CANADIAN PREMIERE & FEATURE FILM DEBUT
Director: Nathalia Syam
United Kingdom | 2023 | 108 min | drama | English
Don’t miss your chance to meet director Nathalia Syam and the film’s star, Adil Hussain! They will both be in attendance on Opening Night.
A reception will take place at 5 pm, and the screening will start at 6 pm.
Away from the glitz and glam of Birmingham resides a community of illegal immigrants who are always in hiding, leaving no proof of their existence, not even their footprints. Among them is Raghu, a small business owner who fled India after being mired in a financial scam, amassing his meagre wages in the hopes of paying back his debt and returning home with dignity. Six years on, Raghu now works for a fraudulent solicitor who makes money creating fake passports and visa appeals, and who decides to reward his employee’s loyalty by finding a wealthy British groom for his daughter Meera. Raghu believes he has finally struck gold, but after a heated argument, Meera storms out of their home, prompting her father to set out on a quest to find her, all by himself, without coming under the police radar. This quest will reveal a secret side of his daughter’s life and make him realize that his pursuit of materialistic riches has jeopardized his relationship with the people that matter the most to him. Now, his only priority is to see Meera safe again. But is he too late?
NATALIA SYAM is a London-based filmmaker who emigrated from Kollam, Kerala, when she was 10. After completing her degree in Film Studies, she worked as an assistant director for the British and South Indian film industries, alternatively. As a seasoned film practitioner, Nathalia now leads the BFI Film Academy for Resource Productions at Pinewood Studios and has curated and delivered several filmmaking masterclasses. She is the director of two short films, Thaara (2016) and Lehenga (2018), the latter of which was nominated for the Best of British award at the BAFTA-qualifying Iris Prize Award in Cardiff. Footprints on Water is her feature film debut. It has already secured the Best Debut Film award at the 2022 New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF) as well as the Best Director (Celebrating Our Stories theme) and Best Actor awards at the 2023 UK Asian Film Festival (UKAFF). “Being an immigrant myself,” says Syam during an interview with Asian Culture Vulture, “having watched Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham… and all these films, I thought it was going to be sports cars, luxury houses, but it wasn’t the case. And that was a bit of a culture shock for me. For me, it’s very important that you represent reality to the truest form as possible and I feel it’s important you don’t exaggerate any scenes. You just show it as it is. And if that’s hard-hitting, then so be it.”
scr.: Neetha Syam | cin.: Azhagappan | ed.: Suresh Pai | art dir.: Christine Urquhart | snd: Resul Pookutty | mus.: Tuomas Kantelinen | cast: Adil Hussain, Nimisha Sajayan, Lenaa Kumar, Antonio Aakeel, Danny Sura | prod.: The Production Head Quarters Ltd UK — Mohaan Nadaar
Free parking during the event.
Opening Reception: 5 pm | Screening: 6 pm
$40 per ticket, plus H.S.T. ($5.20) & service fees.