The U.S.-Indian production stars Mrunal Thakur, Richa Chadda, Demi Moore, Freida Pinto, Mark Duplass, Manoj Bajpayee, Rajkummar Rao, Anupam Kher and Adil Hussain. Director Tabrez Noorani will attend the opening with some of the talent. The film revolves around two sisters forced into prostitution in Mumbai.
The ninth edition of the fest closes June 29 at BFI Southbank with the U.K. premiere of “Venus,” helmed by Aisha Marjara. It is the story of transgender person who discovers about the existence of a son. The central gala is “T for Taj,” about a roadside vendor on the road to the Taj Mahal who gets tourists to teach the illiterate local kids in exchange for free food. Kireet Khurana directs and Aki Faulkner stars.
The fest is broken into thematic strands covering female filmmakers, father-son relationships and famine, among others. The annual Satyajit Ray Competition, presented in association with the Bagri Foundation, presents a £1,000 prize ($1,395) and offers a platform for emerging filmmakers. Six, shortlisted entries will be screened. The Pure Heaven Icon Award and its Outstanding Achievement Award, supported by Sun Mark, will also be presented.
“This cutting edge festival showcases indie cinema that entertains but shows the more realistic and sometimes the raw side of South Asian culture but, at the same time, there are always stories of comedy, hope and the inexhaustible energy of over 1.3 Billion South Asian lives from the Indian subcontinent,” said festival director Cary Rajinder Sawhney.