THE London Indian Film Festival returns again this month with an­other action-packed programme, which includes premieres in three different cities. The annual festival, which runs across London, Bir­mingham and Manchester from June 21 to July 1, has a wide array of interesting movie screenings, talks and a short film competition. East­ern Eye went through the 2018 programme to select 10 highlights… Love Sonia: There will be a world premiere of this hard-hitting film on the opening night of the festival. Set across three continents, the story, inspired by true events, revolves around a simple Indian village girl who finds herself trapped in the global sex trade. The interesting cast includes Mrunal Thakur, Freida Pinto, Demi Moore, Manoj Baj­payee, Rajkummar Rao, Richa Chadda and Anupam Kher. Uma: Based on a true story, this emotional tale revolves around a lit­tle girl living in Switzerland diagnosed with a potentially-terminal dis­ease, whose greatest desire is to participate in Kolkata’s annual Durga Puja festival in October. But she may not make it till then so the entire city tries to recreate the festival in the summer as a special treat. My Son is Gay: The multi-layered story focuses on a mother-son rela­tionship which is put to the test when he comes out as a gay. The poignant tale sensitively tackles themes of tolerance and acceptance. Village Rockstars: The award-winning heart-warming tale is based on a single mother and her 10-year-old daughter living in a remote flood-prone Assamese village. The vibrant youngster wants to set up her own rock band and has to make to do with imaginary guitars until she goes on a quest to get a real one. Bhasmasur: A former thief in debt returns to his Rajasthani village from the big city to hide from a moneylender and decides to sell the prized family donkey, with whom his son shares a special bond. The trio set off across the desert and encounter various events along the way which brings the father and son closer. Cycle: A well-known astrologer sees his world slowly fall apart when the cherished yellow cycle inherited from his grandfather is stolen. The life-affirming tale of hope and happiness revolves around villagers getting together in an attempt to reunite him with his beloved bike. Hva vil folk si: The multi-award-winning film revolves around a Paki­stani teenager living a happy life in Norway, whose world is torn apart when her father discovers she has a white Norwegian boyfriend. She is sent to live in Pakistan, where she has to adapt to a hostile environ­ment and makes some hard choices. Teen Aur Aadh: The interesting film narrates the story of a house in three different eras. A young boy struggles with the pressures of pre-pubescent school life and then 20 years later the same house is now a brothel, where a young virgin sex-worker has to deal with her first cli­ent. Then 30 years later, the place is now the home of an elderly cou­ple that love, laugh and dance together. Halkaa: The feel-good family film focuses on a slum boy who fights back against having to defecate in the open. After failing to convince anyone to build a toilet, he teams up with his friends and goes on a mission to make one. The charming and heart-warming film was the winner of the Grand Prix at the Montreal Film Festival. Mr India: There will be a screening of the classic 1987 Bollywood clas­sic as a tribute to actress Sridevi, who sadly passed away earlier this year. She plays a journalist in love with a heroic invisible man known as Mr India, who is taking on the evil megalomaniac Mogambo. The London Indian Film Festival takes place from June 21 until July 1 across three cities. Visit for more.