The Birmingham Indian Film Festival kicks off on June 22nd with an entertaining and thought-provoking collection of independent films, highlighting the way of life in South Asia’s sub-continent. The programme is wide, with something to suit all tastes. Definitely worth a try for any passionate movie fan where a diverse and enlightening journey is promised. What’s more? Some of the films will follow with a Q&A from the stars, adding to the already entertaining experience.

Here are the highlights:

Friday 22nd June

7pm

Cineworld Birmingham

Love Sonia

The red carpet Midland premier of Love Sonia takes place on opening night at Cineworld Birmingham with the films three starring actresses Mrunal Thakur, Richa Chadda, Riya Sisodiya and director Tabrez Noorani making an appearance. The film captures a true story surrounding two young sisters fighting for freedom, having become entrapped in the global sex trade. Sonia uses her inner-strength to rise against those who abuse her, taking her on an emotive journey across three continents. A must watch.

Saturday 23rd June

8pm

MAC Birmingham

My Son is Gay

This drama plays at MAC Birmingham and features Varun a handsome young man with an incredible bond with his mother. Upon announcing that he is gay, his relationship with her deteriorates, to much regret. This poignant tale tackles universal themes incredibly well, leaving not a dry eye in the house. Amazingly powerful.

 

Sunday 24th June

2pm

MAC Birmingham

Uma

Another emotional tale, this time about a young girl living with her father in Switzerland. Her dream to participate in Durga Puja, an annual celebration taking place in October is potentially destroyed when she finds out she has a terminal illness.  Banding together the entire city of Kolkata re-create the celebration so she can achieve her lasting goal. A humbling movie, celebrating the human spirit.

 

Monday 25th June

8.30pm

The Mockingbird Cinema & Kitchen

Doob (No Bed of Roses)

From renowned director Mostofa Sarwar Farooki, who will answering a Q&A at the films end, comes Doob (No Bed of Roses), a film that sees successful movie director develop a romantic relationship with his daughter’s childhood friend, in the midst of a mid-life crisis. Leaving his family torn apart, he goes on to marry his love. However, as they combat national scandal and judgement from their Bangladeshi community, they find the grass isn’t always necessarily greener on the other side. Award-winning actress Nusrat Imroz Tisha will also be attending this screening.

 

Thursday 28th June

7pm

MAC Birmingham

Village Rockstars

Dhunu lives with her mother in a flood-prone village and uses her dreams of becoming a rockstar as a form of escapism. Shy and retiring are everything she is not, her vibrancy and imaginative spirit lead her to fashion an electric guitar out of polystyrene so she can play with her boy friends in the fields. She attempts to raise enough money through various schemes to purchase her own guitar much to the dismay of her Mother and village locals. A heart-warming story, that has won many an accolade, including: best film, best child actor, best editing and audio this year in India.

 

Friday 29th June

6pm

MAC Birmingham

Eaten by Lions

A hilariously dry comedy which follows two half-brothers, brought up by their grandma after their parents were savagely killed by lions in a safari-park outing gone terribly wrong. After her death, they decide to part ways with Pete (played by BGT contestant & CBBC star Jack Carroll) deciding to live with his controlling aunty and Omar (played by Tombraider actor Antonio Aakeel) packing up and heading to Blackpool to find his biological father. After finding the separation hard to come to terms with the brothers join back together before long, but as Omar re-joins his orthodox Muslim family, all mayhem breaks loose!

 

Saturday 30th June

4pm

The Mockingbird Cinema and Kitchen

Satyajit Ray Short Film Award

For the first time Birmingham will screen this annual short-film competition event. All shorts  presented are from talented, up and coming filmmakers, exploring South Asian themes through different tales and expression. The 2018 winner of the award will be announced at the Bagri Foundation London Indian’s Film Festival closing night. Seven films will show this evening with some incredibly unique cinema that you’re are unlikely to forget in a hurry.

Sunday 1st July 

6pm

MAC Birmingham

Venus

The closing film ensures that the festival ends on a high-note. This laugh-out-loud, much commended comedy follows Sid, who after years of struggling with gender identity, decides to come out as a women. The transition seems to be going quite well, when out-of-the-blue, a teenage boy shows up with the news that he was conceived during an affair Sid had with his mother, many moons ago.Venus comes from phenomenally talented director Eisha Marjara and boasts Gordon Warnecke. A fabulous actor who featured in seminal film My Beautiful Launderetter, opposite Daniel Day Lewis

These are just some of the fantastic films being showcased at this year’s Birmingham Indian Film Festival. Click here to find view the entire programme and read more about each showing.