Students help curate UK Asian film festival here in Leicester


Film Studies students from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) are getting hands-on experience of curating a film festival after picking one of the movies to be shown at an upcoming celebration of Asian cinema.

The UK Asian Film Festival Leicester 2019 runs during the first week of April at Phoenix Arts – the city’s independent cinema - and the five undergraduate and Master’s students have selected one of the films to be shown, called Noblemen.


Florence, Kyle, senior lecturer Monia Acciari, Emily and Tom

Released this year, the film, by first time director Vandana Kataria, ‘fearlessly grapples the monstrous culture of a boy’s boarding school in India’.

Film Studies undergrad Tom Button said: “The film fits well with the specifications we were given about the types of films to show at the festival including its style and how it portrays Indian heritage and culture.

“There is also a great look to the film as well as great acting and it is also quite shocking. So people will certainly talk about it, which is what you want to happen.”

Florence Williams, who is studying for a Master’s in Film Studies - which includes a thesis on the film Titanic - said: “We chose this film out of the three that we watched because it has the most lasting impact. It is certainly a film that will have you thinking about it the next day.


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“It has been fun watching films that I might not normally go out to see and learning something new.”

Emily Gett is also studying for a Master’s and her thesis is on Orientalism in the film Blade Runner.

She said: “I volunteered for last year’s festival. I really enjoyed the experience and so when my lecturer mentioned we were taking part in the young curator part of the festival I was really interested.

“We run a film club at DMU and love curating, so to work on a professional festival is a great experience.

“I love film criticism and so I will be running a blog during the festival, reviewing films and posting photos. It really fits in with my ambitions.”

Film Studies undergrad Kyle Hillier says his favourite film at the moment is Cruel Intentions as it is celebrating its 20th anniversary this week.

He said: “I have really enjoyed the experience. It has been really fun being able to put myself into the world of film and what goes on behind the scenes when curating for a festival.

“I didn’t know too much about Indian cinema but I am so glad that I am getting involved in it and getting to understand it more. There are so many films which are new and refreshing and are important to the global film industry.”


A still from the film Noblemen, which will be shown on April 3

Monia Acciari, Senior Lecturer in Cinema and TV History, is an expert in South Asian film and helps organise the film festival.

She said: “As part of the Film Studies degree we are broadening our offering on world cinema so our students can further appreciate international film.

“We also have a module on film festivals so what better way to help them practise the skills than in a professional environment.”

The UK Asian Film Festival Leicester 2019 is in its third year. It celebrates the very best in films from South Asia and the many dimensions of its vibrant culture.  It runs from Wednesday 3 April to Saturday 6 April. Noblemen will be shown on April 3.

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Posted on Friday 29th March 2019

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