SOLD Wins London Indian Film Festival

Hard-hitting film about child trafficking recognised at prestigious film festival

Posted: 18.07.14
SOLD Wins London Indian Film Festival

This year's biggest celebration of independent South Asian cinema in Europe came to and end last night with the world premiere of Hemalkasa, a real-life biog of Dr Prakash Amte, starring Indian cinema icon Nana Patekar. He was just one of the stars and celebrities who attended the London Indian Festival along side international press and film fans from all corners of the UK. The 5th festival so far, it was bigger and better than ever. Director Cary Sawhney enthused: 'We’ve grown by at least 30% this year and we’re getting global films; we’ve had Hollywood, Indian, British, Bangladeshi films and Pakistani films  all happening in the heart of London; the only city where this kind of engaging range of cinema is embraced. It’s great!'

Highlights of the festival included the UK premiere of The Walt Disney Company’s Indian-themed Million Dollar Arm, followed by a Q&A by star Madhur Mittal and producer Mark Ciardi, the world premiere of Shongram, directed by British Bangladeshi filmmaker Munsur Ali, Gillian Anderson who delivered a moving Q&A on opening night along with Jeffrey D Brown and Jane Charles and sold out screen talks and masterclasses at the British Film Institute delivered by Santosh Sivan ASC (The Terrorist) and Farhan Akhtar (Bhaag Milkha Bhaag). During an intimate talk Farhan Akhtar spoke about his experiences as a director and actor, performed a snake dance, sung a song from his film Rock On! and during the audience Q&A gave a hug to Punjabi singer Juggy D's two year old daughter who is a huge Farhan fan. Speaking about the event, Farhan said: 'The London Indian Film Festival is run by a group of passionate people and I think it is a great platform to share my experiences with aspiring filmmakers.'

This year's Pure Heaven Audience Award was given to Oscar-winning director Jeffrey D Brown’s hard-hitting child trafficking drama SOLD, executive produced by Emma Thompson and starring Gillian Anderson, which opened the festival on July 10th. Jeffrey added: 'It’s really amazing. I hadn’t really anticipated this at all. I’m really grateful, humbled and speechless. I really hope this galvanises more people to see the film so that we can help the kids who’ve been through this ordeal and we can end this travesty around the globe.' Brown and producer Jane Charles are in advanced discussions with distributors with a view to securing a global release for Sold in early 2015.

The festival’s popular Satyajit Ray Foundation Short Film Competition was won by Shubhashish Bhutiani’s Kush. The award carries a cash prize of £1000. Kush previously won short film kudos at Venice and was long-listed for the live action short film Oscar. Ananya Kasaravalli’s Devil in the Black Stone (Kappu Kallina Saitana) won a Special Mention.

Further festival highlights and film reviews coming soon to our entertainment pages

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