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Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival returns for autumn edition, to host UK premiere of Avijatrik


Subhrajit Mitra’s Bengali film, starring Arjun Chakrabarty as Apu, will be screened for one night only in London, Birmingham and Manchester.

Our Correspondent

A special autumn edition of the Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival and its sister events — the Birmingham and Manchester Indian Film Festivals — will be held on 18 September. The festival will take place both online and in cinemas.

Supported by the British Film Institute (BFI), using funds from the National Lottery and with support from the BFI Film Audience Network, the autumn edition will see several premieres and the screening of shorts and classics.

Subhrajit Mitra’s Avijatrik (The Wanderlust of Apu) will have its UK premiere and will be screened for one night only at London’s Ciné Lumière, Midlands Arts Centre in Birmingham and HOME Manchester, as part of their Not Just Bollywood season.

The Bengali film, shot in black and white, features the legendary lead character from Satyajit Ray’s Apu trilogy. Avijatrik follows Apu (Arjun Chakrabarty) as he explores the world beyond Bengal with his six-year-old son Kajol (Ayushman Mukherjee).

Ray’s centenary will be celebrated with a screening of Pather Panchali (1955), the film that started it all. It will be accompanied by a lecture introduction on Ray from biographer Andrew Robinson at Ciné Lumière. Another classic being screened in Birmingham and Bradford is K Asif’s Mughal-E-Azam (1960) as a tribute to the great thespian Dilip Kumar who died this July.

Birmingham will also host ‘Great British Asians’, screening British-Asian short films from upcoming talents. In Bradford will host a screening of Iram Parveen Bilal’s I’ll Meet You There about a modern Pakistani-American family in Chicago.

The festival’s online offerings at loveliffathome.com include talks with novelist Hanif Kureishi and Oscar-winning filmmaker Asif Kapadia and screenings of the late Bangladeshi filmmaker Tareque Masoud’s last film Runway (2010) and Chaitanya Tamhane’s debut Court (2015), along with several question and answer sessions.

Many films will also be available on the BFI Player including highlights from previous screenings of Too Desi Too Queer, a selection of South Asian LGBTQI+ short films, and previous films from earlier editions of the festival.

Festival director Cary Rajinder Sawhney stated, “After our June festival’s successful return to cinemas and online, it’s great to be back in four cities across the UK to showcase some of the best of Indian and South Asian talent, both old and new. We are also expanding to Manchester, Bolton and Bradford cinemas and highlighting a quality range of films. These venues are some of the best in the UK and offer the safest possible environments for audiences to return to the cinema.”

“Of course our 4K platform www.LoveLIFFatHome.com is also going strong. Offering audiences access to rare films UK-wide, and amazing online talks, accessible free to anyone around the world,” he added.

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London Indian Film Festival