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Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 2pm

#Haider: Vishal Bhardwaj among guests at Tongues on Fire LAFF 2014

Filmmakers Vishal Bhardwaj and Nagesh Kukunoor will make exclusive appearances at the 16th annual London Asian Film Festival, organizers announced Wednesday.

Bhardwaj will give fans a sneak peek into his hugely-anticipated new film 'Haider', an adaptation of the Shakespearean tragedy 'Hamlet' and the final part in the director's adaptations of the Bard's work following 'Maqbool' (Macbeth) and 'Omkara' (Othello).

The director will make his appearance at London's Globe Theatre, often referred to as Shakespeare's 'spiritual home' away from his birthplace of Stratford-on-Avon.

Dr Pushpinder Chowdhry, founder of LAFF, said: "Vishal Bharwaj’s adaptations provide a unique insight into the shared heritage between UK and India as he mixes the spirit and essence of both cultures.  We are also delighted to be part of the 450th anniversary celebrations of William Shakespeare’s birth with a unique insight into Indian cinema’s attraction for the plays by the Bard of Avon."

This year's LAFF will open with the European Premier of Nagesh Kukunoor's 'Lakshmi', a hard-hitting drama about child trafficking in India which has already won an audience award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival.

Kukunoor will be in discussion with the UKAsian's editor Viji Alles following the screening at London's Tricycle Theatre.

Among the other highlights of this year's festival is an appearance by Pam Chopra, widow of legendary director Yash Chopra who will be in conversation with London's leading Bollywood expert Professor Rachel Dwyer after a screening of one of Yash Chopra's most iconic films at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

Organizers of LAFF have hinted that a "very special guest" closely associated with Yashji will be appearing alongside Mrs Chopra for the discussion on arguably the most popular and populist Bollywood filmmaker of the past half century.

"The late Yash Chopra is regarded as the king of romance in Indian cinema who presented the notion of falling in love with a sense of aspiration, escapism and adventure", Dr Chowdhry says.

"His love for Britain is evident in his iconic films like 'Lamhe' and 'Jab Tak Hai Jaan' as he leaves behind a unique legacy of visual aesthetics that continue to inspire a new generation of film makers."

Among the other films that will be screened during the Festival are Iram Parveen Bilal's acclaimed 'Josh' and 'Good Morning Karachi' - both from Pakistan; 'Jeevan Smriti', the late Rituparno Ghosh's tribute to Bengali icon Rabinranath Tagore and 'India A Dangerous Place for Women', BBC presenter Radha Bedi's documentary about violence against women in India.

The London Asian Film Festival's popular Short Film Competition will this year be supplemented by five commissions of Digital Films that will specifically celebrate the 'Shared Heritage' of Britain and India on the occasion of this year's 400th anniversary of the beginning of formal relations between the two nations.

For venues and timings, visit www.tonguesonfire.com

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