‘Parched’ to Open London Indian Film Festival

Leena Yadav’s “Parched,” a story of female empowerment, continues its march across the film festival circuit opening the seventh Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival on July 14. She is one of seven female directors with films unspooling in the program.

“Toba Tek Singh,” the story of Punjabi mental patients locked up during Partition, from Ketan Mehta closes the festival on July 24. Films will play in both London and Birmingham.

The program covers films in 15 languages from not only India, but also neighboring Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

Rajnikanth documentary “For the Love of a Man”; “I Am Not He … She,” a transgender tale from B.S. Lingadevaru; Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s “A Girl in the River”; “Dirty, Yellow, Darkness,” from Sri Lankan directors Kalpana & Vindana Ariyawansa; “Brahman Naman” from director Qaushiq Mukherjee; and Jayaraj’s Berlin Crystal Bear winner “The Trap” are among the other highlights of the festival.

Yadav, Obaid-Chinoy and Rinku Kalsy will talk about their careers as female directors, while Shekhar Kapur, Kamal Hassan and Sharmila Tagore will give master classes.

The festival will also holds its Satyajit Ray Short Film competition with a prize of £1,000, in association with the Bagri Foundation.

“We aim to showcase films that entertain but challenge and make one think about the many social issues happening in India today, and that includes many positive changes including the fact that so many emerging Indian women filmmakers who are producing world-class films that are giving their male counterparts a serious run for their money,” said Cary Rajinder Sawhney, director of the Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival.

Visit the festival’s website for more information.

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