LIFF presents ‘killer’ programme in its 15th year

Europe’s largest South Asian film festival, the London Indian Film Festival (LIFF) celebrates its 15th birthday this year with a power-packed programme of features, shorts, series, gaming and XR across 6 UK cities (London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Bradford and Liverpool). The festival is supported by BFI, awarding National Lottery funding, and major partner The Bagri Foundation. This year’s lineup opens with the European Premiere of US indie, tear-jerker drama Paper Flowers, directed by Mahesh Pailoor (Brahmin Bulls), starring Deadpool’s Karan Soni amongst its stand-out young cast at Regent Street Cinema on 26th June. 

Audiences can expect a heart-pounding finale on closing night, with a special preview of Lionsgate’s Kill. Produced by Bollywood icon Karan Johar (Kuch Kuch Hota Hai) of Dharma Productions, and Oscar-winning producer Guneet Monga (The Elephant Whisperers).

After successfully launching web series premieres last year, the festival is excited to bring you the first three episodes of Canadian series Late Bloomer. Audiences will be one of the first to watch this hilarious and heartfelt comedy, created by and starring social media star Jus Reign, which follows the adventures of a young Sikh millennial struggling to navigate the complexities of life while balancing his Eastern roots with Western ideals.

The festival is proud to also present two breakthrough feminist pieces, Sthal and Wakhri.  Marathi language film Sthal, which won one of the top awards at the Toronto International Film Festival, follows a young woman’s quest for education and empowerment. Acclaimed filmmaker Iram Parveen-Bilal meanwhilepresents Wakhria tale inspired by real-life figures like Qandeel Baloch (Pakistan’s first social media celebrity) and tells the story of a teacher and mother whose progressive views thrust her into overnight fame.

The captivating lineup of documentaries promise a cinematic journey through untold South Asian stories. Parama: A Journey with Aparna Sen celebrates the trials and achievements of India’s greatest female filmmaker – Aparna Sen and offers a retrospective of her illustrious six-decade long filmmaking career. Prepare to be inspired by World Premiere of UK-India co-pro Tight: The World of Indian Bodybuilding and dive into the world of Aji, a young bodybuilder from South India, who is on a quest to carve out his own niche in the ever-evolving landscape of competitive bodybuilding. 

The festival’s features programme is brimming with innovative and unmissable films including Ennennum, a Kerala based relationship drama, dressed as a compelling sci-fi tale; while Kannada language award winner Mithya and Gujarati language Shunya, are tender yet powerful coming-of-age stories following child protagonists as they navigate a rapidly changing society. LIFF presents the World Premiere of UK production rom-com Before Nikkah, a charming getting-to-know-you-story about British Asians meeting on a first date,  inspired by Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise. 

The festival’s pioneering LGBTQIA+ film showcase, Too Desi Too Queer, returns with a fresh selection of groundbreaking and thought-provoking queer films. 

Over the course of its 15-year journey, LIFF (London Indian Film Festival) has transformed into far more than just a film festival, embracing a diverse array of moving image media. This year, we’re breaking new ground withtheir South Asian XR Showcase, curated by Taran Singh. Immerse yourself in a virtual world of South Asian stories and cutting-edge XR experiences at our Birmingham Indian Film Festival at Birmingham Open Media. 

LIFF industry events this year include a partnership with a major business forum – India Week, where policy and business leaders discuss India’s place in the UK and the world. Bridge India is also a programming partner of this series of events. A new event in partnership with the festival is the Film Conclave: Discussing the Business of Entertainment.

"You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty."

– Mahatma Gandhi