UK Asian Film Festival announce winners at Closing Gala

Veena Patel



UK Asian Film Festival presented their annual Tongues on Fire Flame Awards at the Closing Gala on Sunday 14th May in London.

Tongues on Fire Flame Award 2023 winners

Best Short Film: Madhavi
Director, Jacintha Charles

Film Wallahs Choice Award
Polite Society – Director, Nida Manzoor

Celebrating Our Stories Theme
Nathalia Syam – Footprints on Water

Best Film, Curator’s Choice
Kamli – Director, Sarmad Khoosat

Best Documentary
Trans Kashmir

Best Debut Director
Manish Mundra – Siya

Contribution to Hindi Cinema
Poonam Dhillon

Best Director
Sudhanshu Saria – Sanaa

Making Waves Globally
Adil Hussain – Footprints On Water

Best Actor
Radhika Madan – Sanaa

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Best Film
Bhagwan Bharose – Director, Shiladitya Bora

Championing Change
Nimra Bucha

Lifetime Achievement Award
Contribution to Global Cinema: Jamil Dehlavi

Rajkummar Rao

UK Asian Film Festival ran at venues across London, Leicester and Glasgow, presented by Tongues on Fire and supported by the BFI and Arts Council England, both awarding funds from the National Lottery, as well as support from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). #HereforCulture. UK Asian Film Festival was powered by broadcast partners, Sony TV and Lyca Radio; and TV Partner for UKAFF Short Film Competition was Shorts TV.

UK Asian Film Festival Founder and Director, Dr Pushpinder Chowdhry MBE says, “UKAFF has always been a platform for unheard stories. For 25 years, we successfully provided a space for these untold stories to reach communities in the UK so we can have thought-provoking discussions on our sense of belonging, assimilating, culture and conditioning. These insightful and inspirational films shine a light on the traditionally taboo subjects and difficult issues through a female perspective in a patriarchal society to wider audiences. This year, our selected films have powerfully opened our hearts and minds because of how they capture and narrate our experiences authentically. We consciously mainstream South Asian perspectives, told by South Asians for global audiences so our stories inform and transform communities.”

UK Asian Film Festival Creative Director, Samir Bhamra says, “UKAFF’s theme of celebrating our stories has made us confront what we dare not acknowledge or choose to ignore. Our British Asian and South Asian filmmakers have crafted exquisite and authentic stories that vulnerably exposed the most hideous parts of our nature. In doing so, they illuminated our brokenness, showed us the essences that bind us and filled us with hope that we can learn to accept and begin to heal. These brilliant films and film talent are shaping our universe and it’s been an incredible joy to make them accessible to British audiences in UKAFF’s silver jubilee year.”

Raj Baddhan, CEO of Lyca Radio says, “It has been an incredible film festival! And hats off to the amazing team at UKAFF and Tongues on Fire for putting on a fantastic, memorable event. We at Lyca Radio have been delighted with the high-end execution and excited about our partnership for the years ahead.”

Miyrah Mistry, Head of Marketing for Sony Pictures Networks UK & Europe says: “We were once again proud to be involved with the UK Asian Film Festival, that celebrated its 25th anniversary. With a focus on dynamic and visionary cinema, the organisers put tremendous effort into arranging a spectacular programme which included the festival awards, screenings at landmark locations, red carpet premieres, live chats and performances. The star studded festival has given audiences, filmmakers, actors, music creators, of all ages and ethnicities a chance to discover new South Asian voices and celebrate established ones. We would like to congratulate all the winners of the awards. A huge thank you to the whole team at UKAFF and Tongues on Fire. Highlights from the festival will be shown on SONY TV soon.”

Nidhi Sharma, Director, Mango Marketing & Events says, “We are hugely proud to be selected as the preferred marketing and sales partner for UKAFF, who have produced a phenomenal show this year. We are delighted to continue our partnership with a pioneering organisation that is investing in innovation because that is where we will find our future.”