South Asian Heritage Month
Reclaiming the history and identity of British South Asians - through film.
South Asian Heritage Month runs from 18th July to 17th August every year. It seeks to raise the profile of British South Asian heritage and history in the UK through education, arts, culture and commemoration, with the goal of helping people to better understand the diversity of present-day Britain and improve social cohesion across the country. Here we present a selection of films that enhance understanding about what it means to be South Asian in the 21st century, as well as looking to the past to see how Britain became the diverse country it is today.
Comedy199997 minsDirector: Damien O'Donnell
Damien O'Donnell's charming comedy-drama about Zaheed Khan (Om Puri), the patriarch of a Pakistani-British family whose children begin to reject their heritage and embrace UK life.
Crime200287 minsDirector: Asif Kapadia
Irfan Khan stars in this stately swordplay epic from director Asif Kapadia (Amy, Senna) which earned critical comparisons with Kurosawa.
Drama2009120 minsDirector: Danny Boyle
Danny Boyle’s crowdpleaser, based around the Indian version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, won the Oscar for best picture.
Musical2004107 minsDirector: Gurinder Chadha
Gurinder Chadha’s Bollywood retelling of Austen’s classic romance is an all-round joy, adding colour and song to Austen’s evergreen wit.
Drama1996103 minsDirector: Udayan Prasad
Udayan Prasad's perceptive 1995 drama follows Amir (Pavan Malhotra), a Pakistani immigrant living in England and adjusting to his new life - including meeting an Irish girl who moves into his boarding house.
Comedy201294 minsDirector: Nigel Cole
A pair of newlyweds endure a honeymoon staying with the groom's parents in a comedy from East Is East writer Ayub Khan-Din.
Comedy1994101 minsDirector: Gurinder Chadha
Gurinder Chadha's charming and critically acclaimed comedy about a group of British Asian women from Birmingham who bond during a day-trip to Blackpool.
Historical drama1928106 minsSilentDirector: Franz Osten
This epic silent film, telling the ravishing, romantic story behind the Taj Mahal, has been newly restored with a sumptuous new score from Anoushka Shankar.
Drama200990 minsDirector: Shamim Sarif
Sweeping romantic drama about two Indian women who fall for each other in the hostile environment of apartheid South Africa.
Documentary201588 minsDirector: Chandrashekar Reddy
This absorbing documentary follows Suraj a 11-year-old boy who works in the 'rat-hole' mines in the Jaintia Hills of North East India, armed with nothing more than a pickaxe and a head torch. In these hostile pits, every day is a game of death.
Romance1965122 minsDirector: James Ivory
When a young British actress from a touring troupe falls in love with an Indian playboy, the star-crossed lovers must overcome cultural differences and the scheming of a fierce rival.
Drama2015108 minsDirector: B.S. Lingadevaru
Lingadevaru’s unforgettable drama, based on an empowering true story of a young boy who travels to Bangalore to follow his dream of becoming a woman.
Drama2014109 minsDirector: Abu Shahed Emon
Abu Shahed Emon's entrancing film tackles several of Bangladesh's pressing social issues in the story of an abandoned child, believed to be cursed, who ends up entering a life of crime.
Documentary201873 minsDirector: Sandhya Suri
Archive footage tells the emotionally-resonant story of life across India pre-1947.
Historical drama197499 minsDirector: Lester James Peries
Epic tale set in 5th century Sri Lanka, following the battle for the throne between Kassapa and his father King Dhatusena.
Drama197572 minsDirector: Peter K. Smith
The trials and tribulations of Shiv, a South Asian entrepreneur trying to set up a business in industrial Birmingham
Drama2012114 minsDirector: Michael Winterbottom
Tragedy befalls a young Indian woman when she falls in love with a rich British man in Michael Winterbottom's sharp Thomas Hardy update.
Comedy199384 minsDirector: David Attwood
Defying opposition from his conservative Pakistani family, Zaf Ayub dreams of becoming Southall's greatest gift to country & western.
Drama2017106 minsDirector: Gurinder Chadha
Gurinder Chadha channels David Lean for this sweeping romance set during the last days of the Raj, with Hugh Bonneville and Gillian Anderson as Lord and Lady Mountbatten.
Drama201798 minsDirector: Sarmad Masud
Britain's 2018 submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar was this Pakistan-shot western with a feminist twist, centring on a bitter land dispute between an extended family.