Leicester edition of UK Asian Film Festival 2023


UK Asian Film Festival Celebrates 25th Anniversary Edition with a Vibrant Programme

The Leicester edition of the Tongues on Fire’s 25th edition of the UK Asian Film Festival, presented by Phizzical, is back with an exciting programme showcasing the rich tapestry of South Asian cinema. Running from May 11th to May 14th at Phoenix Art and Cinema in Leicester, the festival promises to captivate audiences with a diverse selection of films and events. Supported by the BFI and Arts Council England, this year’s festival theme, “Celebrating Our Stories,” celebrates the individuality and uniqueness of trans generational South Asian migrant stories.

The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Rishi Sunak gave a special shout-out in his video message congratulating the film festival for completing 25 years. Extending wishes to the UK Asian Film Festival, the honourable PM of the UK says, “Congratulations on your 25th anniversary. This is not just the longest-running foundation film festivals in the world, it’s also one of the best-loved. We have achieved so much over the last 25 years, showcasing South Asian talent, putting the spotlight on female filmmakers and telling us stories that have made us laugh and cry. This year would be no different with premieres of acclaimed new films like Sanaa or Whispers of the storms.

The Leicester edition of the festival will feature the UK Premiere of ‘Sanaa’ (India, 2022; Dir: Sudhanshu Saria; Language: Hindi with English subtitles) on Thursday, May 11th, at Phoenix Cinema. Lead actor Radhika Madan (Pataakha) and director Sudhanshu Saria (Loev) will be in attendance. ‘Sanaa’ follows the story of a 28-year-old financial advisor in Mumbai who faces a life-altering decision when she discovers she is pregnant. The film explores themes of autonomy, choice, and gender disparities in the corporate workplace.

On Saturday, May 13th, audiences can immerse themselves in ‘Kamli’ (Pakistan, 2022; Dir: Sarmad Khoosat; Language: Urdu with English subtitles), followed by an in-depth conversation with Polite Society actor Nimra Bucha. Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Sarmad Khoosat and starring award-winning actor Saba Qamar, ‘Kamli’ delves into the story of a young woman torn between her loyalty to her missing husband and her own desires for independence.

In addition to screenings, the festival offers a rare opportunity for aspiring actors and directors with a masterclass led by director Alankrita Srivastava. Known for her groundbreaking work in films like ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’ and ‘Dolly Kitty and the Twinkling Stars,’ Srivastava’s insights are sure to inspire and empower emerging talent.

We are thrilled to bring UK Asian Film Festival back to Leicester post pandemic with a diverse and thought-provoking programme that reflects the richness and diversity of South Asian cinema,” said Samir Bhamra, the creative director of the UK Asian Film Festival. “Through film, we aim to amplify South Asian voices and stories, fostering understanding and connection among audiences.

The UK Asian Film Festival is powered by broadcast partners Sony TV and Lyca Radio, with Shorts TV serving as the TV Partner for the UKAFF Short Film Competition.

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