Share Your Memories

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As part of this year’s UK Asian Film Festival 2018, Tongues on Fire (TOF) is excited to premiere their very own heritage documentary film exploring the dynamic relationship that the British South Asian diaspora has with Indian cinema.

Ever since the sizeable migration of South Asians to post-war Britain, cinema from the subcontinent has been integral in transmitting South Asian culture and heritage to successive generations of British Asians. There is no question that subsequent generations of British Asians have creatively synthesized the motifs that Indian cinema has to offer into mainstream British culture in areas such as music, art, film, fashion and food. What is more, throughout the generations, Indian cinema has been vital link in creating a shared experience of belonging and identity for the British Asian diaspora as a whole thereby transcending ethnic and national affiliations.

Since June 2017 the TOF Heritage Team has been carrying out a series of interviews with the public asking them to share with us their earliest memories of Indian cinema as well as the enduring influence of Indian cinema in their lives. Whether it be a movie or a movie star that changed one’s outlook on the world, an Indian song that served as the soundtrack to one’s life during the early days of living in the UK or the recollections of family outings to one of the many 120 cinema halls that screened Bollywood films in the UK in the 1970s, our interviewees have kindly shared their personal stories of how much Indian cinema means to them.

In addition to the heritage documentary, TOF is excited to announce a unique exhibition entitled “Memories Through Cinema” aimed at showcasing artefacts that have been collected from the general public. The exhibition hopes to compliment the documentary by taking the audience through a visual narrative of the history of Indian cinema and cinema-going in the context of the UK from the perspective of the general public. We believe that it is Indian cinema’s turn to pay homage to the cinema-goers and countless fans that have supported it in the UK throughout the ages!

TOF would like to invite YOU to share some of your own artefacts or memories of Indian cinema. Perhaps you, or someone you know, possesses an artefact with a story which could be part of our exhibition in March 2018. For example, one rare artefact we have collected so far is a handwritten letter from the film star Dharmendra to one of his fans in the UK.

Do you have an interesting story accompanied by an artefact that you think would be perfect for our exhibition in 2018? If so, the list of things we are looking out for include:

– Family photos of outings to the cinema
– Rare VHS tapes
– Pictures that fans have taken with film stars
– Fashion items/accessories inspired by Indian cinema
– Art inspired by Indian cinema
– Music inspired by Indian cinema
– Anything else you believe to be suitable for the exhibition.

If you think you have something, then please either email our Project Coordinator directly at [email protected] or you can share your stories and photos on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #MemoriesThroughCinema and by visiting the official Memories Through Cinema Facebook page.

The deadline for suggested submissions is 31st January 2018. (Please note that due to project constrictions, all artefacts may not make it into the exhibition but will be considered for future projects).

We look forward to hearing from you all!


Short Film Selection Screening at BFI Southbank

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Tongues On Fire will be organising the 20th UK Asian Film Festival this year to be held from 14th – 25th March 2018, this year we have a diverse selection of bold and cutting edge films that we wish to bring to you. Among them are a number of exciting short films that will be showcased at the festival. However, this year, we bring to you not only a range of exciting short films, but also, a chance to be a judge and help us shape the festival with your selections.

The screenings will take place on 2nd Feb from 1:00- 3:00 pm at the studio, BFI Southbank, where you can help us select the films you like and the ones you would like us to screen at the Festival.

If you would like to join us, please get in touch by emailing us at [email protected]

We look forward to welcoming you as part of our judging panel.

Volunteer Callout for the 2018 UK Asian Film Festival

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Every year we have a bank of volunteers to help make the festival a success. Volunteering at UKAFF is about helping filmmakers and artists share their stories. Of course, there are exciting benefits, like getting to see UK premieres of new independent films, meeting film talent from across the globe.

But the real benefits of volunteering aren’t things, or even films – they’re the experiences. You will be gaining valuable experiences in the arts, working on a film festival, involved in the day to day designing and planning of events, liaising with filmmakers and venues, not to mention making new friends with a shared passion for film.

If you have a can-do attitude, are happy to work as part of a team, open to meeting people and doing some hard work, then we want you! You will need to be available for meetings from the beginning of January and the festival itself is eleven days from 15th to 25th March 2018. So, if you’re ready for a one-of-a-kind experience, and want to apply to join us, please email: [email protected]

LAFF 2017 Award Winners

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Returning to BAFTA 195 for a touch of glamour, the London Asian Film Festival (LAFF) ended its 19th edition with its annual awards, dinner and a special tribute to the respected, late Om Puri. Renowned British-Asian director, Gurinder Chadha reminded audiences of Puri’s legacy in film, with exclusive anecdotes of her personal experiences of working with the actor.

The festival gave a respectful salute to Pakistani-bornBritish actor, Art Malik, who gave a hearty speech after being awarded the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ for his contribution to the arts.

Alankrita Shrivastava’s, controversial feature film, Lipstick Under My Burkha won two awards including ‘Best Film’ after a well-deserved sell-out screening, complimented by attendance from actor Ratna Pathak Shah. ‘Best Director’ was awarded to Rahat Kazmi for Mantostaan, with Pakistani film Rahm hailing the ‘Best Adaptation’ award.

With two record-breaking sell-out screenings, Caribbean title, Bazodee took away ‘Best Music’ and the ‘Audience Choice Award’ after creating a storm with its Soca music and carnival vibe.

Pushing boundaries and getting people talking about hot topics is always Tongues on Fire’s aim, and tongues have certainly been wagging in another successful year, not only in London but in two other vibrant cities. Earlier this year, TOF announced its UK wide expansion and has proudly witnessed a successful first edition of the Leicester Asian Film Festival (LAFF) with sell-out screenings and second edition at Edinburgh Asian Film festival (EAFF). Launching nationally as a UK Asian Film Festival is reflective of the festival’s passion and commitment to deliver important messages and unique storytelling to new audiences across the country, who have an appetite for these “made to be seen” films.

With an array of entertaining film screenings, a dose of noteworthy film talent, in-depth discussions, the annual Short Film Competition and prestigious annual awards ceremony, LAFF explored a very important theme this year ‘Memories Beyond Borders’. The festival was home to Utopia, the first Afghani film to be presented at LAFF, a visit from distinguished actor Shabana Azmi, and a unique mushaira event, which swept audiences off to a magical realm of ghazals, music and Urdu poetry. Deepa Mehta’s Anatomy of Violence and Rahat Kazmi’s Mantostaan provoked deep audience engagement and LAFF’s first-time children’s event ‘Colour Club’, was a winner with young audiences.

Closing Night hosted acclaimed Pakistani director Sabiha Sumar, who spoke about her upcoming documentary, Azmaish: Trials of Life. Tongues on Fire are also proud to announce Sabiha Sumar as a new patron of the festival, making her an advocate and supporter, alongside the likes of Abhishek Bachchan and Meera Syal.

Festival director, Dr Pushpinder Chowdhry claims she is delighted with this year’s turnout in all three cities. “It feels fantastic to expand our festival into other cities this year, with an exceptional line-up of films and filmmakers who honoured us by coming to share their journeys with all our audiences.”

TOF operations director Saba Syed “The festival just keeps getting better every year and female voices and storytellers are being heard. This year, we at Tongues on Fire are very proud to play a part in celebrating shared heritage without borders, joining the global movement defying current populist sentiment which is sweeping the sub-continent, Europe and the USA.”

For the full list of winners, interviews or images please call FNIK PR on 07831 556 952 or email: [email protected]