SLAM (2018) – UK Premiere – Aug 10 at Regent St Cinema

slam1

I’m really excited to be hosting the UK premiere of Partho Sen-Gupta’s stunning SLAM (2018) with the London Australian Film Society. The screening – at Regent Street Cinema on the afternoon of August 10 – is presented in collaboration with The Riz Test, and with the support of the Menzies Australia Institute.

The feature will be preceded by a screening of short poetry film Borders (Shagufta K Iqbal / Elizabeth Mizon, 2017, and will include a post-screening panel discussion involving media commentators, scholars, and activists discussing a range of issues, from screen representation to the broader contexts of Islamophobia in Australia and Britain.

I will be chairing the panel, with guests including Shaf Choudry (The Riz Test), Dr Aurelien Mondon (University of Bath), and Shagufta K Iqbal (The Yoniverse).

More info can be found on the LAFS website, and tickets can be booked directly via Regent Street Cinema.

Here’s the official blurb:

The London Australian Film Society is proud to present – direct from the Sydney Film Festival and the Melbourne International Film Festival – the UK premiere of Partho Sen-Gupta’s Slam (2018), an extraordinary mystery drama about family, identity, and Islamophobia in Australia.

The comfortable life of Sydney café owner and Muslim refugee Ricky (Adam Bakri, Omar) is thrown into chaos when his estranged sister Ameena (Danielle Horvat) – a highly politicised, hijab-wearing slam poet – goes missing after a performance. As the search for Ameena intensifies, Ricky is forced to re-evaluate his own identity, whilst doing battle with a right-wing media intent on framing his family as extremists.

Stunningly shot, this complex examination of race and identity in contemporary Australia is aided by a superb ensemble cast led by Rachael Blake (Lantana, Sleeping Beauty). A tough but honest look at the harsh realities of a ‘multicultural’ nation, this gripping drama invests a necessary complexity in its depiction of Australia’s own ‘hostile environment’.

This special screening will be preceded by a screening of Shagufta K. Iqbal’s short poetry film Borders (2017), and will be followed by a panel discussion on Muslim screen representation and the broader contexts of Islamophobia in Australia and Britain.

The panel will feature media activist Shaf Choudry (The Riz Test), academic Aurelien Mondon (University of Bath), and poet and author Shagufta K Iqbal (The Yoniverse), and will be chaired by LAFS programmer Stephen Morgan (King’s College London / University of Greenwich).

Presented in collaboration with The Riz Test and with the support of the Menzies Australia Institute at King’s College London.

Here’s why I wanted to programme this brilliant film:

“When I saw SLAM, I just knew we had to find a way to screen it in London. Like me, Australians will almost certainly find this a tough watch, but it is also a deeply important film that dredges up some harsh truths in the wake of the Christchurch attacks (despite being produced beforehand).
 
That this is also a superb drama, beautifully shot, and with a host of brilliant performances, only underscores its unflinching examination of some of the social, cultural, and structural issues that serve as a constant challenge to visions of an inclusive nation. In its portrayal of a particularly pervasive form of Islamophobia evident across the media and which seeps into official policy, it is also a film that has a particularly striking resonance for the UK in the contemporary moment.”

And here’s what critical race scholar and Australian Critical Race and Whiteness Studies Association president (and advisor on the film) Dr Alana Lentin has to say:

“I would love it if you could make it to see this beautiful film, a true antiracist film in these terrible times of mounting fascism and white supremacism.”

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