Executive produced by actor Emma Thompson, Sold will be the red carpet European premiere opening night film of the fifth annual London Indian Film Festival (LIFF July 10-17). The film is a powerful survival-against-odds tale of a young Nepali girl trafficked to Kolkata. Gillian Anderson stars with an Indian and Nepali ensemble cast including Seema Biswas ( Bandit Queen ).
Other highlights of the festival will be the U.K. Premiere of the true story Million Dollar Arm from The Walt Disney Company, starring Jon Hamm ( Mad Men ) and Suraj Sharma (Life of Pi ). Bollywood’s Farhan Akhtar and south Indian cinematographer Santosh Sivan will be giving rare screen talks at the BFI Southbank. Closing the festival will be the world premiere of Hemalkasa , a homage to the revolutionary human rights leader Prakash Baba Amte, starring Bollywood’s Nana Patekar.
Now Europe’s largest platform for Indian cinema, LIFF returns to London in association with Pure Heaven, the British Film Institute, and official hotel partner Grange Hotels. It celebrates the exploding movement of Indian Indie cinema, bringing to U.K. audiences a rare selection of cutting-edge films from some of the subcontinent’s hottest independent talents. Going way beyond Bollywood, the festival presents a kaleidoscope of new films that challenge, shock, generate debate and present a more realistic view of India and the subcontinent today, in all its diversity.
After Sold on July 10, there is the Rotterdam Film Festival headliner Qissa: Tale of a Lonely Ghost , with Irrfan Khan playing a rural Punjabi father hell bent on having a son and heir. Next up is Apur Panchali , based on a true-life story, which is an emotional homage to Satyajit Ray’s immortal Apu. Apart from films in Hindi, Punjabi, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam and Urdu, the festival previews its first Bangladesh-based film Shongram (Struggle) directed by Munsur Ali.