TONGUES ON FIRE: ASIAN WOMENS FILM FESTIVAL 2007
9 – 31 MARCH 2007 Experiences beyond Bollywood
Tongues on Fire, an annual film festival celebrating the excellence, performance and achievements of Asian women in cinema, presents its 9th film festival with a Gala Opening Weekend at the British Academy of Film & Television Arts on Friday 9 & Saturday 10 March. The Festival will open with a screening of The Namesake (Kal Penn, Tabu, Irrfan Khan, Jacinda Barrett, Zuleikha Robinson) the forthcoming film by director, Mira Nair at 6.30pm, with a drinks reception.
On Saturday 10 March, we are delighted to present the British premiere of Water featuring Lisa Ray, Seema Biswas, John Abraham; Raghuvir Yadav & introducing Sarala as Chuyia. Water, which is about the plight of Hindu widows is the third film by director Mehta in her trilogy about the elements, following FIRE & EARTH, and is Canada’s nomination for the Academy Award 2007 in the ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ Category.
Highlights include “Sneak Previews” of several films including Provoked, by Jag Mundhra, inspired by the true story of Kiranjit Alhuwalia; Hiding Divya, a first feature by writer /director, Rehana Mirza, a South Asian American film-maker, that tackles the taboo subject of mental illness in the South Asian community with humour and emotional depth. Other screenings include: Dor (Thread); Nina’s Heavenly Delights and the acclaimed documentary; No More Tears, Sister.
This year Tongues on Fire celebrates the achievements of the legendary Bollywood cabaret dancer, Helen, by running a dance competition to identify the dancers/team who can perform the best ‘item number’ in her style. Helen will be present at the Closing Gala on 31 March where she will be honoured by the festival. “Helen has made a long contribution to Indian cinema and that has not been recognised by the industry. Her dance styles are constantly copied by the club scenes in the UK, and we wanted to highlight her influence.”
Festival Screenings will be held throughout London at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, Watermans and other University and Community venues from 10 – 31 March.
Tongues on Fire will also be hosting a series of stimulating events and panel discussions, including a Critical Debate at BAFTA on March 10; a panel debate exploring the portrayal of Asian female characters on British and Indian television at the Nehru Centre on Friday 15 March and an opportunity to meet anthropologist filmmaker, Dr Michael Yorke as well as hear from Prof. Dinesh Bhugra, on the portrayal of mental illness in Bollywood cinema from 1950s – 1990s in his absorbing seminar: Mad Tales from Bollywood at the Khalili Theatre, SOAS on March 21.
Festival Directors Pushpinder Chowdhry and Harvinder Nath said “Our objectives for this Festival are to provide a platform to showcase specialist work and to highlight the achievements of Asian women in Cinema.”
This year’s festival is packed with feature films, documentaries, free seminars & screenings with an opportunity for Q&A with filmmakers.