Tongues on Fire: 14th London Asian Film Festival

The dates for the 14th London Asian Film Festival, are 16 to 24 March 2012 with the organisers promising some great films and events. Here are some highlights.

The festival kicks off on 16 March at BFI, Southbank with a fantastic opening night film, the psychological drama Michael, starring Naseeruddin Shah.

Michael Winterbottom’s Trishnawill be at Apollo Piccadilly, on Saturday 17 March and it is very likely that Frieda Pinto will be attending to do a Q&A.

The annual short film competition will screen on 17 March at Apollo Piccadilly. As always, this feature of the festival showcases brilliant emerging filmmakers and future stars of cinema. The organisers are delighted to also be screening Lucky, a feature film borne out of a short film by Avie Luthra, which screened at the festival a few years ago.

This year features a Pakistani film section and will be screening the highly controversial film Bol on 18 March, again at BFI. Lead actress Humaima Malik is confirmed as attending to do a Q&A.

Meherjaan from Bangladesh will be screened on the 19 March at Apollo. This film was a project across Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, starring Jaya Bachchan. The director Rubaiyat Hossain will be attending for a Q&A after the screening.

In this year of the Paralympics, the festival is very excited to have invited director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, who will be here on 21 March until the closing night awards ceremony on 24 March at BAFTA. Tongues on Fire will be giving him an award in recognition of his work on disability in film. Sanjay will also be delivering the Nargis Dutt lecture at the University of Westminster (Regent Street campus) on 22 March. There will be screenings of the critically acclaimed films Black and Guzaarish during the ten-day event.

Renowned scriptwriter and lyricist Javed Akhtar will be here from 22 March, to run a music/song writing workshop over two days with upcoming musical talent and then he will be receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award at the closing night awards ceremony at BAFTA on 24 March. The gala ceremony itself will be in the theatre upstairs, followed by a black-tie, sit-down meal in the David Lean room.

All the festival details are on the website www.tonguesonfire.com.

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