London: The London Indian Film Festival has has got off to a promising start with the UK-premiere of director Anurag Kashyap's 'Gangs of Wasseypur' attracting a packed audience and cheers from the crowd. There was barely any standing room at the Cineworld Haymarket as film buffs from across the world jostled for space at the glittering red carpet arrivals.
Besides Kashyap, others prominent at the red carpet included actress Tannishtha Chatterjee and Ferena Wazeir.
Bollywood royalty arriving included Pamela Chopra, the legendary Yash Chopra's wife and the associate producer of one of Indian cinema's biggest hits 'Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge'.
Anushka Sharma, who is currently filming in London for Yash Chopra's next along with Shah Rukh Khan, sneaked into the cinema anonymously. She said she enjoyed 'Gangs of Wasseypur' enormously and is looking forward to working with Kashyap in 'Bombay Velvet'.
"The London Indian Film Festival is lucky for me. My 'Dev D' played in year one. 'That Girl In Yellow Boots' premiered in year two and got UK distribution and now I've opened the festival. It's a great platform," said Kashyap.
The celebrity wave continued with acclaimed British Asian actors Riz Ahmed (Trishna), Upen Patel (Namastey London) and Shiv Jhala (whose 'Arjun and Alison' will enjoy its World Premiere at the festival on June 30), walking the red carpet and obliging screaming fans with photo opportunities.
Directors Asif Kapadia (Senna), Michael Winterbottom (Trishna), Q (Gandu), Sidharth Sharma (Arjun & Alison), Devanand Shanmugam ('Tooting Broadway' which will have its World Premiere at the festival today) and Sarovar Banka (A Decent Arrangement) were just some of the high-octane talent present on the occasion.
Festival Director Cary Sawhney said, "We are delighted that this year's London Indian Film Festival has opened to such a tremendous response. We have a diverse range of events scheduled for the next two weeks, including the brilliant
collaboration of director Q's Gandu Circus along with Susheela Raman and many World and UK film premieres."