As we celebrate our 15th year, we continue to showcase the best of new Indian and South Asian cinema, web series, and emerging filmmakers’ shorts, and build on last year’s exciting forays into XR and computer games.

Here in Yorkshire, we have an exceptional programme of UK Asian and South Asian diaspora movies. A highlight is the premiere of the Muslim British love story Before Nikkah. Following critical acclaim at international film festivals, we’re screening the poignant Marathi drama Sthal (A Match), about teenage women confronting tradition. We’re also privileged to present the premiere of the documentary Tight: The World of Indian Bodybuilding, and the award-winning Mithya, about an orphan’s struggles.

Thur 27 June, 17:30 Before Nikkah (CC) + Q&A (BSL) The Studio Image: Yorkshire Indian Film Festival

Before Nikkah (CC)+ Q&A (BSL)

Set in London, Before Nikkah follows two British Pakistanis who go on a blind date, as they prepare for a prospective arranged marriage. Initially apprehensive, the date doesn’t start off well. However, fate conspires to keep the couple together for the whole day qnd as they get to know each other, their experience heralds some unexpected consequences. Paying homage to Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise, Zafar’s film is a soulful and charming romantic comedy that will leave you falling in love with the two leads.

Thurs 27 June,18:00 Sthal + Q&;A Hyde Park Picturehouse Leeds. Image: Yorkshire Indian Film Festival

Sthal (A Match)

Jayant Digambar Somalkar’s feature debut chronicles the journey of a young woman striving for an education and a brighter future in a patriarchal society, where arranged marriage is presented as the only option for self-betterment. Sthal is a subtle yet implicitly powerful drama exploring the joys and tribulations of young people’s lives as they try to challenge the status quo. Winner of the NETPAC award at Toronto International Film Festival.

Thurs 27 June, 20:00
Queen Of My Dreams
The Studio. Image: Yorkshire Indian Film Festival

Queen of my Dreams

In this colourful and song-soaked delight of a film, young Pakistani woman Azra lives an alternative lifestyle with her white female buddy in Toronto, which is worlds apart from her conservative Muslim mother’s traditional values. When her beloved father suddenly dies on a trip home to Pakistan, Azra finds herself on a flight to Karachi, where she discovers her Bollywood inspired connection to memories of childhood and the truth of her once liberal mother and father’s 1960s love marriage.

Wakhri

Sat 29 June, 17:00
Wakhri. Hyde Park Picturehouse Leeds. Image: Yorkshire Indian Film Festival

A young widowed school teacher in Pakistan becomes a viral sensation overnight, after she accidentally unleashes her unfiltered opinions on social media. Her newfound fame as an influencer, however, comes with its own challenges as she tries to navigate the archaic mindsets that pervade society – all while trying to raise her 10-year-old son as a single mother. Drawing inspiration from real life figures such as Qandeel Baloch (Pakistan’s first social media celebrity), Wakhri is an extraordinary and moving tale of a brave woman fighting against the odds to live life on her own terms.

 

Sun 30 June, 17:00
Mithya + Q&A (BSL)
Hyde Park Picturehouse Leeds. Image: Yorkshire Indian Film Festival.

Mithya + Q&A (BSL)

Mithun, an impressionable eleven-year-old boy struggling to come to terms with the loss of his parents, is sent back to his idyllic home village to live with his estranged family. As he tries to adapt to his new surroundings, with locals squabbling over his custody, he learns of secrets that will change his life forever. Grounded by an extraordinary central performance from young actor Athish Shetty, Sumanth Bhat’s debut feature is a delicate coming-of-age tale exploring themes of loss and acceptance.

 

Tue 02 July
18:00. Tight: The World of Indian
Bodybuilding + Q&A. Hyde Park Picturehouse Leeds. Image: Yorkshire Indian Film Festival

Tight: The World of Indian Bodybuilding + Q&A

Every muscle is pumped to perfection in this uplifting documentary. It follows young bodybuilder Aji, from South India, in his preparations to take on the northern musclemen and be crowned Mr India. Through Aji’s against-the-grain quest we witness a rapidly changing Indian society and the rise of this increasingly popular sport, where brotherhood and diversity are celebrated, and India’s first women bodybuilders are making an impact. The well-oiled biceps on show will inspire you to put down the parathas and head to the gym!