme called Rock On.”
Marking the 10th year of the festival, the star-studded evening opened with the world premiere of Khurrana’sArticle 15, following a Q&A with the film’s director, Anubhav Sinha. Titled in reference to an article of the Indian constitution, that prohibits discrimination on the basis of caste, religion, race or sex, the film highlights Khurrana’s, who plays the role of ***, journey, as he investigates the disappearance of three young, teenage girls, from rural India.
Ahead of the world premiere and in conversation with FabUK Editor Sheena, he told us why this particular issue, addressing discrimination and casteism, was so close to his heart. “Discrimination has been bothering me for decades but in the last 5 years, a lot of incidents have been reported. Especially about Dalit girls getting raped and killed.You read about such incidents, now only a daily basis, and not just in rural India!
Just 15 days ago, a female medical student committed suicide, because she was being discriminated against, in Mumbai. That is exactly what this movie is about; this is not something of the past and we need to fight it.”
We asked Sinha why chose LIFF to host the world premiere. “Cary and Aman invited me with a lot of love, so I thought, why not? I am I’m hoping more people; especially youngsters see it so that they can relate to the film. They know of discrimination, which is known by casteism in India and I hope we do something about it, as I have raised some questions through the film, so now I hope people start looking for answers.”
Following the glitz and glam of the Red Carpet, the Article 15world premiere screening began, with a special performance by Amrit Kaur Lohia, getting emotionally and mentally settled for the hard-hitting film premier.
Running across five cities across the United Kingdom, between 20th June – 8th July 2019m the London Indian Film Festival, will showcase an array of captivating cinema, which is sure to get its audience asking, challenging and thinking! Celebrating their 10th Anniversary, paying homage to South-Asian independent cinema and drama, as well as celebrating LGBTQ on the big screen, catering for one and all.
The Bagri Foundation London Film Festival celebrates a decade of bringing the best new South Asian films to the UK, with 5 cities, 25 venues and 25 specially curated films.FabUK wishes you all the best for this
For more on the festival, please visit:
Written by: Sheena Sedani