Opening the Festival on Sunday 25 May is the screening of Nanhe Jaiselmer at Rich Mix Cultural Foundation. Directed by Indian director Samir Karnik, the film is a heart warming story about the strength of childhood imagination and the power of friendship. Ten year-old camel boy Nanhe has a dream that dominates his young life: to meet his idol, his ‘dost’ (friend), the aging Bollywood screen actor, Bobby Deol. With the help of his sister, Suman, he writes to Bobby every day; sharing his news, his battles and triumphs with his ‘friend’. Featuring great cinematography from Binod Pradhan (Land of the Kings), and starring Bobby Deol himself, this is an unmissable film for the whole family.
The Closing Night Screening on Sunday 1 June will be the UK Premiere of Spartacus ’71, Mostofa Sarwar Farooki’s latest film. Set against the backdrop of Bangladesh’s 1971 Liberation War, Spartacus ’71 tells the tale of a family’s struggle for survival. Deeply moving and at times harrowing, the film skilfully takes on profound themes played out amidst one family’s tragic experiences. One major innovation of this year’s festival is the establishment of a jury of well known film critics, established Asian film-makers and key members of the local community, which will award prizes for the Best Film and Best Director. Audiences will also be able to choose their favourite film by filling the specially provided forms. The award ceremony will take place before the screening of the Closing Night Film.
A special highlight of this year’s programme is the Family Screening Lost in Dhaka, showing at Genesis Cinema on Saturday 31 May. An endearing tale of the adventures of a six year old Londoner abroad, this a fun film for all the family. A children’s fancy dress party will take place in the Café prior to this screening. Best of all, this screening is free for all children and accompanying adults!
Art house cinema is well represented by Satyajit Ray’s 1977 cult classic The Chess Players, a masterfully told and visually stunning historical drama set in the last days of the Moghul Empire, and equally influential 1980 political drama The Kingdom of Diamonds. Acclaimed Korean director Kim Ki-deok’s The Bow tells the story of a 60 year-old man who has raised a young girl with the intention of marrying her once she reached the legal age. This visually arresting feature gives a contemporary twist to a traditional tale.
Those who missed Sarah Gavron’s controversial adaptation of Monica Ali’s Booker Prize-shortlisted novel Brick Lane first time around, or would like to view it again a short walk away from where it was filmed, will have the fantastic opportunity of meeting director Sarah Gavron, who will be attending a special festival screening and will take part in a Q&A session.
Commenting on the festival’s line-up, internationally acclaimed film critic and Chair of the Rainbow Film Festival Committee, Derek Malcom said:
‘Our purpose is to allow our patrons to see films which they may otherwise have missed and to extend the boundaries of what they can see in the commercial cinema. Our programme for schools hopes to instil in young people a taste for good cinema that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. In that sense, the Rainbow Festival attempts to be educational. But we hope everyone will find it entertaining too. And that the whole family will appreciate our varied programme of features, documentaries and shorts’.