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The acclaimed Birmingham Indian Film Festival (BIFF) has announced an exciting programme of screenings for this autumn taking place at cinemas across Birmingham and the Black Country.

BIFF is part of the UK and Europe’s largest platform for Indian and South Asian cinema with screenings taking place simultaneously in six cities.

The Festival will run in Birmingham and, for the first time in Walsall, from 26 October – 3 November. This year’s partner venues include MAC at Cannon Hill Park, The Mockingbird Cinema at The Custard Factory, Cineworld Broad Street, BCU STEAMhouse and Eastside Projects and, new to this year’s Festival, Light Cinema, Walsall.

Dharmesh Rajput Head of Birmingham Indian Film Festival said “Midland audiences will be amongst the first to see a variety of the very best in South Asian independent cinema from thrillers, horror, romance, films, panel discussions, Q&As with Directors and cast members, to LGBTQIA+ films, and for the first time, the world of gaming and VR.  We’re also pleased to be increasing the number of BSL signed Q&As to signal our commitment to extending accessibility.” 

BIFF will launch with the Midlands premiere of Berlin likely the most cleverly constructed Indian film of 2023 from Indian film director, writer, and producer Atul Sabharwal. This compelling spy thriller stars Aparshakti Khurana (Jubilee) as a young sign language teacher lured into the dark world of espionage, as he is coerced by undercover security forces to interrogate a young deaf man, powerfully played by Ishwak Singh, (Rocket Boys) who has been accused of spying. Veteran actor Kabir Bedi gives a commanding cameo performance. The post-show Q&A will be BSL signed.

Thanks to support from the BFI Audience Projects Fund, awarding National Lottery funding, this year BIFF enters the world of online gaming for the first time, honouring Birmingham's British Asian XR Storytellers. Discover the world of grassroots immersive film, Virtual and Extended Reality, and gaming as BIFF present a panel of British Asian creatives based in Birmingham. Taran 3D and Harmeet Chagger-Khan will share excerpts of their exciting work and discuss the challenges and opportunities of telling stories using technology that has people and culture at its heart. This event will take place at STEAMhouse, Birmingham City University’s (BCU) innovation centre.

Professor Rajinder Dudrah, Professor of Cultural Studies & Creative Industries, at BCU commented “Birmingham Indian Film Festival is a regular and much awaited feature in the BCU cultural calendar. Yet again, we are offered a series of thought-provoking films from a region bursting with creativity, talent and exciting stories to tell.”

As part of BIFF, Incidental Artist, Sahjan Kooners  dankEconogy1_ALIENVillage welcomes everyone to a multi-stranded project – exhibition, video, games, sculpture and sound – exploring themes of the village and all that they encompass. The exhibition visits many sites in the future. It is composed of stories, migrants, materials, houses, biologies, technologies, mycologies, and futures, but most of all it’s the inhabitants who contaminate and make the village. Visitors will discover the traces of love, longing and possibility that make life possible and realise that we can work together to make another end of the world possible – one that houses all of us.

Closing the Festival is the thriller Kennedy from cult director Anurag Kashyap, a regular at BIFF. Kennedy, which opened in Cannes earlier this year, tells the grisly tale of an ex-cop (Rahul Bhat) who is kept on the police payroll as a special services hitman - but as non-criminals become his victims, the police soon realise they have a homicidal maniac on their  hands. Sunny Leone also gives a firecracker cameo as a gangster’s moll.

Further Festival highlights include Padatik from the popular Bengali director, Srijit Mukherji.  Released this year as part of the late Mrinal Sen’s 100th birthday celebrations, Padatik explores the life of one of India’s greatest directors and is a must for all cinephiles.

The biopic follows Mrinal Sen from his days as a struggling political idealist, unable to feed his family, to his growing obsession with filmmaking in 1950s Calcutta where, alongside his friend Satyajit Ray, he kickstarted the Indian New Wave cinema movement.

To celebrate Halloween, horror fans will be able to enjoy the classic Indian zombie comedy, Go Goa Gone, on its tenth anniversary.  And this year, the ‘Extra-Ordinary Lives’ features two Midland premieres from the stunning noir film, Privacy, which tells the story of a big city surveillance cop who goes off the rails played by Rajshri Deshpande (Sacred Games, Trial By Fire), to the moving character drama, Joram, about a father on the run, starring Manoj Bajpayee (Bandit Queen, Gangs of Wasseypur) and Tannishtha Chatterjee (Parched, Brick Lane).

For the first time ever, BIFF will be screening a special web series presentation, and showcasing the first three episodes of ZEE5’s The Pink Shirt. This modern relationship drama stars Sajal Aly (Mom, What’s Love Got To Do With It?) and Wahaj Ali (Superstar).

The ’Young Rebels’ strand features three Midlands premieres: the wildly camp South African road trip movie, Runs In The Family - think The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert - starring UK TV star Ace Bhatti (Eastenders, Ackley Bridge, The Effects of Lying, Bohemian Rhapsody); the British Bangladeshi rite-of-passage tale, Barir Naam Shahana (A House Named Shahana), follows a fierce and forthright divorcee in rural Bangladesh, who defies social stigma and familial pressures to live life on her own terms and Rajiv Menon’s Sense and Sensibility-inspired classic, Kandukondain Kandukondain, starring evergreen heroines, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Tabu.

BIFF runs from 26 October – 3 November 2023.  The full Festival programme, including dates and tickets can be found at All screenings will be subtitled.

For emerging filmmakers and Q&As, check out BIFF’s annual platform to learn about upcoming talents with Brit-Asian Shorts and Satyajit Ray Short Film Competition packages. Details of the Festivals popular Q&A’s with film directors and special guests will also be available on the BIFF website.

BIFF kindly acknowledges the support of Film Hub Midlands, Birmingham City University, and Consulate General of India in Birmingham.

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