Life of Pi actor Suraj Sharma charmed the audience in London as he walked the red carpet of the London Indian Film Festival (LIFF), where his film Umrika was screened recently. Directed by Prashant Nair, the film is set in rural backdrop and narrates the deep rooted craze for America. Delhi boy Suraj, who was earlier seen in award winning film Life of Pi, directed by Ang Lee, is now focussing on elevating his range as an actor, by essaying distinct roles. Suraj played Rinku Singh, a UP based village boy who become baseball player in Million Dollar Arm and a Pakistani medical student in Homeland TV series.

Suraj was a special guest of LIFF where he interacted with the audience and spoke about the shooting of Umrika. The highlight of the film was the camaraderie between Suraj and American actor Tony Revolori, who plays a village boy. "It was because of the humouristic narrative that we bonded so well on the sets," said Suraj. Tony effortlessly slipped into a villager despite not being able to impress Prashant in the dialect test, while auditioning on Skype.

The movie set in the 80s highlights the issue of illegal immigration and narrates the lives of village boys who take drastic steps to go to America, in search of a better life. Nair's movie shows the widely criticised practice of illegally transporting labours through shipping containers.

Addressing the audience, Nair revealed that he had witnessed the craze for America in India, and had weaved a story around it.

Other films that were the highlight of the Festival included Konkona Sen Sharma starrer Saari Raat and Gour Hari Dastaan, directed by Ananth Mahadevan. Konkona answered the queries about a movie based on the struggle of freedom fighter Gour Hari Das (played by Vinay Pathak), who continued to fight with the Indian system, even after the nation got independence.

Actor Adil Hussain participated in the festival as two of his films Umrika and Tiger made waves at LIFF. Danis Tanovic directed Tiger, starring Emraan Hashmi is a film based on pharmaceutical scam, prevalent in developing nation.