film festivals

London Indian Film Festival to open with ‘Love Sonia’, titles include ‘Mehsampur’ and ‘T for Taj’

Also on the list: ‘Cycle’, ‘Halkaa’, ‘Bengal Shadows’ and ‘Venus’.

The annual Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival is back with its ninth edition. The festival will be held in London, Birmingham and Manchester between June 21 and 29 and will open with Tabrez Noorani’s Love Sonia. Starring Mrunal Thakur, Richa Chadha, Freida Pinto, Demi Moore, Manoj Bajpayee and Rajkummar Rao, the movie explores the attempts of Sonia to free herself and her sister from the global sex trade.

The closing film is Canadian director Eisha Marjara’s Venus, about a transgender person who discovers just before her sex reassignment surgery that she has a son.

“This cutting edge festival showcases indie cinema that entertains but shows the more realistic and sometimes the raw side of South Asian culture but, at the same time, there are always stories of comedy, hope and the inexhaustible energy of over 1.3 Billion South Asian lives from the Indian subcontinent,” festival director Cary Rajinder Sawhney said in a press note.


Kireet Khurana’s T for Taj has been given a special screening slot. Khurana’s movie is about a roadside eatery owner (Subrat Dutta) who operates near the Taj Mahal in Agra and educates local children by offering tourists free food in exchange for lessons.

Among the themes this year is ‘The Female Eye’, which showcases the work of South Asian filmmakers. On the list are Rima Das with multiple award-winning Village Rockstars, about a girl from a village who dreams of being a guitarist, Dar Gai’s Teen Aur Aadha, which explores three Mumbai-set stories shot in three takes, and Sangeeta Datta’s Bird of Dusk, a documentary on Rituparno Ghosh.

The festival will also pay tribute to Sridevi, who died in February, with a screening of one of her biggest hits, Mr India.

Another theme is ‘Fathers & Sons’. The titles include Dipesh Jain’s In The Shadows, about a ten-year-old boy, a wife-beating father, and an agoraphobic in Delhi. In British comedy Eaten By Lions, directed by Jacon Wingard, Bradford teenager Omar and his half brother search for his Asian father in Blackpool. In Nishil Sheth’s Bhasmasur, an indebted father sets out to sell his son’s beloved donkey.

In the Shadows.

A third theme is ‘Extra-Ordinary Lives’. There is Iram Haq’s What will People Say, about a Pakistani teenager living in Norway who is sent back to her native land after her father discovers her with her Norwegian boyfriend. The observational documentary Up Down and Sideways by Anushka Meenakshi and Iswar Srikumar explores the links between music and rice cultivation in Nagaland. Lokesh Kumar’s Tamil movie My Son is Gay is about a mother who struggles to accept her son’s sexuality.

Kabir Singh Chowdhry’s Mehsampur weaves together documentary and fiction as it revisits the deaths of folk singer couple Amar Singh Chamkila and Amarjot Kaur in Punjab in 1988.

Access to toilets is the subject of Nila Madhab Panda’s Halkaa, in which a boy living in a slum dreams of owning his own latrine. In Prakash Kunte’s Cycle, a village gets together to reunite astrologer Keshav with his stolen bicycle.

In Ben Rekhi’s The Ashram, starring Kal Penn and Radhika Apte, an American stumbles upon a cult in the Himalayas while looking for his missing girlfriend.

What Will People Say.

Bangladeshi director Mostofa Sarwar Farooki’s Doob (No Bed of Roses) stars Irrfan as a filmmaker whose marriage is ripped apart after an affair. Another Irrfan starrer will be screened at the festival: Anup Singh’s The Song of Scorpions, set in Rajasthan and exploring the relationship between a camel herder (Irrfan) and a mystic healer (Golshifteh Farahani).

The documentary Bengal Shadows, directed by Joy Banerjee and Partho Bhattacharya, revisits the devastating 1943 Bengal famine. This screening will be followed by a discussion between Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, who has extensively studied the links between economic policy, food distribution and famine, and London School of Economics professor Tirthankar Roy.

Bengali director Srijit Mukherji’s Uma, starring Jisshu Sengupta, Sara Sengupta and Anjan Dutt, is based on the real-life story of a terminally ill Canadian boy whose town celebrated Christmas early for his sake.

The Song of Scorpions.
The Song of Scorpions.

Among the short films that will be screened are Priyanka Singh’s Maun, which highlights child sexual abuse, Abhishek Verma’s animated Machher Jhol, about food and coming out, and Ranjan Chandel’s Jaan Jigar, about the attempts by two teenagers to have their first kiss.

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at
Sponsored Content BY 

Why do our clothes fade, tear and lose their sheen?

From purchase to the back of the wardrobe – the life-cycle of a piece of clothing.

It’s an oft repeated story - shiny new dresses and smart blazers are bought with much enthusiasm, only to end up at the back of the wardrobe, frayed, faded or misshapen. From the moment of purchase, clothes are subject to wear and tear caused by nature, manmade chemicals and....human mishandling.

Just the act of wearing clothes is enough for gradual erosion. Some bodily functions aren’t too kind on certain fabrics. Sweat - made of trace amounts of minerals, lactic acid and urea - may seem harmless. But when combined with bacteria, it can weaken and discolour clothes over time. And if you think this is something you can remedy with an antiperspirant, you’ll just make matters worse. The chemical cocktail in deodorants and antiperspirants leads to those stubborn yellowish stains that don’t yield to multiple wash cycles or scrubbing sessions. Linen, rayon, cotton and synthetic blends are especially vulnerable.

Add to that, sun exposure. Though a reliable dryer and disinfectant, the UV radiation from the sun causes clothes to fade. You needn’t even dry your clothes out in the sun; walking outside on a sunny day is enough for your clothes to gradually fade.

And then there’s what we do to our clothes when we’re not wearing them - ignoring labels, forgetting to segregate while washing and maintaining improper storage habits. You think you know how to hang a sweater? Not if you hang it just like all your shirts - gravity stretches out the neck and shoulders of heavier clothing. Shielding your clothes by leaving them in the dry-cleaning bag? You just trapped them in humidity and foul odour. Fabrics need to breathe, so they shouldn’t be languishing in plastic bags. Tossing workout clothes into the laundry bag first thing after returning home? It’s why the odour stays. Excessive moisture boosts fungal growth, so these clothes need to be hung out to dry first. Every day, a whole host of such actions unleash immense wear and tear on our clothes.

Clothes encounter maximum resistance in the wash; it’s the biggest factor behind premature degeneration of clothes. Wash sessions that don’t adhere to the rules of fabric care have a harsh impact on clothes. For starters, extra effort often backfires. Using more detergent than is indicated may seem reasonable for a tub full of soiled clothes, but it actually adds to their erosion. Aggressive scrubbing, too, is counterproductive as it worsens stains. And most clothes can be worn a few times before being put in the wash, unless of course they are sweat-soaked gym clothes. Daily washing of regulars exposes them to too much friction, hastening their wear and tear.

Different fabrics react differently to these abrasive agents. Natural fabrics include cotton, wool, silk and linen and each has distinct care requirements. Synthetic fabrics, on the other hand, are sensitive to heat and oil.

A little bit of conscious effort will help your clothes survive for longer. You can start by lessening the forces acting on the clothes while washing. Sort your clothes by fabric instead of colour while loading them in the washing machine. This helps save lighter fabrics from the friction of rubbing against heavier ones. It’s best to wash denim materials separately as they are quite coarse. For the same reason, clothes should be unzipped and buttoned before being tossed in the washing machine. Turning jeans, printed clothes and shirts inside out while loading will also ensure any abrasion is limited to the inner layers only. Avoid overloading the washing machine to reduce friction between the clothes.

Your choice of washing tools also makes a huge difference. Invest in a gentler detergent, devoid of excessive dyes, perfumes and other unnecessary chemicals. If you prefer a washing machine for its convenience, you needn’t worry anymore. The latest washing machines are far gentler, and even equipped to handle delicate clothing with minimal wear and tear.

Bosch’s range of top loading washing machines, for example, care for your everyday wear to ensure they look as good as new over time. The machines make use of the PowerWave Wash System to retain the quality of the fabrics. The WaveDrum movement adds a top-down motion to the regular round action for a thorough cleaning, while the dynamic water flow reduces the friction and pulling forces on the clothes.


The intelligent system also creates water displacement for better movement of clothes, resulting in lesser tangles and clothes that retain their shape for longer. These wash cycles are also noiseless and more energy efficient as the motor is directly attached to the tub to reduce overall friction. Bosch’s top loading washing machines take the guesswork away from setting of controls by automatically choosing the right wash program based on the load. All that’s needed is a one-touch start for a wash cycle that’s free of human errors. Read more about the range here. You can also follow Bosch on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Bosch and not by the Scroll editorial team.