'Lakshmi', Nagesh Kukunoor's hard-hitting child trafficking drama will open this year's edition of the London Asian Film Festival on 1 June, organizers say.
The film is inspired by the real life story of a poor 14-year-old girl from Andra Pradesh who was forced into sex slavery but who eventually escaped and testified against her kidnappers.
'Lakshmi' had its world premier at the Palm Springs International Film Festival in January winning the Audience Award for 'Best Narrative Feature'.
The film stars newcomer Monali Thakur in the central role, as well as Indian TV stalwart Ram Kapoor and veteran Bollywood star Satish Kaushik.
Chemical Engineer-turned-filmmaker Kukunoor will reportedly travel to London for the premier at London's Tricycle Theatre and take part in a discussion about the film and child trafficking in India where more than 50,000 abductions and disappearances are recorded every year with a majority of those cases remaining unsolved.
Kukunoor is renowned for his intense and authentic directing style and 'Lakshmi' is said to be the ultimate representation of that style: the director was mobbed by angry sex workers after a screening in Mumbai's Kamathipura 'Red Light' District in Marcy with enraged sex-workers demanding the producers hand over the man who plays the film's evil pimp, not realizing that the role was played by the director himself.
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