Four Indian films including Invisible Demons, 7 Days, Pedro, and Two Friends, will be screened at the 2021 BFI London Film Festival.
The organizers announced on Tuesday that the festival is scheduled to be held from October 6, to October 17.
A total of 159 feature films from around the world will be screened, of which 21 will have their world premieres here. Apart from being held at its flagship venues- the BFI Southbank and the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall- films will be screened at a number of cinema halls in London’s West End, alongside a selection of films at 10 venues in cities and towns across UK.
All the four Indian films are said to fall under the ‘Strand feature program’- a segment of the festival which is organised to encourage discovery and open up the festival to new audiences.
The different strands under the programme include ‘Love’, ‘Debate’, ‘Laugh’, ‘Cult’, ‘Thrill’, ‘Dare’, ‘Journey’, ‘Create’, ‘Experiment’, ‘Family’, and ‘Treasures’.
Prasun Chatterjee’s Two Friends will be screened under the segment ‘Love’. The film is said to portrays its complexities and many kinds from around the globe. According to the festival’s synopsis of the film, it revolves around “two 8-year-old boys who navigate a growing religious divide in this beautifully observed portrait of childhood set after the destruction of India’s Babri Mosque.”
The Bengali language film features actors Asik Shaikh, Arif Shaikh, and Jayati Chakraborty, in lead roles. It will be screened on October 12 and 14.
The ‘Debate’ segment will feature director Rahul Jain’s documentary film Invisible Demons, on the environmental disaster in India’s capital city of New Delhi owing to pollution and climate change. Jain’s second documentary will be focusing on the impact of unchecked industry and climate change on the poor. “Observing rivers turning to foam and hills that appear to be made of garbage, Invisible Demons is a chilling reminder of the need to act today.”
Earlier this year, Invisible Demons was screened at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, under the climate category but was not entered for competition. It will be screened on October 15 and 16 at the London Film Festival.
Roshan Sethi’s 7 Days, featuring Geraldine Viswanathan and Karan Soni, will be screened under the segment ‘Laugh’. The film is said to be a romantic-comedy set during the COVID-19 pandemic, about a couple forced to quarantine together after an awkward first date. The film is about “finding a connection when you least expect it.”
It will be screened on October 15 and 16, and is one of the few films in the lineup that deals explicitly with the pandemic. The others include Matthew Heineman’s documentary, The First Wave.
Natesh Hegde’s Pedro which will be screened under the ‘Dare’ segment, will showcase a story about an outcast and drunk from a South Indian village who accidentally kills a cow and sets off a revelatory chain of events that pits him against the entire community. The film is expected to deals with themes such as “toxic masculinity, communalism, the stifling self-sufficiency of village life and feudalism.”
It will be screened on October 14 and 15.
While the festival will open with Netflix’s The Harder They Fall, and close with an Apple original film The Tragedy of Macbeth, it will also screen popular festival favourites which have already found fame at festivals including those at Venice, and Cannes.
Films like Palme d’Or winner Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog, Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch, Edgar Wright’s Last Night in Soho, Maggie Gyllenhaal’s The Lost Daughter, and Pablo Larrain’s film on Princess Diana, Spencer will also be screened at the festival as a part of the star-studded Gala.
In addition to the aforementioned films, Asif Kapadia’s VR animation, Laika, will have its world premiere, as a part of the festival’s Expanded program.
The awards ceremony will be conducted online, on October 17.