8th Tongues on Fire Film Festival - March 10 - 31
The Tongues on Fire Film Festival enters its 8th year with screenings, masterclasses and discussions of Asian women’s work behind the lens. This isn’t Bollywood. Religious fundamentalism, rape, mental illness and genocide are just some of the more hard-hitting themes covered…
The achievements of Asian women in cinema are celebrated for the 8th year running in the Tongues on Fire film festival. Viewers get the chance to see excellence in directing, writing and performance on the screen, as well as pick up a few tips at the various masterclass and discussion events dotted around the festival. Screenings are held throughout London at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, Curzon Mayfair & Watermans between 10 – 31 March, with the finale heralding the winners of a Short Film Competition to be held at the ICA on 31 March.
This year's chosen features are sharp on storytelling and rich in themes. Rape, schizophrenia and family duty form the backdrop to 15 PARK AVENUE (pictured), Tongues on Fire’s Gala film. Directed by Aparna Sen, this moving film looks at how a mother and her two daughters’ family dynamic changes with each having to come to terms with their devastating circumstances. Shonali Bose makes her directorial debut with her award-winning AMU, where Kaju, who has grown up in America returns to her roots in India and discovers her horrifying past. AMU is also showing in the HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (HRWIFF).
In KALYANI the sudden bereavement of her music teacher husband leaves Kalyani Menon in heartbreaking isolation. A beggar boy comes to her door looking for food and soon a friendship develops, much to the annoyance of her disapproving grown-up children. Directed by Anjali Menon, it’s a heartwarming tale of life after bereavement. KHAMOSH PANI, which won the Best Film award at the Locarno Film Festival in 2003, is set in 1979 Pakistan amidst the India-Pakistan partition where a mother struggles to keep her unemployed son from being sucked into religious extremism. An important film whose themes resonate strongly today.
In MANN, love, lust, obsession, betrayal and tragedy beset a man who, after 18 years, returns to the village where he grew. This Sri Lankan Tamil film is the first to shot entirely in Sri Lanka in 25 years. MY SON THE FANATIC is written by Hanif Kureishi and directed by Udayan Prasad. Pervez, a Pakistani cab driver in a Northern English town drives around a prostitute Bettina and her colleagues to make enough money to feed his and son Farid. Farid, on the other hand becomes an Islamic fundamentalist and alongwith his friends decides to morally clean up their town. A clash between father and son imminent. The screening will be followed by a Q/A with Hanif Kureishi (playwright, screen writer, novelist and film-maker) whose observant writing has give us some of Britain’s best drama in The Buddha of Suburbia, My Beautiful Laundrette, Sammy and Rosie Get Laid and London Kills Me.
PINK LUDOOS is a delightful comedy drama about a feisty young Indo-Canadian who flies in the face of her family when she gets pregnant out of wedlock …. with triplet girls. Thrown into the mix, a father who has a bit of a drink problem, her pot-smoking boyfriend and a mysterious handsome newcomer, this film takes a humorous look at life and love. The ICA screening will be introduced by actor Shaheen Khan and will be followed by a Q&A with her. And if you missed the release the first time you can catch it again, as the story of Mangal Pandey is retold in THE RISING. Based on real historical events, which were seen as a trigger for Indian independence, the film created something of a controversy on its UK release for ‘misrepresenting’ British- Indian history. Judge for yourself, and maybe take part in a masterclass with Lovleen Bains, who was the Costume Designer for the film.
More info on films, events and bookings: www.tonguesonfire.com