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6th London Bengali film festival starts on 26 April

Ansar Ahmed Ullah:


The London Bengali Film Festival today announced the full line up of films included in this year’s 6th edition of Europe’s largest Bengali film festival, running April 26 – 30, 2023. The programme includes seven feature films and three shorts in Bengali and Hindi languages from Bangladesh, India and beyond.

The festival launches at the prestigious Barbican Cinema with the UK Premiere of 64-year-old Muhammad Quayum’s poignant debut feature, The Golden Wings of Watercocks, on the livelihoods and struggles of the peasants living in the marshland regions of Bangladesh, followed by a Q&A with the director.

Additional UK Premieres include A Holy Conspiracy, directed by Saibal Mitra, a powerful courtroom battle between science and religion starring India’s two most renowned actors. Naseeruddin Shah and Soumitra Chatterjee, Indian actress Paoli Dam starrer coming-of-age story of an aspiring writer, The Terrace, with a Q&A with the director Indrani Chakrabarti; Amitabh Chaterji’s ethnographic docu-style Indian feature Into the Mist, Barnali Ray Shukla’s Hindi romantic drama Joon and Raja Ghosh’s magic-realist drama The Keysmith.

The short film programme includes a children’s quirky adventure comedy from Bangladesh Kathal -The Great Jackfruit Heist; a human narrative on mental health After the Threshold by the US-based filmmaker Tanni Choudhari and another from Bangladesh, The Unfinished Poem. The Festival’s Closing Night Presentation is An Angel’s Kiss, award-winning Indian director Kaushik Ganguly’s moving drama following a story revolving around Lokkhi, a newborn girl with four arms.

This year, for the first time, the festival is expanding to Manchester and Cambridge with three film screenings alongside its flagship London Festival. A live ‘In Conversation’ session (online) with the legendary actor Naseeruddin Shah will be held at the Queen Mary University of London.

Mr Munsur Ali, the Founder & CEO of the London Bengali Film Festival, a British-Bangladeshi film maker said, “Mainstream films have a global audience, but global stories also need to be seen by the mainstream audience. The London Bengali Film Festival does exactly that.” He added, “Our goal is to get the under-represented Bengali films to the mainstream audience and on to the international platform, while also to bring the rich artistic historical and modern culture of Bengal and Bengali experiences to the big screen.”