Following its inaugural opening in 2021 the Manchester Indian Film Festival (MIFF) returns for a second year—this time with a bigger and more spectacular programme of indie films from Indian subcontinent.

Running from Sat 25 Jun – Wed 6 Jul, audiences can catch screenings at the likes of HOME, EVERYMAN, Ducie Street Warehouse, Manchester Poetry Library and The Carlton Club.

The Manchester Indian Film Festival is part of London Indian Film Festival and Birmingham Indian Festival and together it is the UK and Europe’s largest platform of South Asian independent films Indian, Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Sri Lankan).

Cary Rajinder Sawhney MBE., Festival Director said: “A big personal thankyou to our audiences in Manchester who, in spite of difficult times due to the pandemic last year, welcomed us to the city with so much warmth and support. Following that success, we are very excited to return in 2022 with an exciting, bigger, high-impact festival programme featuring film premieres, documentaries, and Q&A’s.

To kick start the festival film fans are invited to join MIFF at a special launch party at The Carlton Club supported by Manchester Indian Partnership. The event will see the screening of British Asian short Yaha Waha, a 30-minute documentary by Manchester-born director and street photographer Sarah Li focusing on two artists from different sides of London, and asking ‘what is it to be a second or third generation British Asian in 2020’s?’ Tickets are FREE and can be booked here.

The official opening night sees the city’s premiere of Little English, starring Ameet Channa of Bend It Like Beckham fame. A laugh out-loud story of a dysfunctional Punjabi family, the evening marks Pravesh Kumar’s debut feature and will also include a special Q&A.

Poetry on Screen features AT HOME – IN THE UK – ALHUMDULLILLAH, based on real stories shared with Manchester City Poet and resident Anjum Malik. This film is a privileged and intimate look into daily lives of Balqis Faroukh, Ayat Abo Al Jawz and Hayat Abouday as they dealt with the Lockdown and Ramadan together with their families. Anjum Malik will also be facilitating poetry workshops at Deeplish Community Centre and the final works by women from Rochdale will be presented at selected film screenings.

Further highlights include themed strands covering cinema-based and online movies starting with the ‘Young Rebels’ strand, with UK premieres of talented emerging film makers, showing South Asian young people’s real-life challenges and experiences; including Pakistani UK comedy Americanish.

The ‘Extra-Ordinary Lives’ strand includes the immigration film No Land’s Man, starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui and a phenomenal documentary touching on partition, Taangh.

In the ‘Women Make Movies’ strand the festival will show Rebana Liz John’s documentary Ladies Only, which explores feminist themes through the female-only compartments of Mumbai’s hectic trains. There’ll also be a special women-only screening and a 30th-anniversary restoration version of Mississippi Masala starring Denzel Washington and Sarita Choudhury.

The festival’s popular programme Too Desi Too Queer returns to HOME exploring the lives, experiences and well-being of South Asian LGBTQIA+ communities in the Subcontinent and diaspora, through a dynamic and thought-provoking selection of recent short films. A panel discussion will take place after the films attended by two local residents.

The ‘Save The Planet’ ecology strand brings Moving Upstream: Ganga and Chasing Sustainability: Tales from South Asia which will both be available on the festival’s online platform, and Audiences can catch the festival’s popular Satyajit Ray Short Film Competition, a rare chance to see the works of talented and emerging filmmakers who are exploring themes of South Asian experience.

Closing this year’s festivites is the super-feel good, Canadian basketball film Super-Fan: The Nav Bhatia Story. This unique and uplifting documentary focuses on the life of the Toronto Raptors biggest fan and the massive impact he has had on the city’s basketball community. This screening is supported by Manchester Giants who will host a Q&A with Nav Batia and Producer Rinku Ghei after the screening. Nick Nurse the Toronto Raptors current coach was the Manchester Giants Coach between 1998 – 2000.

Sat 25 Jun - Wed 6 Jul, Various Venues
Bradley Lengden
Published on:
Fri 10 Jun 2022