Running throughout the weekend of 16-17 September, BFI INDIA ON FILM: ‘This Land Is Ours’ will be a weekend of screenings and events at BFI Southbank, curated by artist Tajender Sagoo, celebrating documentary filmmaker Sanjay Kak, who will speak at events throughout the weekend. Urgent and uncompromising, Sanjay Kak has been making documentaries since the mid-1980s and is part of a generation of independent Indian film auteurs who have challenged dominant narratives and who have sought alternative distribution for their work. Kak’s films have reached audiences in villages and small towns across India, distributed and screened through the country’s vast network of activist groups.
Three decades after South Asians first came to Britain in the 1960s, Kak’s study of the Asian community in the UK, This Land, My Land, Eng-Land! (1990), follows a new generation of young creatives, and examines the endless rehearsals that go into the construction of identity. Though made nearly thirty years ago, it speaks to present day Brexit Britain in a profound way. The screening on Saturday 16 September will be followed by a Q&A with Sanjay Kak and Virinder Kalra, Professor in Sociology, University of Warwick. Also screening on Saturday will be Jashn-E-Azadi (2007), which Kak will introduce; about an ongoing conflict in Kashmir, the film centres on the lives of Kashmiri people living in an overwhelmingly militarised society. Screening on Sunday 17 September will be Red Ant Dream (2013), which Kak will also introduce; in this state-of-the-nation film, the director uses found footage and the rich tradition of poetry and protest songs in an urgent critique of Indian democracy. Completing the weekend will be Sanjay Kak in Conversation, a richly illustrated conversation between Kak and Virinder Kalra; the event will see Kak talk about his work as an activist and filmmaker and offer audiences that chance to ask their own questions.
‘This Land Is Ours’ is part of the BFI’s ongoing INDIA ON FILM project. As part of the UK-India Year of Culture, the BFI have embarked on a celebration of Indian film throughout 2017. Co-curated by BFI Head Curator Robin Baker, and writer and programmer Meenakshi Shedde, the BFI INDIA ON FILM is running at BFI Southbank until December 2017.
· SAT 16 SEP, 13:50 – SCREENING + Q&A: This Land, My Land, Eng-Land! (Sanjay Kak, 1990) / Onstage: director Sanjay Kak and Virinder Kalra, Professor in Sociology, University of Warwick
· SAT 16 SEP, 16:00 – SCREENING + INTRO: Jashn-E-Azadi How We Celebrate Freedom (Sanjay Kak, 2007) / Onstage: director Sanjay Kak
· SUN 17 SEP, 13:50 – SCREENING + INTRO: Red Ant Dream (Sanjay Kak, 2013) / Onstage: director Sanjay Kak
· SUN 17 SEP, 16:30 – SPECIAL EVENT: Sanjay Kak in Conversation / Onstage: director Sanjay Kak