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Shiraz: A Romance of India will tour to four Indian cities, following the restoration world premiere as the BFI London Film Festival Archive Gala with specially-commissioned live film score performed by multi Grammy® -nominated composer and musician Anoushka Shankar

The British Council and the British Film Institute (BFI) have announced that, following the 61st BFI London Film Festival world premiere of the restored Shiraz: A Romance of India, screening at the Barbican on 14 October the film will tour four Indian cities as part of the UK/India 2017 Year of Culture, a year-long celebration of the long-standing relationship between India and the UK, which has seen a vast programme of cultural exchange and activity take place in cities across both countries throughout 2017 which has included an extensive 8 month programme of classic and contemporary Indian Cinema at BFI Southbank.

A world leader in film restoration, the BFI holds the original negative material of Shiraz in the Archive. Franz Osten’s sumptuous Indian silent classic has been meticulously remastered by the conservation team at the BFI National Archive. Screening at the BFI LFF as the Archive Gala, the film will then visit Hyderabad, Kolkata, New Delhi and Mumbai in India from 1 November to 5 November, accompanied by live performance of a specially commissioned score by Grammy® -nominated leading contemporary Indian composer and sitar player, Anoushka Shankar and an orchestral ensemble.

Shiraz tells the love story of the 17th century princess who inspired the construction of the Taj Mahal. For the modern viewer the appeal of Shiraz is the extreme rarity of a sophisticated silent feature film made outside the major producing nations of the West, the gorgeous settings and costumes and the glories of the spectacular fort at Agra and of course the iconic Taj Mahal, a central character here in its own right. Two infamous kisses that take place in the film will definitely surprise modern audiences and are really quite extraordinary for Indian Cinema of the period. Shiraz was adapted from Niranjan Pal’s play, the first Indian playwright to have his work performed in the West End.

Deeply rooted in the Indian Classical music tradition, Anoushka Shankar studied exclusively from the age of nine under her father and guru, the late Ravi Shankar, and made her professional debut as a classical sitarist at the age of thirteen. By the age of 20, she had made three classical recordings and received her first Grammy® nomination, thereby becoming the first Indian female and youngest-ever nominee in the World Music category.

Through her bold and collaborative approach as a composer, Anoushka has encouraged cross-cultural dialogue whilst demonstrating the versatility of the sitar across musical genres. As a result, Anoushka has created a vital body of work with a prominent roster of artists such as Sting, M.I.A, Herbie Hancock, Pepe Habichuela, Karsh Kale, Rodrigo y Gabriela, and Joshua Bell.

DATES AND VENUES

1 November         Hyderabad International Convention Centre, Hyderabad

3 November         Sangit Kala Mandir, Kolkata

4 November         Siri Fort Auditorium, New Delhi

5 November         Sri Shanmukhananda Chandrasekarendra Saraswathi Auditorium, Mumbai

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