Festival Is Billed as 'Punk-Rock of Indian Cinema' Expect Comedies, Drama, Thrillers, Documentaries and, for the First Time, Horror at Birmingham's Indian Film Festival, Not to Mention a Red Carpet Premiere. GRAHAM YOUNG Reports

The Birmingham Post (England), June 15, 2017 | Go to article overview

Festival Is Billed as 'Punk-Rock of Indian Cinema' Expect Comedies, Drama, Thrillers, Documentaries and, for the First Time, Horror at Birmingham's Indian Film Festival, Not to Mention a Red Carpet Premiere. GRAHAM YOUNG Reports


Byline: GRAHAM YOUNG

UROPE'S largest Indian film festival is expanding into three Birmingham cinemas - and horror will be on the menu for the first time.

e. In a mixture of comedies, romantic dramas, thrillers and documentaries, other themes will include universal stories about life with a bald head, the nature of sisterhood and battles with corruption.

As well as complementing the BFI's India on Film programme, the festival is billed as the ''punk-rock of Indian cinema'' and as an ''edgy tie-in'' to UK-India Year of Culture.

The 2017 festival will open with the city premiere of The Black Prince, a little known but true story of the last King of Punjab who was abducted by the British Raj to be mentored by Queen Victoria.

To celebrate his acting debut, Punjabi music superstar Satinder Sartaaj will be the guest of honour when the red carpet premiere is held at Cineworld Broad Street.

With the Mockingbird Cinema at the Custard Factory also now joining the festival alongside MAC Birmingham, the 10-day event in three cinemas will include 11 independent films and two music documentaries.

The Bagri Foundation Birmingham Indian Film Festival (BIFF) - a sister event to the Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival (LIFF) - will run from Friday, June 23 until Sunday, July 2. Festival director Cary Rajinder Sawhney says: "We are delighted to bring Birmingham audiences a carefully curated selection of the very best new Indian and South Asian independent cinema.

"All films are English subtitled and offer a rare window into more than a billion South Asian lives.

"This year's selection includes premieres of new comedies, gripping thrillers, shocking horror and insightful true-life documentaries as well as bringing together UK previews of major award-winning films from the world's greatest film festivals."

Here are some of the highlights: THE BLACK PRINCE (118 MINS) - DIRECTED BY KAVI RAZ The cast includes Shabana Azmi (The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Fire), Jason Flemyng (Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, X-Men: First Class) and Amanda Root (Jane Eyre) as well as pop star actors David Essex and Keith Duffy.

The film offers an insight into a controversial chapter of shared British Indian colonial history.

After the death of Sikh Maharajah Ranjit Singh, ruler of Punjab, there is a violent war of succession until his youngest son, the fiveyear-old Duleep Singh is installed as king. The British bundle the boy off to England where he is brought up as a Christian in the lap of luxury under the personal care of Queen Victoria (Amanda Root).

In early adulthood Duleep (Satinder Sartaaj) is torn between two cultures and secures begrudging permission from Queen Victoria to meet his real mother (Shabana Azmi).

She soon awakens him to his original Sikh faith and culture, which sets him on a dangerous quest to challenge the British Raj and free his people.

? Cineworld Broad Street from 6pm on Friday, June 23. …

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Festival Is Billed as 'Punk-Rock of Indian Cinema' Expect Comedies, Drama, Thrillers, Documentaries and, for the First Time, Horror at Birmingham's Indian Film Festival, Not to Mention a Red Carpet Premiere. GRAHAM YOUNG Reports
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