NOW BOOKING: UK Asian Film Festival (26 MAY to 06 JUN 2021)

The UK Asian Film Festival returns for its 23rd edition with the theme ‘Ray Of Hope’. Events booking now at BFI, Genesis Cinema & Rich Mix.

By RADIANT CIRCUS // Twitter @radiantcircus | Instagram @radiantcircus

Travelling under several past titles – Tongues Of Fire and then the London Asian Film Festival – the UK Asian Film Festival is dedicated to celebrating “the richness and vibrancy of South Asian culture, history, arts, storytelling, and self-expression”.

Their 23rd edition returns to London’s reopening venues with the opening and closing nights taking place at BFI Southbank and the rest of the programme in the East End at Rich Mix and Genesis Cinema. There are additional events programmed at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry and some titles are available for simultaneous streaming for those even further afield.

Expect World and UK premieres. Tickets are selling now at Rich Mix (£6) and Genesis Cinema (£7.50). Box office for events at BFI Southbank opens on 06 May for the general public (members from 03 May).

Here are some of our handpicked highlights:

Opening night: RAAHGIR d. Goutam Ghose, 2019 + Skype Q&A with the director at BFI Southbank (26 MAY 20:45):

“A poverty-stricken man and woman undertake an epic journey through a relentless monsoon and breathtaking nature.”


MANNY d. Dace Pūce, 2020 + Q&A with the filmmakers at Rich Mix (27 MAY 18:00):

“An Indian woman travels to Latvia for a writer’s retreat to finish her novel, with the help of her AI assistant Manny. As she climbs deeper into the recesses of her mind in search of inspiration, her smartphone assistant starts to evolve and turn increasingly aggressive in this heady sci-fi thriller that brings to life our reliance on technology like few films before it.”


PROFESSOR SHONKU AND EL DORADO d. Sandip Ray, 2019 + Q&A with the filmmakers at Rich Mix (29 MAY 17:15):

“The latest film from Sandip Ray offers a modern day adaptation of the beloved character as Professor Shonku (created by the director’s father, Satyajit Ray) embarks on a tour of Brazil, where he gets embroiled in an adventure involving native tribesmen, anacondas and the quest to find the mythical city of El Dorado.”


NIRVANA INN d. Vijay Jayapal, 2019 + Q&A with the filmmakers at Rich Mix (29 MAY 20:30):

“What’s it like to be haunted by your past? Boatman Jogiraj Chakraborthy (Adil Hussain) acts on his suicidal thoughts and capsizes his vessel mid-journey, killing every passenger on board. Months later, he signs up to be the caretaker of Himalayan resort Nirvana Inn, only to find that the guests who check in are the very people he presumed dead.”


CHOTE NAWAB d. Kumud Chaudhary, 2020 at Genesis Cinema (01 JUN 18:00):

“13-year-old Junaid, visits his ancestral Nawabi Haveli in Lucknow, over a family reunion for a wedding. Born and raised in UK, this is Junaid’s first visit to India, along with his overbearing parents, which soon turns into a roller coaster ride for him.”


THE FALSE EYE d. Rahul Riji Nair, 2020 at Genesis Cinema (03 JUN 18:00):

“Two boys steal a Camera kept for surveillance in a store aspiring to make a cinema. But their plans go astray and their attempts to abandon the Camera fails. They end up on wrong side of their actions leading to an irrecoverable loss.”


Closing Night: THE BEATLES AND INDIA d. Ajoy Bose & Peter Compton, 2021 + Skype Q&A with directors at BFI Southbank (06 JUN 15:15):

“This wonderful documentary charts the enduring love affair between The Beatles and India that started more than half a century ago.”


The UK Asian Film Festival takes places from 26 May to 06 June 2021 and is booking now at BFI, Genesis Cinema and Rich Mix.




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