×

‘Umrika’ to Open London Indian Film Festival

Cricket documentary 'Death of a Gentleman' to close event

Sundance winner “Umrika” will open the London Indian Film Festival on July 16 accompanied by its star, Suraj Sharma.

A BFI master class by Indian director Mani Ratnam, fresh off his retrospective at New York’s Museum of the Moving Image, is on the schedule at the sixth edition of fest, which will be attended by Bollywood actresses Manisha Koirala and Konkona Sen Sharma.

“We’re hoping the film’s nostalgic portrayal of 1980s India, its themes and the many cross-cultural references will resonate with LIFF’s audiences,” said “Umrika” writer-director Prashant Nair.

The festival also hosts the international premiere of Konkani-lingo “Nachom-ia Kumpasar,” the Indian National Award winner. The festival slate covers a gamut of Indian languages from Tamil hit “Kaaka Muttai” to “Tigers,” both of which will have their U.K. premieres. Award-winning fest faves such as “Dhanak,” “Court” and “Monsoon” will also unspool.

Fest closes July 23 with cricket documentary “Death of a Gentleman,” pictured, with Ravi Shastri, Kevin Pietersen, Lalit Modi, N. Srinivasan and Giles Clarke, all top figures associated with the game.

“ ‘Death of a Gentleman’ has been four years in the making, and we are hugely excited to be chosen as the closing film at the 2015 LIFF,” said its helmer, Sam Collins. “This is a very human story about passion, money and power, and we hope to make a persuasive case to cricket fans and non-cricket fans alike that the greatest game in the world needs to change its ways.”

Funded by the British Film Institute and with support from other entities, the fest will unspool films at facilities across the city including Picturehouse Central London, select Cineworld theaters, Institute of Contemporary Arts and BFI. Select theaters in Birmingham will also showcase many of the films.

Fest director Rajinder Sawhney said, “It is wonderful that the festival is expanding so rapidly in stature and reach, proving there is an untapped market for Indian independent cinema with U.K. audiences.”

 

 

 

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Renee Zellweger Rufus Wainwright Sam Smith

    Renée Zellweger: Judy Garland Was 'My Childhood Hero'

    Awards buzz is building around Renée Zellweger for her performance as Judy Garland, emerging as a frontrunner in the Oscar race for best actress. But for her, the real prize was paying tribute to Garland, of whom she’s been a lifelong fan. “Nobody was prettier, nobody sang prettier…the adventures she had, [she was] my childhood [...]

  • Topic Studios

    Layoffs Hit Topic Studios as TV Division Relocates to West Coast (EXCLUSIVE)

    A small round of layoffs has hit Topic Studios this week in the television division, insiders familiar with the company told Variety. One of the insiders said three executives at the New York-based producer and distributor are out: senior vice president of scripted programming and Viacom alum Lisa Leingang, vice president of development Mona Panchal [...]

  • 'Downton Abbey' Music Gets 'Bigger, Better,

    As 'Downton Abbey' Hits the Silver Screen, the Music, Too, Gets 'Bigger, Better, Grander'

    When “Downton Abbey” fans hear that familiar strings-and-piano theme, a Pavlovian response ensues: Get to the television immediately, because you don’t want to miss a minute of the addictive Crawley family melodrama to follow. This week, with the “Downton Abbey” movie reaching theaters on Friday, fans can’t wait for their fix of Lady Mary and [...]

  • 45 Seconds of Laughter

    Film Review: '45 Seconds of Laughter'

    “Everyone is worth more than their worst act,” said Roman Catholic sister and anti-death penalty advocate Helen Prejean, and it’s with these words that “45 Seconds of Laughter” closes. It’s an apt sentiment on which to leave Tim Robbins’ sincerely felt documentary study of the therapeutic acting workshops run by his own theater company in [...]

  • Julie Andrews

    Julie Andrews Selected for AFI's Life Achievement Award

    The American Film Institute Board of Trustees has selected Julie Andrews as the recipient of the 48th AFI Life Achievement Award. The award will be presented to Andrews on April 25 in Los Angeles. The ceremony will be telecast on TNT. “Julie Andrews is practically perfect in every way,” said Kathleen Kennedy, chair of the [...]

  • 4127_D001_00007_RC Phyllis Logan stars as Mrs.

    'Downton Abbey' to Dominate Box Office Weekend With $30 Million

    The feature film version of “Downton Abbey” is heading for an impressive $30 million opening weekend at 3,079 sites for an easy victory at the North American box office, early estimates showed Friday. The launch of Brad Pitt’s space drama “Ad Astra” will land in second with about $20 million, while Sylvester Stallone’s action-thriller “Rambo: [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content