UK Asian Film Festival 2022 Unveils Full Programme

UK Asian Film Festival – the world’s longest-running South Asian film festival outside India – has unveiled the full programme for its 24th edition.

Presented by Tongues on Firethe festival will run from 4th – 15th May at venues across London, Birmingham, Leicester, Coventry, Warwick, Bradford, Stockton and Glasgow; and online via BFI Player.

The ‘Dare To Dream’ theme of this year’s festival commemorates 75 years of India and Pakistan’s Independence. The curation will acknowledge personal and societal freedoms as well as address topical issues such as climate change and human resilience in the face of oppression through its programme of film screenings, premieres, live events and industry panel discussions.

The Opening Film will be the World Premiere of Javed Iqbal: The Untold Story Of A Serial Killer (Pakistan, 2022, Dir: Abu Aleeha, Language: Urdu and Punjabi with English subtitles) on Wednesday 4th May, 6pm at BFI Southbank. Currently banned in Pakistan, the film depicts the untold story of Lahore’s notorious serial killer, Javed Iqbal, who confessed to police and media that he had abducted, sexually abused and murdered more than 100 boys in Lahore between 1998 and 1999. He was arrested and sentenced to death. But just two years into his sentence, he allegedly committed suicide in his prison cell. The authorities suspected his horrific crimes were part of a wider paedophile ring in operation.

Maintaining the festival’s historically feminist focus, the Closing Film will be the UK Premiere of Gangnam Girls (Bhutan, 2021, Dir: Charmi Nemchand Chheda, Language: Dzongkha with English subtitles) on Sunday 15th May, 11.30am at BFI Southbank. The film charts four, childhood friends who, though extremely different, grow up supporting each other’s dreams. While each undergoes personal challenges, their friendship helps them navigate a passage through their early years. A decade after a fallout that takes them on their separate ways, the childhood friends reconnect over the course of a weekend. Reunited, the group must now confront their past differences. The film will be introduced by director, Charmi Nemchand Chheda, and producer, Nyema Zam.

The World Premiere of the digitally remastered, Punjabi film classic, Chann Pardesi (India, 1980, Dir: Chitraarth Singh, Language: Punjabi with English subtitles) will take place on Saturday 7th May, 4pm at Phoenix, Leicester. This National Award-winning, evergreen Punjabi film has been remastered in high resolution for a new audience. Chann Pardesi tells the story of a childless landowner who sexually assaults his farmhand’s wife. The son she bears is faced to confront his origins and the trauma of the past in this epic tale spanning several decades.

Other films to be screened include:

  • The UK Premiere of Gandhi & Co (India, 2021, Dir: Manish Saini, Language: Gujarati with English subtitles) on Friday 6th May, 7.30pm at Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry.
  • A Special Screening of Bengali dark comedy, Adieu GODARD (India, 2021, Dir: Amartya Bhattacharyya, Language: Bengali with English subtitles) on Saturday 7th May, 6pm at Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry.
  • Two Friends: Dostojee (India, 2019, Dir: Rahat Kazmi, Language: Hindi/ Urdu with English subtitles) on Sunday 8th May, 6pm at Rich Mix, London.
  • The UK Premiere of Muthayya (India, 2022, Dir: Bhaskhar Maurya, Language: Telugu with English subtitles) on Monday 9th May, 6pm at Rich Mix, London
  • Sri Lankan film, The Single Tumbler (Sri Lanka, 2020, Dir: Sumathy Sivamohan, Language: Tamil with English subtitles), screening on Wednesday 11th May, 6pm at Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry
  • The World Premiere of Who Am I (India, 2021, Dir: Shireesh Khemariya, Language: Hindi with English subtitles) on Thursday 12th May, 7pm at Rich Mix, London.
  • The UK Premiere of American-Asian rom-com, Hot Mess Holiday (USA, English, 2021, Dir: Jaffar Mahmood, Language: English), on Sunday 8th May, 7.30pm at Phoenix Leicester.
  • Mughal-E-Azam (India, 1960, Dir: K. Asif, Language: Hindi with English subtitles) on Thursday 5th May, 6.30pm at Harrow Arts Centre.
  • Special Screening of documentary Kekee Manzil (India, 2021, Dir: Dilesh Korya, Language: English) on Sunday 8th May, 7pm at Regent Street Cinema.
  • Special Event, Children Of Partition: An Oral History Of Pothoharis on Sunday 8th May, 4pm at The May Fair Hotel.
  • The festival’s LGBTQ+ strand celebrates freedom of personal expression and sexual identity through a ground-breaking and inspiring curation of features, documentaries and shorts introduces: To Be Or Not To Be Out (UK, 2021, Dir: Usha Sharma, Language: English/ Urdu with English subtitles) on Friday 6th May, 6pm at Rich Mix, London, The English Premiere of Emergence Out Of The Shadows (Canada, 2021, Dir: Vinay Giridhar, Language: English) on Friday 6th May, 6pm at Rich Mix London. And Watermans, London will host two pioneering shorts by a new generation of queer, South Asian filmmakers on Friday 13th May, 6.30pm with Temple and The Square.

The UK Asian Film Festival, 2022 runs from 4-15th May across UK venues.

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