Love Across a Broken Map

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Book: Love Across a Broken Map
Authors: The Whole Kahani
Publisher: Dahlia Publishing
Price: £9.99

Review by Snehal Amembal

Love Across a Broken Map, produced by The Whole Kahani (a group of writers of South Asian origin) is a beautiful anthology of diverse short stories which fuse around the themes of love and loss.

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Sheffield Doc Fest launches one year ‪training‬ programme

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Doc/Next is a one year training initiative by Sheffield Doc/Fest and is open to documentary and all non-fiction ‪#‎directors‬, producers, line ‪producers‬, editors and ‪DOPs‬ across all platforms.

Liz McIntyre CEO and festival director says: “We have listened to emerging talent, who, having secured their first few credits, articulate the difficulty of jumping to the next rung. We have created a programme to nurture the best of that emerging talent, and help them build sustainable ‪#filmmaking‬ careers. Doc/Next is a unique programme that responds to important industry demand in a range of disciplines.”

Doc/Next will provide group training in Sheffield including: bespoke training, masterclasses, business development, peer-to-peer learning, networking, mentoring, placements and delegate attendance at Sheffield Doc/Fest 2017.

The programme is specifically aimed at UK professionals with their first handful of credits who have been in the industry for 18 months to five years, and are ambitious to move up to the next rung of the ladder.

Applications can be submitted from today until 28 July 2016 with the programme due to begin in September.

For more information and the application form, visit the website.

Punjabi Boy explores relationships, masculinity and friendship

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You’ve heard of the Essex Man and the Hackney Hipster it’s time to meet the Punjabi Boys of Hounslow. Gary (Gurinder) and Bob are best friends growing up in Hounslow and while Bob (Balvinder) is your archetypal ‘Punjabi Boy’ who’s loud, enjoys eating Tandoori chicken and drinking whisky. Gary likes to spend his days reading Jean-Paul Sartre and speaking French.

“You’d forget you was Punjabi if you didn’t look in the mirror every now and then. I bet you never told your posho mates that you never even spoke English. We couldn’t speak English. Only Punjabi.”

Gary wants to find his place in the world, so he escapes West London and his own Punjabi community to study in France. Here, he discovers for the first time in his life that being Indian is interesting! However, when he falls for Aurelie, the first girl he meets, life starts to get complicated in ways he never imagined. Can Gary find love and a home in France or will he return to England and his own community?

Punjabi Boy, written by Amman Paul Singh Brar, was developed with the The Royal Court Theatre Critical Mass writing group and is directed by Mukul Ahmed.

The play will be performed at Hounslow Arts Centre from 5 to 24 July 2016 at 7.45pm. Tickets cost £10.00 (£8.00 concessions).

My Name is Leon

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Book: My Name is Leon
Author: Kit de Waal
Publisher: Viking
Price: £10.99

Review by Reshma Ruia

Kit De Waal’s debut novel My Name is Leon deserves its critical acclaim and place on the Sunday Times bestseller list.

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A tender and tortured soul: Nathan Ives-Moiba as Marvin Gaye. Photo: Robert Day

Theatre: Hackney Empire
Play: Soul
Playwright: Roy Williams
Director: James Dacre

Review by Ronke Lawal

On April Fools’ Day 1984, hours before his 45th birthday, Marvin Gaye was shot dead by his father in the “Big House”, the shared family home owned by Gaye.

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Why documentaries are the future of filmmaking

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Filmmaker and producer Veronica McKenzie trekked to this year’s Sheffield doc fest for Words of Colour online, for the second year in a row. Although impressed with the quality of films – and grants – on offer, she was disappointed at the lack of films directed by filmmakers, and especially women, of colour. McKenzie explains how films featuring famous black women on screen were a sellout and why she ended up voguing on the dancefloor.

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Love N Stuff

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Playing for laughs: Bindi (Rina Fatania) and Mansoor (Nicholas Khan). Photo: Robert Day

Theatre: Theatre Royal Stratford East
Play: Love N Stuff
Playwright: Tanika Gupta
Director: Kerry Michael

Review by Arani Yogadeva

Tanika Gupta’s musical Wah! Wah! Girls was a big hit with audiences in 2012, especially the characters Bindi and Mansoor, a middle aged couple.

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Safe House

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Book: Safe House: Explorations in Creative Nonfiction
Editor: Ellah Wakatama Allfrey
Publisher: Cassava Republic Press
Price: £12.99 (paperback)

Review by Angela Howell

Safe House is a must read of creative non-fiction. This anthology of 14 real stories by talented authors from the African continent, including Mark Gevisser (Thabo Mbeki: The Dream Deferred) and Elnathan John (Flying) will take you on a journey of real enlightenment.

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The Nearness of You

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Book: The Nearness of You
Author: Sareeta Domingo
Publisher: Piatkus Books
Price: £8.99

Review by Reshma Ruia

Sareeta Domingo’s debut novel, The Nearness of You, can be read at two levels. It can be enjoyed as a refreshing urban take on a conventional Mills and Boon type of romance: girl meets boy who loves her, but is in a relationship with her best friend – but it all turns out right in the end.

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Season of Crimson Blossoms

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Book: Season of Crimson Blossoms
Author: Abubakar Adam Ibrahim
Publisher: Cassava Republic Press
Price: £9.99

Review by Ronke Lawal

Season of Crimson Blossoms is a vibrant love story set in the midst of political change and violence. It’s a Nigerian coming of age story which tackles religion, sex, wealth and power in a refreshingly poignant way.

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Interview with Sunny Singh

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Sunny Singh is an academic, novelist and activist with a prolific presence online. Born in Varanasi, India, she graduated from Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts, in 1990 with a degree in English and American Literature. She has a Masters degree in Spanish Language, Literature and Culture from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and a PhD from the Universitat de Barcelona.

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