Channel 4’s annual Indian film season returns on 28th October, with ten films in seven weeks that represent a cross-section of the best contemporary and classic Indian cinema.
Curated by longstanding season consultant and Indian cinema expert Nasreen Kabir, the annual Indian film season is the longest running strand in Channel4 ‘s history, running over 30 years.
This year’s season spans drama, thriller, romantic comedy, musical, documentary, independent Indian cinema, mainstream Bollywood and includes a remastered little seen film from Satyajit Ray, one of the greatest auteurs of 20th century cinema.
Eight of the ten films are network premieres, and eight films from the season will be available for Catch up viewing on All 4 following their Channel 4 TX.
2019 Season Details
Channel 4’s annual Indian film season launches on October 28th with Vikramaditya Motwane’s urban thriller TRAPPED (2016, Network Premiere) as Rajkummmar Rao plays a young man inadvertently held captive in a disused apartment block high above the streets of Mumbai in a desperate fight for survival. Next up is a change of gear for mainstream ‘Bollywood’ cinema in female-buddy comedy VEERE DI WEDDING (2018 Network Premiere), Friends meets Sex and the City as a group of independent women navigate married life and refuse to conform to gender stereotypes. Goa’s 1960’s unsung jazz musicians take centre stage in A Star Is Born story with an Indian twist with NACHOM-IA KUMPASAR (2015 Network Premiere), featuring an award-winning performance from actress Palomi Ghosh. Celebrated hard-hitting director Anurag Kashap delivers a lighter tale with MANMARZIYAAN (2018 Network Premiere), a modern love triangle with a young, free-living group of characters set against the colourful backdrop of Amritsar in the Punjab.
Winding back the clock SATYAKAM (1969), is a moving drama from the late sixties that was much appreciated in its time. In 1945, as India's Independence looms, Satyapriya - a man of high principles - dreams of building a new country but his moral certainty ends up being shaken forever. Current Independent Indian cinema continues to flourish with NUDE (Chitraa, 2018, Network Premiere) as a young mother down on her luck takes a job as a cleaner in an art school. In order to make enough money for her son’s college fees, she decides to pose as a nude life model for the art students, despite the shame it may bring.
We follow with a madcap caper of mistaken identities in Mudassar Aziz’s jet-setting romantic comedy sequel HAPPY PHIRR BHAG JAYEGI (Happy Runs Away Again, 2018 Network Premiere), further bridging cultural ties between the Indian and Chinese film markets. We continue the season with master-filmmaker Satyajit Ray’s 1965 remastered little-seen KAPURUSH, a subtle, moving chamber piece of lost love and atonement. A quiet film that leaves a significant emotional impression and a classic example of Ray’s unforgettable filmmaking.
Returning to the popular rom-com genre TANU WEDS MANU (2011) sees young successful Manu returning to India after working in London to meet potential brides. When he sees Tanu it's love at first sight, but Tanu is already in love with the maverick Raja and intends to elope with him. Naturally struggles of the heart ensue. The season concludes with documentary THE SPACE BETWEEN THE NOTES, (2018, Network Premiere). In 2017, filmmaker Sumantra Ghosal captured a wonderful performance by two contemporary legends in Indian music — tabla genius Zakir Hussain and sitar maestro Niladri Kumar. Interlacing insightful interviews with concert highlights Ghosal explores what allows these two very special artists to collaborate, creating their unique musical magic.
TRAPPED (2016, Network Premiere)
VEERE DI WEDDING (2018 Network Premiere, available on Catch up via All 4)
NACHOM-IA KUMPASAR (2015 Network Premiere, available on Catch up via All 4)
MANMARZIYAAN (2018 Network Premiere, available on Catch up via All 4)
SATYAKAM (1969, available on Catch up via All 4)
NUDE (Chitraa, 2018, Network Premiere, available on Catch up via All 4)
HAPPY PHIRR BHAG JAYEGI (Happy Runs Away Again, 2018, Network Premiere, available on Catch up via All 4)
KAPURUSH (1965, available on Catch up via All 4)
TANU WEDS MANU (2011)
THE SPACE BETWEEN THE NOTES, (2018, Network Premiere, available on Catch up via All 4).
Notes to editors:
The annual Indian film season is the longest running strand in Channel 4’s history, running over 30 years. Every year the season showcases premieres of arthouse festival hits and golden classics plus the latest Bollywood blockbusters and strands on actors, directors, themes and musicians. The season supports filmmakers from a cross section of South Asian backgrounds and strengthens Channel 4’s relationship with Asian and non-Asian viewers catering for the culturally diverse interests of UK viewers.
Season Consultant Nasreen Kabir Bio:
Born in India, Nasreen Munni Kabir lives in London and has made several TV series for Channel 4 on Hindi cinema, in addition to the two-part documentary: The Inner/Outer World of Shah Rukh Khan. She has curated major Indian film festivals in the 1980s at the Pompidou Centre in Paris and is author of 18 books on Hindi film, including “Guru Dutt- a life in cinema,” “Lata Mangeshkar in her own voice,” “In the Company of a Poet: Gulzar” and “Conversations with Waheeda Rehman.” Nasreen works as Channel 4’s consultant on Indian cinema, curating their annual Indian film season since 1982. She is former governor on the board of the BFI (2001-2007).