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British star Ian McKellen to visit India

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Mumbai: “Lord Of The Rings” star Ian McKellen is all set to visit India as part of ‘Shakespeare Lives on Film’, a global programme to celebrate the Bard’s works and his influence on culture, education and society, coinciding with his 400th death anniversary.

Launched by the British Council and GREAT Britain Campaign, as a part of this programme, the BFI (British Film Institute) has curated a special international touring event of British Shakespeare adaptations, spearheaded by 76-year-old McKellen.

Mumbai is the first stop on McKellen’s global tour as the BFI’s ambassador for ‘Shakespeare Lives on Film’.

As part of the international tour, McKellen will be presenting “Richard III”, a film he co-adapted for the big screen and starred in.

“I have been aware of India’s passion for Shakespeare ever since I saw ‘Shakespeare Wallah’ (1965) and more recently the outstanding Bollywood versions of the plays. This is my first visit to Mumbai when I look forward to hearing local reaction to the Shakespeare on Film season and to meeting with colleagues in the Indian film industry,” McKellen said in a statement.

MAMI Film Club is partnering with the British Council, the BFI, GREAT, NCPA and Fountainhead MKTG to bring the programme to India.

“I am a great admirer of sir Ian’s work, and it is an honour for the Jio MAMI Film Club to be able to partner in this master class… This is a chance for film lovers to hear one of the most iconic actors of Shakespeare speak in our city. We could not have asked for a better launch for our Film Club,” Kiran Rao, Chairperson, MAMI said.

McKellen will be part of a public conversation with an Indian superstar, scheduled on May 23, and will mark the debut of MAMI Film Club.

The ‘Shakespeare Lives On Film’ screenings will be held on May 24 and McKellen’s “Richard III” is also a part of it.

During his visit, McKellen will also be the guest of honour at the launch of the 7th Kashish Mumbai International Queer Festival, besides being a guest of honour at the Queen’s Birthday Party, organised by the British High Commission.

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