Pakistan's biggest film star to open Leicester’s UK Asian Film Festival at Phoenix


Mahira Khan, Pakistan’s biggest celebrity actress will be in Leicester on Thursday 15th March to open the UK Asian Film Festival at Phoenix Cinema and Art Centre.

The Festival returns to Leicester for its second year and takes place from 15 – 31 March at venues across Leicester including Phoenix, De Montfort University and LCB Depot.

The Festival includes a contemporary programme of 15 films, events and exhibitions which showcase a broad range of South Asian independent cinema. There will be nine UK film premieres and seven Q&As with producers, directors and actors.

Marking 100 years of women gaining the right to vote in the UK, the Festival’s theme this year is ‘F-Rated’ – a specialist rating assigned to films that have been recognised for their progressive representation of women, or those with women behind the camera.

The red carpet launch at Phoenix will feature BBC Asian Network presenter Noreen Khan ‘In Conversation with Mahira Khan’ on Thursday 15th at 7.45pm. Tickets are available from Phoenix for £12 in advance, £15 on the night.

Making her film debut in 2011 in Bol – one of Pakistan's highest grossing films – Mahira has gone on to find success in TV and Bollywood. She has the largest social media following of any Pakistani actor and recently became the first Pakistani ambassador for L’Oreal.

Amongst the film premieres screening at Phoenix for the Festival are: Kuchh Bheege Afaaz, the tale of two lonely souls who make an unexpected connection after dialling a wrong number, from acclaimed director Onir; Tikli & Laxmi Bomb, the story of sex workers who set up their own cooperative run by women, which won Best Feature Film at the Berlin Independent Film Festival; and DHH, a heart-warming coming-of-age tale for all the family.

Tickets and further information about the film programme are at and the wider Leicester programme is at

The UK Asian Film Festival is created by not-for-profit organisation Tongues of Fire in association with Phizzical, Phoenix and De Montfort University.